Click here if you don’t see subscription options
Kerry WeberApril 17, 2024
Photo from Unsplash.

A Reflection for Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

You can find the readings here.

I know them, and they follow me.

Many years ago, I spent a few days on an educational farm, where I helped to birth a sheep. The little lamb was stuck in the birth canal of a ewe, and in one exhilarating and slimy moment, I assisted in pulling it free. Moments later, it was frolicking through a green field, bounding in some dandelions, seemingly oblivious to both the perilous situation it had been stuck in just moments prior and the rookie shepherd who had saved it.

I often think of this little lamb when the image of Jesus as a shepherd arises, as it does in today’s Gospel. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me,” Jesus says. Lambs know the ewe’s bleating shortly after birth, and vice versa, but it takes time for a lamb or sheep to follow a shepherd. It is a learned behavior, not instinctual; learning to recognize one’s shepherd can take time.

As a modern-day member of Jesus’ flock, I have faith that my shepherd knows me, knows all that I am, my good qualities and all my flaws. I also know that I am still learning how to follow God. Sometimes I forget to listen for God’s voice. Other times I hear it and ignore it. Sometimes I find myself like that little lamb, frolicking about the earth oblivious to the shepherd who over and over again pulls me out of darkness and sets me free, pushes me toward new life. But also I know that even as I wander, I will not be lost for good. I take heart in the knowledge that, for all my mistakes, “no one can take [me] out of [God’s] hand.”

More: Scripture

The latest from america

Today’s text from the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith makes clear that henceforth, as a rule, the Holy See will not declare any alleged spiritual phenomenon, such as an apparition, as authentic‚ that is, “of divine origin.”
Gerard O’ConnellMay 17, 2024
Cardinal Robert McElroy, Bishop Robert Barron and Bishop Daniel Flores joined moderator Gloria Purvis for a roundtable discussion on the rise of polarization in the church.
Michael O’BrienMay 17, 2024
Whether carefully reflected upon or chosen at random, picking a confirmation name is a personal and spiritual journey for Catholics, reflecting a connection to the saints or a loved one and a commitment to embodying their virtues.
America StaffMay 17, 2024
In young people preparing for confirmation, I see a yearning for something more in their lives, beyond the noise and distractions of technology and social isolation.
Mitchell RozanskiMay 17, 2024