April 26, 2015 - 4th Sunday of Easter

posted Apr 24, 2015, 10:08 AM by Domain Admin   [ updated May 7, 2016, 10:28 PM ]

Gospel of John 10: 11-18

Tine’s Reflection

In this week's gospel, Jesus says that he is the shepherd. When he states this, He claiming that Messiah has come and in Him God himself has come to shepherd His people. When I think of a shepherd, I think of someone who has a distinct call, which the sheep recognize and follow. Jesus had a distinct calling, and we are have answered it with our love and faith in Him. A line that stood out to me in this reading was “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." Jesus has done that for us. He is our shepherd and has laid down his life for us and died for our sins. Everyday, people sacrifice parts of themselves and become advocates for others. They becoming the living God by continuing the work He started. When I think about my own life, I can see myself as a type of shepherd, especially when I am teaching in my classroom.

In my classroom, I am the shepherd my students follow. I create the schedule, teach the lessons, set the routine, and make sure everyone is learning and growing in a safe and loving environment. Some people think this is an easy job. I go to work, teach from 8am to 2pm, and then my students go home. What people don't realize is that I, like Jesus, metaphorically lay down my life for my sheep. I am the advocate for students who need one. When a student is struggling in a specific subject, I am the one who works with them, pushing them to try new strategies and find ways to make the content relatable. When a student is having problems with another student, I am the one who holds conversations with all students involved, trying to get to the bottom of the issue and sort through all of the drama. Students often get hurt or sick at school, so I do what I can to make them feel better. I think about the socioeconomic status of my current students and the things that they are facing. Many of the problems they battle in their young lives are things that shouldn't be happening to them. I have had students come to school hungry because they have no food at home. Now, I keep extra snacks and cereal bars in my classroom in case one of my students didn't get enough to eat before the school day started. I have had students struggle with their parent's divorce. Once, a student went as far as writing about how the divorce was causing him to die inside because he didn't know how to handle all of the fighting and name calling. I went and spoke to both parents, letting them know how their actions were affecting their young 3rd grader, in hopes that any future fights wouldn't be in front of him. I currently have a student struggling with severe social anxiety because of physical bullying that happened to her at a previous school. Now, I check in with her everyday, walk with her to the cafeteria because the sounds and messiness triggers something within her, and have helped her seek out ways to express her feelings. I have had students who were homeless, moving from hotel to hotel, family member's couch to family member's couch. She wasn't always able to make it to school because of their situation, so I worked with her to come up with extra lessons and ways she could keep up with the curriculum on the days her family was struggling. I have had students whose parents I suspected were drug addicts, and sought the correct services to protect that child and their siblings. Lastly, I have seen a student brandish a large knife at school, and herded all of the students I saw nearby into my classroom. I treated it as a lockdown because the knife was huge, and made all of the nearby students run into my room for safety. I locked the door, called the office, and kept a close watch as to what was going on right outside of my door because I did not want any students walking by or have anyone get hurt before the student was disarmed.

Jesus stated that “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." In my life, I think that I am a good teacher, and I lay down my life for my students. I would do anything for them, whether that be teach them to the best of my abilities, feed them when they are hungry, console them when their emotions run heavy, or protect them from physical dangers are present in their lives. I can and will continue to be a shepherd that protects my sheep because Jesus has continued to protect and lay down His life for me. I will continue to be a sheep in Jesus' flock, doing his will and serving Him in any way I can.

Erin’s Reflection

In this gospel reading, Jesus describes himself as the Good Shepherd. There may be others who claim they are shepherds, but when faced with trouble, difficulty, or fear, they leave their flock. Jesus never leaves his sheep; in fact, He leads them and loves them and lays down His life for them. He does this knowing that God loves Him and leads Him.

When I read this I think about how much the sheep trust in their shepherd and how much love the shepherd gives to his sheep and what the shepherd would sacrifice in order to keep the sheep safe. I see this in my family: my mom and dad as shepherds leading my siblings, nephews and me as their flock. I have always looked up to them for guidance and I have always trusted in them to lead me in the right direction. My parents were always leading us toward good and sacrificed a lot for us because they love us. John 10:18 resonated with me the most: "No one takes it from me, but I give it up because I want to. I have the right to give it up, and I have the right to take it up again. I received this commandment from my Father." My parents could easily NOT lead and guide us, but they do because they want to. They are my Good Shepherds like how Jesus is ours. It is through trust and faith I believe the Good Shepherd(s) (my parents, Jesus) will continue to guide me.