May 11, 2014 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
Although this Fourth Sunday of Easter is officially exactly that, because of our many traditions we celebrate a whole lot more on this day. It is also designated as Good Shepherd Sunday. As if that was not enough, in 1963 Pope Paul VI designated this Sunday as World Day of Prayer for Vocations. And because of when Easter fell this year, this year it is our traditional U. S. Mother’s Day as well.
Throughout the various observances and commemorations, the theme of the Good Shepherd holds true, however. The readings for this Fourth Sunday of Easter ring true to the idea that Jesus is our shepherd. Is there a more beautiful psalm than Psalm 23? “The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.” Being a good shepherd to others is the epitome of stewardship. Jesus demonstrated His love for us, to the extent that He gave His life so we might live, “By His wounds you are healed.”
This image of a good shepherd who watches over the flock is paralleled by our priests, those who give their lives through vocations so that we might have the Eucharist and our faith. It is equally matched by the image of a mother, a person who lives out stewardship in part by watching over and caring for her children. Even President George Washington understood the splendor of motherhood: “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother.”