April 23, 2018
Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42; Jn 10:1-10
I am the gate for the sheep.
References to sheep and shepherds are abundant in Scripture, stirring gentle images of a watchful caretaker protecting lost and vulnerable creatures. Jesus, however, first references himself not as shepherd but as the gate. In its historical context, this is an unsettling image of a one-way journey to impending slaughter. Lambs for Passover and sheep about to be sacrificed within the temple courts — to atone for the sins of humanity — entered the city of Jerusalem through the Sheep Gate located north of the Temple Mount. They did not exit. Jesus, however, presents himself as the way out. In order for the sheep to be saved and to find pasture, they must pass through a different gate — him. His providing an alternate gate serves not as a barrier, but as a passageway. Only after guiding his sheep to safety does he take for himself the designation of shepherd.
Watchful Shepherd, forgive me when I stray from your protective embrace.
About Daily Bread
Homiletic starters and scriptural reflection points for each day of the month
The Lectionary provides a kind of spiritual script for the universal church that keeps us, literally, all on the same page as we journey through the liturgical seasons. These short reflections, written by four authors who meet regularly to share the readings, are intended to help daily preachers and others who pray from the assigned scriptures each day to orient themselves to the Living Word addressed to the church in the world.
About the authors
Jeanne Lischer lives near Kansas City, Missouri, where she is an ordained United Church of Christ minister. She serves two churches in Missouri. She shares her home with daughter, Sally, two cats, and a dog. Originally from St. Louis, she has also lived in Ghana, West Africa.
Mary Joshi lives in Moncton, New Brunswick, and is our first Canadian Daily Bread baker. Raised Catholic and married to a Hindu with whom she has two daughters, Mary has been challenged to examine, clarify and articulate her faith, which has informed her primary work as the RCIA coordinator for her three-parish unit and reflection writer for the parish bulletin. Her education includes degrees in history, English and deaf education.
Miguel Dulick lives in a mountain village in Honduras, Central America. Originally from St. Louis, he holds degrees from St. Louis University and Weston School of Theology, Boston.
Paige Byrne Shortal, longtime contributor to Celebration, serves as coordinator for the Daily Bread writers. She is recently retired after forty years in pastoral ministry — twenty years at St. Francis Xavier (College) Church on the campus of Saint Louis University and twenty years at St. Francis Borgia in Washington, Missouri.
Patricia Russell graduated from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, with degrees in English and secondary education. She teaches high school theology, English and creative writing in Washington, Missouri.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If you subscribe to Daily Bread e-mail alerts, please add "firstname.lastname@example.org" to your safe sender list to be sure you receive e-mails from us.