In this brief PODCAzT I drill into an excerpt from a sermon by St. Pope Gregory I, “the Great” (+604).
What we hear from Gregory’s sermon is found in today’s Office of Readings in the Liturgy of the Hours for this 4th Sunday of Easter, nicknamed Good Shepherd Sunday. In the older, traditional Roman calendar, the second Sunday after Easter, that is a week after the Octave, is Good Shepherd Sunday, because of the Gospel on that day from John 10. In the newer, traditional calendar, Good Shepherd Sunday is the 4th Sunday of Easter, three weeks after Easter.
Gregory’s s. 14 was preached on the Second Sunday after Easter in the Constantinian Basilica of St. Peter on the Vatican Hill. The same Gospel had been read in the ancient Roman order of Mass formularies since his time.
The Successor of Peter teaches us on this Good Shepherd Sunday to stir ourselves… to rekindle our faith and our longing. We must be determined to reach our destination.
The core message of the Good news is that Christ won for us citizenship as sons and daughters of God in the Kingdom of Heaven. But we can lose that gift by our lack of determination and action based on conviction and Faith.
John 10, 11-18:
“I am the good shepherd.
A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
A hired man, who is not a shepherd
and whose sheep are not his own,
sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away,
and the wolf catches and scatters them.
This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep.
I am the good shepherd,
and 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.
I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold.
These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice,
and there will be one flock, one shepherd.
This is why the Father loves me,
because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own.
I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again.
This command I have received from my Father.”
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083 09-04-19 St. Augustine on the challenge of remaining faithful
082 09-03-19 St. Joseph: a hymn dissected & sermon of Bernardine of Siena
On Gregory the Great: