The 4th Sunday of Eastertide is always “Good Shepherd Sunday.”

In our passage today Jesus speaks of himself as “the gate”.[1]I tell you most solemnly, I am the gate of the sheepfold. All others who have come are thieves and brigands; but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full.[2]

“The image of the gate is not as well-known as that of the shepherd and is more difficult to enter into, but if we make the effort it can be very touching. Leaders who are like a gate are the opposite of possessive; they are content to be the humble instruments through which others can “go freely in and out”, making their own way to “life to the full”.[3]

Shepherds at night would sit at the entrance to the sheepfold for two reasons, firstly to bar thieves and wolves entering and also to prevent the sheep from wandering off from the sheepfold. Then in the morning he calls the sheep and they recognize his voice and follow him because they trust the Shepherd.

Jesus, the gate, the true Shepherd calls each one of us by name. He treats us all as individuals. We are each precious in his sight and He wishes to lead us into green pastures to drink from the water of life, the Holy Spirit, who in turn will guide us along our journey of faith to the true pastures of Heaven. So, remember this and follow Him!

Sr. Rosaleen Shaw OP

[1] Jn.10:1-10

[2] Jn.10-7-10

[3] https://www.catholicireland.net/sunday-homily/