Fourth Sunday of Easter

A sheepgate allowed a shepherd to lead his flock into a sheepfold or corral, where it would be safe and secure. By identifying Himself as a sheepgate, Jesus claims that anyone who comes through Him will be safe.

They would be safe from harm. This could mean protection from harm in our outer world (from accidents, injury or sickness). It could also mean safety from harm in our inner world (from discouragement, depression or despair).

A second kind of safety would be from negative influences. There are all kinds of sinister influences in the world trying to rob us of our faith and ideals. For example, corrupt government officials threaten our quest for justice and freedom; greedy investors undermine our desire to share with and help the poor; misguided entertainers distort our sense of decency. It is not easy to follow Christ faithfully in a world hostile to gospel values. We need Christ’s reassurance that our faith and ideals will ultimately prevail.

A third kind of safety we need is safety from worry, anxiety and self-pity. Excessive concern can drain our energy and immobilize us. If we get to worried about our health, finances or relationships, we can’t function productively, advance in personal growth, or deepen our life in the Spirit. Only Jesus can make us safe from being dominated by worry, overwhelmed by anxiety, or paralyzed by self-pity. Only Christ can help us to live fully with joy and enthusiasm.

Jesus is not just like a sheepgate. He is the sheepgate. He is our safety in any trouble. He is our fullness of life.

God Bless

Msgr. Powell