Reflection 12th May 2019

A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter

Jn: 10: 27-30 ( )

The vivid imagination of John continues to explore what it means to belong to the Christian community and in the extract from today’s second reading (Apocalypse 7:9,14-17) he invites us to contemplate a scene of ecstatic celebration.

Like the supporters of a team who have journeyed with them through years of failure and humiliation, they cannot believe that at last their day has come and that they have won their first ever All-Ireland title. Only we are not talking sport here!

For John, the worldwide church, made up of people from every nation and every background who have endured poverty, hardship and oppression is gathered around the Lamb (Jesus crucified and risen) who has restored their dignity and brought them into the presence of the living God. 

This is the God who shelters them, who quenches their thirst and satisfies their deepest hunger, who keeps them from harm and wipes away the tears from their eyes. The have come to know him through the shepherd who, ironically, is the Lamb. These are hope-laden images of joy and transformation but if we try to read this text literally it will seem like so much gobbledegook.

Rather, in a spirt of prayer, we let our imagination bring us to this heavenly space and stir in us a longing for what Jesus has done, and is doing, every time we gather for liturgy!

Seán Goan – Seán is Co-ordinator of Spiritan Mission Ireland.