Sunday, May 8
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Roman Ordinary calendar
Acts of the Apostles 13,14.43-52.
Paul and Barnabas continued on from Perga and reached Antioch in Pisidia. On the sabbath they entered the synagogue and took their seats.
After the congregation had dispersed, many Jews and worshipers who were converts to Judaism followed Paul and Barnabas, who spoke to them and urged them to remain faithful to the grace of God.
On the following sabbath almost the whole city gathered to hear the word of the Lord.
When the Jews saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy and with violent abuse contradicted what Paul said.
Both Paul and Barnabas spoke out boldly and said, “It was necessary that the word of God be spoken to you first, but since you reject it and condemn yourselves as unworthy of eternal life, we now turn to the Gentiles.
For so the Lord has commanded us, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may be an instrument of salvation to the ends of the earth.'”
The Gentiles were delighted when they heard this and glorified the word of the Lord. All who were destined for eternal life came to believe,
and the word of the Lord continued to spread through the whole region.
The Jews, however, incited the women of prominence who were worshipers and the leading men of the city, stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and expelled them from their territory.
So they shook the dust from their feet in protest against them and went to Iconium.
The disciples were filled with joy and the holy Spirit.
Sing joyfully to the Lord all you lands,
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
Book of Revelation 7,9.14b-17.
I, John, had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race, people, and tongue. They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.
I said to him, “My lord, you are the one who knows.” He said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.”
“For this reason they stand before God’s throne and worship him day and night in his temple. The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.
They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.
For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”
Holy Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John 10,27-30.
Jesus said: «My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
Basil of Seleucia (?-c.468)
Homily 26 on the Good Shepherd ; PG 85, 299-308
“I am the good shepherd, the true shepherd” (Jn 10:11)
Abel, the first shepherd, was pleasing to the Lord, who willingly accepted his sacrifice and looked with even more favor on the giver as on the gift he made (Gn 4:4). Scripture also draws attention to Jacob, the shepherd of Laban’s flocks, noting the care he took for his sheep: “How often the scorching heat ravaged me by day, and the frost by night!” (Gn 31:40); and God rewarded this man for his labor. Moses, too, was a shepherd on the mountains of Midian, preferring to be ill-treated with God’s people than to know rejoicing [in the palace of Pharaoh]. And God, pleased at his choice, as a reward allowed him to see him (Ex 3:2). After this vision Moses did not abandon his shepherd’s office but with his staff commanded the elements (Ex 14:16) and pastured the people of Israel. David was also a shepherd but his shepherd’s staff was changed to a royal sceptre and he received a crown. Now, do not be astonished if all these shepherds were close to God. The Lord himself was not ashamed to be called “shepherd” (Pss 23; 80). God was no more ashamed of pasturing men than he was of having created them.
But let us now consider our own shepherd, Christ. Let us see his love for humanity and his gentleness in leading them to pasture. He takes pleasure in the sheep who surround him just as he searches for those who stray. Hills or forests are no obstacle to him; he runs down into the valley of shadow (Ps 23[22):4) to reach the place where the lost sheep is to be found (…) He is seen in hell; he gives the command to come out; thus he seeks for the love of his sheep. Someone who loves Christ is someone who listens to his voice.