Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12
Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said: “Leaders of the people and elders: If we are being examined today about a good deed done to a cripple, namely, by what means he was saved, then all of you and all the people of Israel should know that it was in the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead; in his name this man stands before you healed. He is the stone rejected by you, the builders, which has become the cornerstone. There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven given to the human race by which we are to be saved.”
1 John 3:1-2
Beloved: See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Beloved, we are God’s children now; what we shall be has not yet been revealed. We do know that when it is revealed we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.
Gospel Cycle Cycle B
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
We are God’s children. We are God’s flock. Jesus Himself promises us that we are no longer slaves but children of God. Jesus tells us that He will lay His life down for us. He has already died for us, but every day He is will to lay down His life for us once more. Salvation is not something in the past, salvation is today.
Today’s readings begin with one from the Acts of the Apostles. Peter is trying to explain how a crippled man was cured and why. What is really important is not so much the cure of the crippled man but the love of Jesus for His people. Even today we do not always understand this. Jesus will do anything and everything for us if we have faith in Him. He heals us every day from so many things.
The second reading, from the First Letter of Saint John, is a wonderful prophecy of what heaven will be like: we shall be like Him and we shall see Him as He is. So much of our life here is spent trying to be like Him, trying to live as He lived, trying to love and He loved. In heaven, we shall be like Him.
The Gospel today reflects that this is Good Shepherd Sunday. We have readings that explain to us what a Good Shepherd is like. This is an image trying to explain to us the care and the love that God has for us in Christ Jesus. Truly there is no way in this life fully to comprehend the love that God has for us.
We should be able to speak every day of God’s love and care for us. If we can still our hearts and our minds, we will more easily see this love and care of God at work every day in our lives. It may not always be the love that we want from God, but it is truly love and for our good.
Let us rejoice and be glad today. Let us be still and listen and look for the signs of God’s love in our lives. Let us be aware of how much healing God has already done in our lives. Now is the time of salvation.