Easter Week 4 Cycle A, Good Shepherd Sunday

Our readings for this Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, the Resurrection of the Lord, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday, are here.

These are the poems, my notes, and interpretations of Fr Dennis’ homilies from the Mass of: 

  • May 7, 2017 Cycle A


The poems Fr Dennis references are:

In 2017, we reflected on —

  • In Jesus’ time, the relationship between the sheep and the shepherd was personal, the sheep were family.  Even now, in the south Sudan, the Dinku tribe keeps cattle for food and milk.  The cattle sleep in the tents with the humans, and there is a ritual, emotional and intentional mourning, at their eventual death. And, as we know from the Nativity stories, the shepherds were among the lowest tier of Jewish social status.  Jesus, once again, goes to the margins of society to love and be present like the best of family, the best of friends.
  • Before the Resurrection: Jesus was Master
  • After the Resurrection:  Jesus is friend and peer
    • He returns to his friends and consoles them
    • He moves on in our lives with us, together, each of us with Jesus and each other.
  • One of the reasons to go with this interpretation of friendship is that in last week’s Emmaus story, the primary experience must have been one of Jesus consoling the disciples.  Why? Because he is not teaching — none of the links of his life to the scripture are recorded!, so the intent is more to show there was meaning to this suffering, from the beginning of God’s revelation in the person of Jesus of Nazareth to the current moment of the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and a clear meaning at that (the many and uncaptured scripture references). 
  • rl paraphrases as: What was remembered from the encounter at Emmaus was not the makings of a killer scholarly paper, but the relief, the consolation of mercy from your dearest friend after fatal betrayal and abandonment by everyone.  Jesus gave their frailty context, meaning, and humanity.
  • David Budbill’s The First Green of Spring — eating and life, each day is a new resurrection.  Also, much of the resurrection is Jesus sharing meals with his friends.
  • Kiersten Dierking’s Lucky is a poem capturing the quiet work of God in our lives, much like a Good Shepherd leads us to green pastures.  The intimate trust of being safe with someone.

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