EASTER SEASON: SUNDAY 4 [B] — Catechist as Good Shepherd [1]: Liturgy and Catechesis Interlinked—Faith Known

JOHN 10, 11-18      

lectionary bible

11  Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.

12  The hired man, since he is not the shepherd and the sheep do not belong to him, abandons the sheep as soon as he sees a wolf coming, and runs away, and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;

John 10, 11-13 Jesus the Good Shepherd Cerezo Barredo

John 10, 11-13
Jesus the Good Shepherd
Cerezo Barredo

13  he runs away because he is only a hired man and has no concern for the sheep.

14  I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,

15  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for my sheep.

16   And there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and I must lead these too. They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock, one shepherd.

17  The Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again.

18   No one takes it from me; I lay it down of my own free will, and as I have power to lay it down, so I have power to take it up again; and this is the command I have received from my Father.”

New Jerusalem Bible  

Doubleday 1984 

Christian tombstone Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome End 3rd century AD

Christian tombstone
Catacombs of Domitilla, Rome
End 3rd century AD

The Catechism of the Catholic Church [CCC] uses this logo to depict Christ the Good Shepherd leading and protecting his faithful (symbolized by the lamb) and exercising his authority (the staff).   The risen Chirst draws them by the melodious symphony of the truth (the panpipes) and inviting them to rest in the shade of the “tree of life” in paradise opened by his redeeming cross.


Guided by the six tasks of catechesis delineated in the General Directory for Catechesis (GDC) 84, each post in this blog highlights one or more of these tasks.  

Faith known connects the Sunday gospel verses with excerpts from the CCC to enable catechists of adults, adolescents, and children to use the main themes generated to foster faith and lead to some area of conversion.

To simplify, the traditional categories

Word – Creed (CCC Part One: The Profession of Faith),

Worship – Cult (CCC Part Two: The Celebration of the Christian Mystery),

Witness – Code (CCC Part Three: Life in Christ), and

Christian Prayer (CCC Part Four: Christian Prayer)

delineate the particular parts of the Catechism appropriated in catechesis.

The General Directory for Catechesis [n 128] delineates Sacred Scripture and the Catechism of the Catholic Church as “two basic sources of inspiration for all catechetical activity in our time.”  

Key themes include:

Belief in Jesus Christ … crucified, died, buried, and rose again

Belief in the Holy Spirit

Word – Creed

Joh 10, 11-15   >  CCC 745

I believe in the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit and the Church — Following Eastern literary tradition, the Old Testament images God as the shepherd of his people.  God will choose shepherds to replace the slack shepherds [cf Eze 34; Jer 3, 15; 23, 4].  From these shepherds chosen after God’s heart will come a Branch for David and thence, the Messiah [Jer 23, 5-6].

In John 10, 11-15 Jesus declares himself to be the good shepherd thereby claiming messiahship.  As Son of the Father, he is consecrated Christ or Messiah by the anointing of the Holy Spirit in his incarnation [Psa 2, 6-7], baptism, and transfiguration.

John 10, 16  >  CCC 60

Stages in the Revelation of God

God chooses Abraham — Descendants of Abraham are the trustees of God’s promise to the patriarchs.  As God’s chosen people they prepare the way when God will gather all nations into the unity of the Church [cf Joh 11, 52; Rom 11, 28].  Once the jewish disciples become believers they constitute the root onto which Gentiles are grafted [Rom 11, 17-18. 24].

Joh 10, 17-18  >  CCC 614

I believe in Jesus Christ who … was crucified, died, buried … and rose again

Christ’s death as unique and definitive sacrifice — Christ’s sacrifice is unique completing all other sacrifices.  Christ as incarnate Son of God lovingly and freely offers his life to the Father through the Holy Spirit in reparation for human disobedience [cf Joh 15, 13; Heb 9, 14; 1 Joh 4, 10].

Joh 10, 17-18 > CCC 649

The Resurrection as work of the Holy Trinity — As part of the Holy Trinity Jesus as Son of the Father brings about his own Resurrection through his own divine power.

Joh 10, 17  >  606

I believe in Jesus Christ … who was crucified and died

Jesus’ whole life as an offering to the Father –  In loving obedience to the command his Father has given him, Jesus has the power to lay down his life and power to take it again.

John 10, 18  >  609

Jesus freely embraced the Father’s redeeming love — Out of love for his Father and humanity Jesus freely lay down his life of his own accord, accepting his passion and death.   

Resources consulted

Catechism of the Catholic Church, Burns & Oates 2006.



The King of Love My Shepherd Is

Henry Baker [1868]



Shepherd Me, O God

Marty Haugen


Like a Shepherd

Bod Dufford





Jesus in the gospel declares

he is our Good Shepherd

who lay down his life for his friends and

invites each of us to be a good shepherd like him.

Good Shepherd  Source: Bill Peddie

Good Shepherd
Source: Bill Peddie


What am I made aware of

this Vocation Sunday

regarding my personal vocation

to continue Christ’s shepherding

as one who shares faith with others?

As a parent,

pastoral leader — ordained or otherwise — or

Christ’s disciple

how am I to be a catechist

to echo the good news to others?