Well, it’s almost like Jesus knew that the Resurrection might fade into the background of our minds, so he causes the Church to return to images that are so familiar to any baptised believer who knows something about the Bible -- or even to anyone who knows what a flock of sheep is, and what a shepherd is (Jn 10:27-30). The shepherd story in this Sunday’s gospel has a number of points to make.
In the Easter Season we do three things, all connected to the Resurrection. First, we "look back" and see the various forms of "Egypt" from which we have been saved, our slavery to sin. Jesus redeemed us on his cruel cross and set us free! Secondly, we "look forward" to the promise of eternal life, a promise we know will come true because the Lord is Risen - proof that everything he said will come true. Finally, we "look within" at our present state of spirituality, and recognise that our spiritual journey is a lifelong journey of active involvement. It calls for daily conversion, and daily cooperation with God's Spirit dwelling within us.
This connection of past, present and future reminds us to listen carefully for the voice of The Shepherd every single day. Unless we’re strengthened daily by his Word and nourished by his Body and Blood, our response to God's call will be seriously threatened by the challenges of life in a world that does not share the values of Christ. Only those who truly listen and respond to the Shepherd's voice by following him can be called members of his flock.
This Sunday (Mothers’ Day) is also a special day because it reminds us of the great effort our mothers put in to nurture our spiritual formation. Today is also set aside as a day of prayers for vocations. Today, we praise the work our mothers have done in preparing us for reception of God’s call to the priesthood, diaconate and religious life. Before any field can produce a harvest it must be tilled and nourished to prepare the ground so that when the seed is planted it can produce a rich harvest. The ground mothers prepare is the spiritual life they give us so that when the call is given to us by God to came and be his special agents as priests, deacons and religious we will be able to respond to His call. Let us pray that more men and women will hear and answer God’s call.