Fourth Sunday of Easter
Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18 (Year B)
If you are asking us how this cripple was healed, I am glad to tell you that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other is this man able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence today.”
Peter’s healing of the cripple at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple was attributed unambiguously to the power of the Risen Lord. It was a sign pointing beyond the physical to the spiritual.
We are all called to walk in the way of the Lord. To the extent that sin hinders our footsteps, we are all cripples. We long for healing of heart and mind, to encounter the same Christ in whose name the cripple was raised to his feet. “For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.”
Describing the Resurrection as a life already shared with the Lord, St John reassured the hesitant members of that first Easter community: “My dear people, we are already the children of God, but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed; all we know is, that when it is revealed, we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he really is.”
In these few words John grasped the totality of human longing. We long to know God in the depth of his being, to be embraced by him in all that we have become, and, in that encounter, to discover that we have been recreated in his likeness. Such an encounter lies beyond us. It is the joyful gift of our Risen Lord.
Describing himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus revealed the beauty of what we have become as the children of God. We no longer struggle to become the children of God. That, we have already become through the shepherd.
We long to know and to be known. We have already become this through the shepherd who knows his own, and is known by them, just as the Father knows the Son.
We long to love and be loved. That, we have already become through him who is loved by the Father because he has laid down his life for his flock. We long to understand and to be understood. That, we have already become as those who listen to the shepherd and know his voice.
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