Minute Homily: One Flock, One Shepherd

4th Sunday of Easter (B)

My family and I raise a breed of heritage sheep called Soay. They are small and dark colored, and for that reason people often don’t even recognize them as being sheep at all. They mistake them for goats or sometimes even small deer! We tend to think of sheep as being large, white, and fluffy. But the reality is sheep can be white, brown, black, large or small — just like people.

Jesus says in this Sunday’s gospel (Jn 10-11:18) that he has sheep outside of Israel, but that they are all part of one flock, following the one shepherd. This is reflected today in the fact that the Church is made up of people from all over the world, from every race and nation. That’s why we call the Church “Catholic,” from the Greek word katholikos, meaning “universal.” The salvation offered by Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd, is for everyone!

What unites us in the Church is not race or language or nationality. It’s our common faith and our fidelity to the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, represented here on earth by his vicar, the Pope, the successor of St. Peter, upon whom Jesus established the Church (Mt 16:18) and to whom Jesus gave the charge to feed his sheep and tend his flock (Jn 21:15-16).