Abundant Life Without Want

Homily preached by the Rev. James La Macchia
Trinity Parish of Newton Centre
May 7, 2017
The Fourth Sunday of Easter – Year A

Acts 2:42-47
Psalm 23
1 Peter 2:19-25
John 10:1-10

My Friends:

good-shepherd-thomas-aquinas-2-christ-with-lambsThieves and bandits; gates; gatekeepers; and shepherds—who can blame those Galilean fishermen and Jesus’ early disciples for their failure to understand his “figure of speech” in this morning’s Gospel according to Saint John?  If it was difficult to grasp in Jesus’ world, where sheepherding in rural Galilee and the hill country around Jerusalem is still a common sight, how much more confusing must it be for ninety per-cent of the world’s population who, like us, dwell in cities?  And while I don’t profess to have any first-hand experience in the matter, I have learned several things about sheep and sheepherding that are important for grasping Jesus’ message in this morning’s Gospel—then and now. Continue reading

Christ the Good Shepherd

‘I am the Good Shepherd. I know my sheep and my sheep know me.’ In these words it is as if our Lord were saying: ‘Those who love me, obey me.‘ Certainly, those who do not love the truth cannot yet know it.

My dear brothers and sisters, let us reflect upon how these words of our Lord imply a test of our own. Ask yourselves first if you are indeed sheep of Jesus; and secondly, if you know him and recognize the light of truth. We recognize truth not simply by faith but by love. You recognize truth not by the assent of the intellect, but by the love you express in your deeds. As the apostle John says: ‘Those who say that they love God, but disobey his commandments, are liars.’ Continue reading