|"The Good Shepherd" - James Tissot|
FIRST READING: Acts 11: 1 - 18
1 Now the apostles and the brethren who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles also had received the word of God.
2 So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcision party criticized him,
3 saying, "Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?"
4 But Peter began and explained to them in order:
5 "I was in the city of Joppa praying; and in a trance I saw a vision, something descending, like a great sheet, let down from heaven by four corners; and it came down to me.
6 Looking at it closely I observed animals and beasts of prey and reptiles and birds of the air.
7 And I heard a voice saying to me, 'Rise, Peter; kill and eat.'
8 But I said, 'No, Lord; for nothing common or unclean has ever entered my mouth.'
9 But the voice answered a second time from heaven, 'What God has cleansed you must not call common.'
10 This happened three times, and all was drawn up again into heaven.
11 At that very moment three men arrived at the house in which we were, sent to me from Caesarea.
12 And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brethren also accompanied me, and we entered the man's house.
13 And he told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, 'Send to Joppa and bring Simon called Peter;
14 he will declare to you a message by which you will be saved, you and all your household.'
15 As I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell on them just as on us at the beginning.
16 And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he said, 'John baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit.'
17 If then God gave the same gift to them as he gave to us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could withstand God?"
18 When they heard this they were silenced. And they glorified God, saying, "Then to the Gentiles also God has granted repentance unto life."
PSALM: Psalms 42: 2 - 3; 43: 3 - 4
2 My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and behold the face of God?
3 My tears have been my food day and night, while men say to me continually, "Where is your God?"
3 Oh send out thy light and thy truth; let them lead me, let them bring me to thy holy hill and to thy dwelling!
4 Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and I will praise thee with the lyre, O God, my God.
GOSPEL: John 10: 1 - 10 Or John 10: 11 - 18
1 "Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber;
2 but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.
5 A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers."
6 This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.
7 So Jesus again said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep.
8 All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them.
9 I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.
10 The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.
11 I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12 He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.
13 He flees because he is a hireling and cares nothing for the sheep.
14 I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me,
15 as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16 And I have other sheep, that are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will heed my voice. So there shall be one flock, one shepherd.
17 For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life, that I may take it again.
18 No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father."