Collect of the Day:
Almighty and ever-living God, give us new strength form the courage of Christ our shepherd, and lead us to join the saints in Heaven, where he lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, One God, for ever and ever world without end . Amen.
First Reading: Acts 2:14, 36-41: God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ.
Second Reading: I Peter 2:20-25: You had gone astray but now you have come back to the shepherd and guardian of your souls.
The Gospel John 10:1-10: I am the gate of the Sheepfold.
Today I have decided to share with you Pope St. Gregory the Greats relfection from the Office of the Readings, I found it most edifying and hope you do also.
From a homily on the Gospels by Saint Gregory the Great, pope
Christ the Good Shepherd (Hom 14, 3-6)
I am the good shepherd. I know my own – by which I mean, I love them – and my own know me. In plain words: those who love me are willing to follow me, for anyone who does not love the truth has not yet come to know it.
My dear Sisters and Brothers, you have heard the test we pastors have to undergo. Turn now to consider how these words of our Lord imply a test for yourselves also. Ask yourselves whether you belong to his flock, whether you know him, whether the light of his truth shines in your minds. I assure you that it is not by faith that you will come to know him, but by love; not by mere conviction, but by action. John the evangelist is my authority for this statement. He tells us that anyone who claims to know God without keeping his commandments is a liar.
Consequently, the Lord immediately adds: As the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep. Clearly he means that laying down his life for his sheep gives evidence of his knowledge of the Father and the Father’s knowledge of him. In other words, by the love with which he dies for his sheep he shows how greatly he loves his Father.
Again he says: My sheep hear my voice, and I know them; they follow me, and I give them eternal life. Shortly before this he had declared: If anyone enters the sheepfold through me he shall be saved; he shall go freely in and out and shall find good pasture. He will enter into a life of faith; from faith he will go out to vision, from belief to contemplation, and will graze in the good pastures of everlasting life.
So our Lord’s sheep will finally reach their grazing ground where all who follow him in simplicity of heart will feed on the green pastures of eternity. These pastures are the spiritual joys of heaven. There the elect look upon the face of God with unclouded vision and feast at the banquet of life for ever more.
Beloved Sisters and Brothers, let us set out for these pastures where we shall keep joyful festival with so many of our fellow citizens. May the thought of their happiness urge us on! Let us stir up our hearts, rekindle our faith, and long eagerly for what heaven has in store for us. To love thus is to be already on our way. No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveller who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.
Almighty, ever-living God, bring us to the joy of your Heavenly City: so that we your flock, may follow where Christ our Good Shepherd, has gone before us by the power of His Resurrection.
We make our prayer through Jesus Christ your Son Our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, ever One God world without end. Amen.