I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full

In Jesus’ time, the job of a shepherd was a tough and dangerous one. The shepherd would be out on the hills all night and in all weathers, protecting his sheep from thieves and from prowling wolves. The parable of the Good Shepherd shows us how much Jesus cares for his disciples. Just as a good shepherd risks his life to protect his sheep, Jesus laid down his life for us. Just as the sheep know the voice of the shepherd, so Jesus’ disciples know his voice and his love for them. Disciples put their trust in Jesus and follow him faithfully.

Today, the 4th Sunday of Eastertide, is Good Shepherd Sunday when we are asked to pray for vocations to the priesthood and consecrated life. The word ‘vocation’ reminds us that God calls each one of us to serve him in a unique way. Some are called to priesthood or religious life; others to marriage and family; others are widowed or are called to live in the world as single people. Jesus knows each one of us intimately and calls us by name. By following Jesus, the Good Shepherd, and responding to his call, we can have life to the full.

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