Scripture Reading Reflection
by Fr. Andrew Kelly
FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – 5-11-14
John’s Gospel is the Easter Gospel. As the gathered believing community listens to and ponders John’s Gospel year after year, the community’s awareness deepens so that the Jesus who speaks in John’s Gospel is the risen Jesus speaking to the community in the here and now.
In John’s Gospel, it is the risen Jesus who shepherds and leads the community. It is the risen Jesus who has a personal relationship with each community member so intimate that the risen Jesus calls each member by name, the name the risen Jesus gave to the member on the day of baptism.
It is the risen Jesus who shepherds by speaking in the proclaimed Scriptures and then feeds the community the Shepherd’s own body and blood. It is the risen Jesus who shepherds by smearing the oil of healing upon the sick. It is the risen Jesus who shepherds by speaking the words: “Nor do I condemn you. You are forgiven. Go in peace. Be reconciled.”
If the community believes all of this, then Easter has truly grabbed the community’s soul. The community explodes in Easter joy when the shepherding risen Jesus proclaims: “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
(Father Andrew Kelly is a retired priest of the Diocese of Davenport.)