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Fourth Sunday of Easter


As I sat with the readings for this Sunday, the usual thoughts of sheep and the Good Shepherd did not come to mind. Instead I was struck by the phrase; “they were cut to the heart.”

Then Peter stood up with the Eleven, raised his voice, and proclaimed: "Let the whole house of Israel know
for certain that God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified."
Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart,
and they asked Peter and the other apostles, “What are we to do, my brothers?” (Acts 2: 14, 36-37)

As I sat with the readings for this Sunday, the usual thoughts of sheep and the Good Shepherd did not come to mind. Instead I was struck by the phrase; “they were cut to the heart.” Other common phrases regarding the heart came to mind: the heart of the matter, her heart wasn’t in it, you touched my heart, heart and soul, give from the heart, with heartfelt gratitude. The heart or cor in Latin, is the core of our being. When we speak from the heart, we express thoughts, opinions, and sentiments from the deepest recesses of our being.

Peter, finding himself in an emotional freefall of grief, fear, guilt and after days of laying low with the other disciples, has found his voice! There was nowhere Peter could hide that the Spirit of God could not find him. Peter and the others were found and touched to the very core of their being by the God they had come to know so intimately. Peter, filled with the transforming love of God, knew in the depths of his heart what he had to do. He stood up boldly and announced the truth about Jesus, the Lord! Jesus, the Christ! This was a truth that all who heard him knew deep in their hearts, and thus Peter’s words cut them like an arrow to their core.

With all this said, what about those sheep in our Gospel today? They, like Peter and the other disciples, have a very keen understanding that their lives depend on their shepherd. Not any shepherd, but the Shepherd whose voice they have come to know and trust in the core, the heart of their being. We, like Peter and those sheep, are also called to be keenly familiar with the voice of our Shepherd. May we always recognize this voice, this presence, and open ourselves to continual transformation so that we too can stand boldly and proclaim the truth we know in our heart.

Sr. Patty Kremer, C.PP.S. (Dayton)


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