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Good Shepherd Sunday is the Fourth Sunday of Easter. The name derives from the gospel readings on this day, which are taken from the 10th chapter of John. In this reading Christ is described as the Good Shepherd who, by dying on the Cross, lays down his life for his sheep.
Why celebrate our Lord Jesus as the Good Shepherd during the Easter season? Very simply, after he laid down his life for us, defeating our enemies (sin, death, and the devil), he did not stay dead. He rose again, and remains the Shepherd for us, his flock, with many continuing blessings for us as a result.
The Psalm for the Sunday, Psalm 23, gorgeously summarizes those blessings.
The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside quiet waters.
He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.
Your rod and your staff—they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies.
You anoint my head with oil.
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life.
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.