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  • Bill Miller

Scripture Reflection, April 21, 2024, Fourth Sunday of Easter

Acts of the Apostles 4:8-12 1 John 3:1-2 John 10:11-18

I always enjoyed reading the columns of Irma Bombeck. She was a writer who could find humor in the ordinary events of life. Sometimes her observations were profound. I remember that once she wrote about the challenges of parenting with the phrase, “sacrifices for which love is the only excuse.”

Think about it. Think about the long sleepless nights of young parents with a newborn in the house. Think of the interrupted sleep, the hours spent walking, humming, soothing the restless baby. Certainly that is behavior for which love is the only excuse.

Think of the elderly husband who goes daily to visit his wife in the nursing home even though dementia has clouded her mind and she is only faintly able to recognize him as her husband. Faithfulness for which love is the only excuse.

Today's gospel contrasts the behavior of a good shepherd with a hired hand. The one who is working only for pay leaves the sheep on their own when the wolf comes. But the good shepherd stays at the risk of his own life. Courage for which love is the only excuse.

The good news is that Jesus, like a good shepherd, loves us, his flock, no matter what the cost. He reveals to us how we are loved by God. We are loved, immeasurably, unconditionally. Whether we are good sheep or bad sheep, obedient sheep or the wandering kind, God's love for us knows no bounds.

God offers us faithfulness and forgiveness for which love is the only excuse.

by: Pat Schnee

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