Monday April 22nd: To whom do you listen?
April 22, 2024
Tuesday April 23rd: Belonging to Believe
April 23, 2024

What is the Feast of the Good Shepherd?

The Feast of the Good Shepherd, observed on the Fourth Sunday of Easter, holds profound significance within the Catholic Church, spotlighting Jesus as the Good Shepherd. Rooted in both the Old and New Testaments, this celebration encapsulates theological depth.

In the Old Testament, the shepherd metaphor illustrates God’s nurturing care for His people, a motif echoed by prophets like Ezekiel, portraying God as the Shepherd who guides, sustains, and safeguards His flock.

Transitioning to the New Testament, Jesus embodies and surpasses this ancient archetype by identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd who willingly lays down His life for His sheep. This epitomises Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross, revealing the boundless love of the Father, and effecting humanity’s reconciliation with God.

The Feast underscores the paschal mystery of Christ’s death and Resurrection. Through His voluntary sacrifice and subsequent Resurrection, Jesus manifests divine authority and the redemptive essence of His offering.

Crucially, the Good Shepherd’s mission transcends boundaries, extending to all humanity, regardless of ethnic or cultural distinctions. Christ, in His risen form, persistently seeks the lost and marginalised, drawing them to Himself through His disciples’ testimonies.

At the heart of this celebration lies the Eucharist, wherein the Sacrifice of Calvary is sacramentally actualised, and the Risen Christ imparts His new life to believers. It stands as the tangible expression of divine love and the medium through which the Good Shepherd nourishes and sustains His flock.