4th Sunday of Easter
25th April 2021
Year B – Psalter week 4
The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and also Vocations Sunday. To coincide with the gospel of the good shepherd, we are encouraged to think about how we ourselves may imitate Jesus, the Good Shepherd, by living out the vocation that each one of us has received in Christ.
The word ‘vocation’ comes from the Latin ‘vocare’, which means ‘to call’. Through baptism, we each have received a calling from God. The first call that we have upon our lives is to come to know the love that God has for each one of us personally. In the gospel today, Jesus says: ‘I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father.’ In referring to his relationship with his heavenly Father, Jesus is talking about a relationship of the deepest love and intimacy. In saying ‘I know my own and my own know me’, the Lord is speaking of the love that he has for his disciples, and of the intimacy that the disciples experience with him. This is our first call, then, to come to know Jesus intimately through the celebration of the sacraments, through his Word, in our prayer time with him, in our spiritual reading about him, and by receiving his love through others.
In first coming to know the love that God has for us, we are then able to move to the second stage of our vocation, which is to share that love of God with others. All of us are called to do this by living the Ten Commandments and the Beatitudes, which are simply concerned with loving God and neighbour. There is, however, the question of how we do this more concretely in our lives.
The Church recognises several permanent states of life in which we can serve God and neighbour. These are: lay single life; marriage and family life; religious and consecrated life; permanent diaconate; and priesthood. With such states of life as a foundation, we then serve God in more particular ways, such as, for example, through the type of employment or ministry that we have.
For those who are considering which permanent state of life is for them, the National Office for Vocation website has some helpful resources. The ‘Godcalls’ App, for example, which can be downloaded from Google Play or the Apple App Store, is designed to help those aged between 16 and 35 to discern the voice of the Lord in their life, with daily scripture readings, questions to reflect upon, the option to keep a journal, information on the lives of the saints, helpful prayers, a news feed, and an events page. Our diocese also has some useful resources concerning vocation, which includes a vocations team and a department for marriage and family life.
Whatever our vocation, God call us to fulfilment in his divine love and peace. To finish with the words of St. Augustine: ‘You have made us for yourself [O Lord], and our heart is restless until it rests in you’.
 See Catechism of the Catholic Church, paragraph 30.
Psalm 117:1. 8-9. 21-23. 26. 28-29.
1 John 3:1-2
Sunday Message and Look
I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;
I know my own sheep and my own know me.