4th SUNDAY of EASTER
(Year B - NIV UK)
faithful shepherd of your Father's sheep:
teach us to hear your voice
and to follow your command,
that all your people may be gathered into one flock,
to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
Acts 4: 5-12
The next day the rulers, elders and teachers of the law met in Jerusalem.
Annas the High Priest was there, and so were Caiaphas, John, Alexander
and others of the high priest's family. They had Peter and John brought
before them and began to question them: "By what power or what name
did you do this?"
Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of
the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness
shown to a man who was lame and are asked how he was healed, then
know this, you and all the people of Israel: it is by the name of Jesus Christ
of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that
this man stands before you healed. Jesus is:
'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone.'
Salvation is found in no-one else, for there is no other name under heaven
given to mankind by which we must be saved."
1 John 3: 16-end
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters. If anyone
has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no
pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children,
let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth.
This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our
hearts at rest in his presence: if our hearts condemn us, we know that God
is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. Dear friends, if our
hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God and receive
from him anything we ask, because we keep his commands and do what
pleases him. And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son,
Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. The one who
keeps God’s commands lives in him, and he in them. And this is how we
know that he lives in us: we know it by the Spirit he gave us.
John 10: 11-18
Jesus said: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life
for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the
sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs
away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away
because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me
- just as the Father knows me and I know the Father - and I lay down my life for
the sheep. I have other sheep that are not of this sheepfold. I must bring
them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock
and one shepherd. The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my
life - only to take it up again. No-one takes it from me, but I lay it down of
my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up
again. This command I received from my Father."
you gave your Son Jesus Christ to be the good shepherd,
and in his love for us to lay down his life and rise again:
keep us always under his protection,
and give us grace to follow in his steps;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.