April 25, 2021

IV Sunday of Easter

The sheep must learn whom to trust: not the most powerful, but the one who seems to succumb to the wolf and instead saves us in his love for him.

Acts 4: 8-12; Ps 117 (118); 1 Jn 3,1-2; Jn 10: 11-18

The sheep must learn to discern who to trust, who to watch out for. In fact, Jesus evokes different realities: the good shepherd; the wolf, who comes to kidnap and scatter the sheep; the mercenary, who runs away in the face of danger. He works for money, he doesn’t care much about the flock. In the face of the wolf’s threat, there are therefore different ways of reacting. Whom Should the Sheep Trust? Not the strongest, or the most capable, or the richest and most powerful. Rather, of those who are willing to give their life for them, even if he appears weak, even overwhelmed, defeated. If we look at the story of Jesus, he himself seems powerless in the face of the wolf; seems to succumb to his violence. As he himself announces, quoting Zechariah, the shepherd will be beaten and his sheep will be scattered (cf. Mt 26.31; Zc 13.7). However, Jesus, since he gives his life for the love he nurtures towards the flock, he will be able to take it back again; in the same way he will know how to gather the scattered sheep again. What saves us is not so much strength or violence, which would make the shepherd similar to the wolf (perhaps stronger than him, but still similar to him), as the diversity of a love that delivers itself to death. Who can we trust? Not of the strongest, but of those who love us the most. On what foundation to build? On the discarded stone. Who do you look like? To the one who is powerful because weak in love.

Commentary by Comunità di Dumenza

Translation by f. Mark Hargreaves, Prinknash Abbey

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