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Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B

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Lectionary: 50
Read the Gospel: John 10:11-18

Gospel Summary
Jesus tells us in today's gospel that he is the Good Shepherd. He makes a distinction between good shepherds, hired hands, and wolves. As a good shepherd, Jesus knows his sheep and his sheep know him. He is so devoted to his sheep that he is willing to die for them. Not only is this image fitting for Jesus and God's people, but it helps explain the love of God for his son.

Reflection for Families
When we consider the people in our children's lives, we find most of them represented in this scripture. There are the good shepherds. Mostly they are parents and grandparents or other relatives who significantly take care in our children's up bringing. In this group we go to the limits for our children. Then there are Òhired handsÓ who help us because they benefit in some way - usually monetarily. But when push comes to shove, how much of themselves will they invest? It even happens that sometimes the people we thought were shepherds turn out to be hired hands. Finally there are the wolves - all the things that distract the shepherds or lead the sheep away. As parents we need to be aware of who these people are in our children's lives. We even need to look into our own hearts and desires and be certain that there are no wolves luring us from our precious sheep.

Bringing the Gospel Into Your Family
Make a list of all the possible wolves in the life of a family. They are the people, places, situations, or entertainment that pull us away from the love, comfort, and care of the fold. The list might include work, social commitments, or friends. Identify the more serious "wolves" and make a plan as a family about how you will protect your family from them.

Discussion Starters
1. Most of the time I am a sheep in the flock, but once in a while I am a wolf when...
2. Sometimes it is difficult for me to be a shepherd because . . . I will try to overcome this by...
3. Looking back on this situation, I recognize that I was a lost sheep and Jesus, the Good Shepherd, called me back by...

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