Fourth Sunday of Easter, Year B, Catechist

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Catechist Background and Preparation
To prepare for this session, read all the readings.

Acts 4:8-12
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
1 John 3:1-2
John 10:11-18

Spend a few minutes reflecting on what these readings mean for you today. Is there a particular reading that appeals to you? Is there a word or image that engages you?

Read the following Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. Read the Word in Liturgy and Catholic Doctrine sections. These give you background on what you will be doing this session. Read over the session outline and make it your own. Check to see what materials you will need.

The Word In Liturgy
Today’s first reading from Acts describes Peter as being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” It is in the power of that divine breath of God that he preaches, giving bold witness to the transformation worked in his life as a result of having received the Spirit of the Risen One. Peter proclaims that God the Father has raised Jesus from the dead. Peter’s testimony that the cripple was cured “in the name” of Jesus reflects a Semitic way of ascribing divine agency to that miraculous occurrence. For Peter, “there is no other name under heaven…by which we are to be saved,” surely an attribution of divine status to Jesus. There is a play on words in Greek, sometimes lost in translation, by which the same verb (sosthenai) is used to describe the man’s cure and the salvation of the human race. Divine power is at work in both!

The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday, since the gospel readings in all three years of the lectionary cycle come from John 10. In that chapter, two short parables or sayings of Jesus (vv. 1-5) are joined together to form the basis of interpretive material (vv. 6-20) that explores the relationship between Jesus and those who belong to him.

Catholic Doctrine
God freely reveals to us that God is love: Father, Son, and Spirit. The Father’s loving plan seeks to adopt us as children in Christ through the Spirit. This plan unfolds for us in various ways: in the work of creation, in the whole history of salvation after the fall, and in the mission of the Son and the Spirit continued in the mission of the Church. By faith we strive to immerse ourselves in and cooperate with the loving plan of God. Indeed, our whole Christian life is a communion with each of the divine persons of the Blessed Trinity, without in any fashion separating them.

The Father who creates us, the Son who redeems us, and the Holy Spirit who enlivens us, this Blessed Trinity is one God in three divine persons. This God fills us with faith, hope, and love, forms us into one holy communion with all the saints, forgives our sins, and raises us up to new life, life everlasting.

Posted in: Sessions B