4th Sunday of Easter (C)


///John 21:1-19 – Peter’s Restoration

///John 21:1-19 – Peter’s Restoration

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What Unites Us



Spiritual Reflection Questions


1. Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice.” Do You? Maybe in your heart? Or in homilies, or in the poor, or in people around you? In books, poems, nature? Any of the above? All of the above?

2. Jesus is the Good Shepherd. According to Pope Francis, is there anyone who is not one of his sheep?

Christ’s love is not selective; it embraces everyone. He himself reminds us of this in the Gospel when he says: “And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16). These words testify to his universal concern: He is everyone’s shepherd. Jesus wants everyone to be able to receive the Father’s love and encounter God.

And the Church is called to carry on this mission of Christ. Aside from those who participate in our communities, there are many people, the majority, who do so only at particular moments or never. But this does not mean they are not God’s children: the Father entrusts everyone to Jesus the Good Shepherd, who gave his life for everyone.

SOURCE: The SUnday Website at Saint Louis University


Studying God’s Word

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The setting for this Sunday’s Gospel is the city of Jerusalem during the Jewish Feast of the dedication, also known as Hanukkah. This feast celebrated the deliverance of the Jews from the Greek tyrant, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, during the Maccabean Revolt (168—165 B.C. See 1 Maccabees 4:36-39). Antiochus had attempted the Hellenization (forced adoption of Greek culture) of Israel and had ordered the committing of sacrilege in the Jewish temple. • During this festival, there was sure to be strong nationalistic feelings against the Roman occupation of Israel, and a heightened longing for the coming of Messiah. • At this time Jesus is within the Temple precincts amidst the crowds. He is challenged to proclaim outright whether or not he is the promised Messiah. • Jesus tells them in effect that it is because of their refusal to believe, that they cannot recognize who he is (verses 25-26). He then goes on to make two other remarkable claims that scandalize and infuriate them.


  1. In the First Reading we see how the preaching of the Apostles had both successes and resulted in persecution. How has your witness to Christ seen its share of both of these? How do the promises of the Second Reading encourage you in both the joys and sorrows of your Christian walk?
  2. Given the social conditions at the time of this event (see above), what might be the real intent of the Pharisee’s questions in verse 24?
  3. How do the Jewish leaders interpret Jesus’ claim to be one with God (verses 31-33)? What is their reaction? Do you think they are misinterpreting Jesus’ words?
  4. What difference does it make that Jesus is God and not just a man? Would the promise of verse 28 mean much otherwise?
  5. Do these verses imply “once saved, always saved? Why or why not (see Matthew 10:32-33; Colossians 1:22-23; Hebrews 12:14; John 15:2-6; CCC 161-162)? What, then do these verses imply? If no one can take Jesus’ sheep out of his hand, what power does the world or the devil have over you? How then can a sheep of his be lost?
  6. What has convinced you that Jesus is the Messiah? What “old ways” of looking at Jesus must you overcome by faith?
SOURCE: Sunday Scripture Study by Vince Contreras, Used with Permission

Junior High Scripture Discussion Starters

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  • How is Jesus like a good shepherd?
  • What does Jesus give his followers?
  • What does Jesus say about himself and the Father?

Questions for Deeper Reflection

  • How does Jesus love and care for you?
  • Do you trust Jesus to guide and protect you?
  • How does Jesus offer you the gift of eternal life?
SOURCE: Lectionary Resources by RCL BENZINGER

Our Sunday Readings

Following the Lamb

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SOURCE: Our Sunday Readings by Edrianne Ezell, Used with Permission


Sharing God’s Word

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  1. Turn to the person next to you and share what word/s or image/s in the readings caught your attention? Did they comfort or challenge you or touch you in some other way? The facilitator can decide which is more helpful: to share the next questions with the whole group, or to share in smaller groups of three or four.
  2. In the second reading, when the Jewish leaders saw the crowds, they were filled with jealousy. What kinds of situations does or might fill us with jealousy? What can help us deal with jealous feelings?
  3. What helps you to hear Jesus’ voice in the midst of the sounds that compete for your attention?
  4. What can pastors and parishes do to foster vocations to the priesthood and religious life? Should they be doing more?
  5. Name one thing today’s Gospel says to us that we disciples of Jesus need to heed and act on.

SOURCE: Commentaries on the Lectionary by Fr. Eamon Tobin (1947-2021), Used with Permission


Echoing God’s Word

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Jesus and the Father work together for the Church.

  1. Have you ever experienced the care and guidance of Jesus as the Good Shepherd? What events do you recall in your own life that tell you that the Lord was really there for you when you needed God’s help and assistance? Do you have a sense that God truly loved you and took care of you tenderly and effectively? Can you testify to the fact that God does love us? What special touch do you think there is in the Christian belief that Jesus is the Good Shepherd and not just God the Father?
  2. What caused the Jews to become so hostile to Paul and Barnabas at Antioch in Pisidia? What did they stand to lose if the message of Paul was true? What did they stand to gain? As Gentiles ourselves, what message have we heard and become so eager to believe? How come we believed? Do you know anyone who heard the message and turned away? Was there ever a time in your life when, having heard the message, you had turned away nevertheless?
  3. Consider the white robes described in the Book of Revelation as the garb of those who stand before the throne of God. How do we relate the robes given at baptism to the white robes we will wear in the heavenly kingdom? Do you understand why the neophytes wear a white robe when they come to the Eucharist during the Easter season? Do you have the white garment that was given you at your baptism?
SOURCE: Echoing God’s Word by Clement D. Thibodeau (1932-2017), Used with Permission


Hearers of the Word

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Jesus took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish

Pointers for Prayer

  1.  Jesus tells us that we can rely on his relationship with us. Think of the relationships you have in which you feel safe and secure because there is mutual understanding and the relationship has stood the test of time.
  2. Jesus says that the disciple is one who listens. What is your experience of listening to the word of God in the Scriptures? To what other voices have you listened and found guidance?
  3. The faithful disciple is also one who follows the path of love that Jesus preached and practiced. Although it may be difficult at times, it is in following it we find life. Where have you had the experience of listening, responding, loving, and finding life?

PRAYER: Safe in your hand, O God, is the flock you shepherd through Jesus your Son. Lead us always to the living waters where you promise respite and refreshment, that we may be counted among those who know and follow you. We ask this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, who lies and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit God for ever and ever. Amen.


Reflections by Bishop Jim Golka

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