May 3, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Easter

In the first reading, when Peter finished speaking, the people asked, “What are we to do, my brothers?”  Peter answered them, “Repent and be baptized…in the name of Jesus Christ…and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”.  In the second reading, the same Peter in his Letter says, “Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps”.

Dearest sisters and brothers, during our earthly life, we need examples to imitate.  Today, Our Lord is presented to us in his humanity as the supreme example to imitate to live a holy life and please God.  In the gospel, he declared himself as the gate for the sheepfold…and whoever enters through him will be saved.

As Peter says, Our Lord in his earthly life lived a sinless life and no deceit was found in his mouth.  He never insulted anyone even when insulted and he bore no grudges in his suffering.  These are the things we are to imitate.  In the world today, there are many fake voices and models presenting themselves to us for imitation.

There are those voices coming from our daily life:  preoccupations, material, economic and health needs.  Even the present pandemic with all that come with it is a voice demanding our attention.  It is important to remind ourselves that when we concentrate solely on attending to these voices, without recognizing that our lives ultimately depend on God, they lead us away from Him.

It is only in Jesus that we find that voice that will lead us to safety.  In his presence, we are always safe like a sheep in the presence of its shepherd.  The present pandemic, for example, has shown us the futility of life when it follows only the voice of material stuff. It has shown us the fragility of our lives.

As someone rightly noted, in these three short months, many things people worship has shown their temporality.  For those who worship athletes, today stadiums are shut down.  For those who worship musicians, Civic centers are shut down.  For those whose lives are only defined by monetary acquisition, the economy and the stock market are in crisis.

Therefore, dearest ones, while we pray to God to restore our lives to normalcy and help our health and economy to recover, it is important to take a lesson from our experience that it is only God at the end of the day that matters.  We are to imitate and follow him.