May 10, 2022 –
Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter
“The Father and I are one.”
Today’s Gospel passage ends with an odd turn “off course”. As a whole, the passage seems to be about Jesus dispelling the Jews’ suspense by identifying Himself as the Good Shepherd. He then describes His relationship with His sheep, and the fact that by following His voice, His sheep have eternal life. So far, we’re in familiar territory, with Jesus’ metaphors echoing imagery from the Old Testament.
But then an important shift occurs. Jesus speaks about the relationships between Himself, His Father, and His sheep. The last two sentences of today’s Gospel passage present a challenge.
From speaking about Himself and His Sheep, Jesus moves to speak about Himself and His Father. “The Father and I are one.” This is not distraction on Jesus’ part. This assertion relates to what He has just said about His sheep, and about Himself as the Good Shepherd.
How is unity one of the most important themes of the Easter Season? How is the mark of unity—one of the four marks of Christ’s Bride, the Church—a call from Jesus to the love that the Father and the Son have for each other? How is the Mystical Body of Christ the means by which our human love for our neighbor raises us into the love of the Triune God?