Fourth Sunday of Easter – A

What do you do when bad things happen to good people?  This is the difficulty that Peter is faced with in the second reading today. His communities are having a torrid time.  The risen Lord had given them new hope and joy, but now they are suffering for their faith.  They have to endure persecution, torture and even death for their belief in Jesus.  Peter responds by reflecting on Jesus, who, when faced with persecution did not retaliate but bore his sufferings for love of us. ‘Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you should follow in his steps … When he was abused, he did not return abuse; when he suffered, he did not threaten; but he entrusted himself to the one who judges justly.’ Continue reading

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Fourth Sunday of Easter – B

A famous singer was on a tour of towns and villages and the people thronged to hear his magnificent voice. In one little village an old man was so enthralled with his singing that he felt bold enough to make a request. Would he be so kind as to sing ‘The Lord is my Shepherd’? The singer paused. There was something special about this request and the tone in which it was asked. He agreed on one condition; that the old man would also sing it! The poor man was taken aback, embarrassed and full of excuses. “I’m not a singer” was his basic complaint. But in the end he conceded. The singer did not disappoint. He gave a beautiful rendering of this comforting psalm. Then the old man sang. His voice was crackly and he struggled to stay in tune. Yet everyone listened. His love for this song came through and won him a captive audience.   ‘The difference between us’, the singer confessed afterwards, ‘is that I know the song but you know the Shepherd.’ Continue reading