"I am the good shepherd."

Sunday Readings' Discussion Questions
Fourth Sunday of Easter
, Apr. 29, 2012 (Easter4B)

From the
Center for Liturgy at Saint Louis University

Sunday Mass Readings
Podcast of the Readings 
Video of Reflections on Readings
Lecturas y Comentarios 
New American Bible
Prayer of the Hours
BQ: Can non-Catholics go to heaven?

Questions on Sunday's Readings for use by discussion groups,
prayer groups, or for individual prayer.

First Reading

Acts 4:8-12

1. Was the healing of the cripple Peter’s miracle or Christ’s? Do either of them still heal people today? How can Jesus use you to help heal people? If you ask, will Jesus heal you?

2. In this reading Peter responds to attempts to discredit Jesus’ message. Do you see efforts to discredit Jesus’ message in the world today? Name some.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 118: 1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29

1. Our psalmist reminds us more than once to trust God, not mortals or princes. Even though you may not have seen the Lord in person, do you have any difficulty trusting in one you have not seen? Explain.

2. The Psalm says, 'Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.' This verse is used in scripture to welcome Jesus. Discuss how you have welcomed Jesus into your life.

Second Reading
1 John 3:1-2

1. What gifts have you received as a child of God? What gifts have you received from God today?

2. God is always present, hovering over us like a mother hen. Why does God not just jump right in and save us from all the messes we get into?

John 10: 11-18

1. The shepherd goes out of the sheepfold to get “other” sheep. What does that say about exclusivity? Do you think social justice, ethical fairness or love was the reason the shepherd included the other sheep? Where are you regarding exclusivity/inclusivity on a continuum with the shepherd at one end and the hired hand at the other?

2. Jesus said, “I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.” Jesus applies the Trinitarian love-recognition between him and his Father to the recognition between himself and his own. What does this tell you about how well you are known and how much you are loved? For whom will you lay down your life?

Sunday Bible Study Group
Please share your comments on the Sunday Readings. May we be blessed by God's words as reflected in your thoughts and experience-sharing. 

1 comment:

  1. Barry Lamont1:08 PM

    This is an Easter psalm;
    the psalmist speaks of our savior, our cornerstone.
    It is Jesus, and though he appeared
    weak and beaten on the cross,
    he became victorious over death.
    The psalmist speaks of that same irony.
    “The stone rejected by the builders
    has become the cornerstone.”

    The Psalm tells us we are to “Take refuge in the Lord.”
    Though mortals may disappoint us,
    the Lord will not leave us discouraged.
    Better to take refuge in the Lord
    than to put one's trust in princes.
    Little children know instinctively whom to trust --
    they know where the love is coming from.
    And we are the same;
    as children of God (2nd reading), we put our trust in the Lord.
    He is the Good Shepherd.
    Where else would we turn?

    “Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD.”
    It is none other than the Good Shepherd
    who comes in the name of the Lord,
    to care and protect us sheep (today's Gospel).
    Our calling is only to listen for his voice
    and to follow him.
    Who else knows us as he does,
    or is willing to day down his life for us?

    The psalm recalls for us
    the paschal mystery of Christ,
    who is crucified, resurrected,
    and then exalted as the capstone of our faith.
    God has shown his love for his people --
    Jesus’ risen presence among us
    is living proof of God’s enduring love.
    Our psalmist confirm this, “God’s love endures forever.'
    The Lord’s deliverance is cause for joy.
    God’s love is empowering, as the psalm suggests,
    This is how we pass from death to life.

    We may not have been
    one of those who saw Christ
    after he rose from the dead,
    but he is no less real to us.
    There is no doubt that
    God's divine intervention
    was at work in Christ’s resurrection.
    As the psalmist says, we know that,
    “By the Lord has this been done,
    it is wonderful in our eyes.”