Fourth Sunday of Easter (Good Shepherd Sunday); 25 April 2021; Easter 4B (RCL); Acts 4:5-12; Psalm 23; 1 John 3:16-24; John 10:11-18.

Good Shepherd Sunday conjures images of Jesus with a lamb across his shoulders (this was in fact one of the earliest known depictions of Jesus in the Roman Catacombs). The trouble with this image is that we, the sheep, remain passive. The language in today’s readings suggests that we should be anything but passive.

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Food for the journey

Third Sunday of Easter; 18 April 2021; Easter 3B (RCL); Acts 3:12-19; Psalm 4; 1 John 3:1-7; Luke 24:36b-48.

Several of the resurrection appearances of Jesus involve food, specifically fish. In the passage just before this one in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus walks with two of the disciples (who fail to recognize him) from Jerusalem to Emmaus. When they arrive, they prevail upon him to join them for supper, and when he blesses the bread and breaks it, their eyes are opened, and they recognize him (from whence comes the allusion in the collect). His actions in blessing the bread are similar to his actions in the feeding miracles in the wilderness.

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Resurrected wounds

Second Sunday of Easter; 11 April 2021; Easter 2B (RCL); Acts 4:32-35; Psalm 133; 1 John 1:1 – 2:2; John 20:19-31.

We call him “Doubting Thomas” but he doesn’t doubt; he refuses to believe. And when, at last, he sees (and touches?) the wounds, Jesus doesn’t say (as our translation has it), “Do not doubt, but believe;” he says instead (a better translation of the Greek), “Do not be untrusty, but trusty.” And that after Thomas has ascribed to Jesus the ‘highest’ title so far in John’s Gospel: My Lord and my God.

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