This 4th Sunday of Advent is referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday, where our readings show Jesus and the Apostles defining their roles as shepherds to the world.
The Word for the 4th Sunday of Easter
Acts 13:14, 43-52
Psalm 100:1-2, 3, 5
Revelation 7:9, 14b-17
Our first reading from Acts of the Apostles has us traveling with Paul and Barnabas’ on their first journey to Antioch. Their first visit to the Synagogue went so well that they are invited to come back the following week. Our narrative opens with that visit the following week, only this time their reception is mixed. This rejection by some of the Jews drives Paul to take their message to the Gentiles in Antioch, but the disaffected Jews manage to get the Apostles ejected from the city, thus giving rise to the phrase “shaking the dust from their feet” and moving on. For our second reading we continue our journey through John’s Revelation, where this week we see Jesus in a vision that both evokes his roll both as the Lamb of God, and that of the Shepherd of the Lord. This takes us to a rather short but precise Gospel passage from John where Jesus not only sets himself as shepherd of his flock, but at one with God himself (thus our focus on the Divinity of Jesus).