Come and Get Me, Jesus. 4th Sunday Easter Fr. Roberto
Homily for 4th Sunday of Easter – Year B
Fr. Roberto Corral, OP
St. Dominic Parish, Los Angeles, CA
April 25, 2021
Title: Come and Get Me, Jesus
Theme: Jesus is the Good Shepherd who laid down his life for us and who wants to come and get us.
Readings: Acts 4:8-12; 1 John 3:1-2; John 10:11-18
There was once a young man named Mike. He was 26 years old, successful in his career, had an outgoing personality and people liked him. Mike himself thought he was doing very well in his life. Then one day, a good friend of his asked him the question, “Mike, How are you and Jesus doing?” This question took him by surprise, and it also made him stop and think. After a few moments, he had to admit that he was not doing very well in his spiritual life. Mike was a Catholic, but he was not going to church, he was drinking too much, using drugs and was sexually promiscuous. His friend’s question helped him to see that something was missing in his life. So Mike responded to her, “Okay. You got me.” And, with great sincerity, he asked her, “What can I do?” His friend replied, “Why don’t you just ask Jesus to come and get you?”
Later on in their conversation, she gave him more specific suggestions like going back to church, reading the Bible and praying every day; but what a great suggestion she gave him to begin with: “Why don’t you just ask Jesus to come and get you?” Well, Mike did not follow all of her suggestions right away, but every morning he found himself saying: “Come and get me, Jesus.” And eventually, it worked – Jesus came and got him. Mike had a very powerful experience of the Lord in his life, he came back to his Catholic faith and he found a sense of purpose, happiness and peace he never had before.
Ever since I first read Mike’s story, I was struck by the simplicity and power of the prayer his friend suggested to him, “Come and get me, Jesus,” and I have prayed it often myself. I use it especially when I am stuck and struggling in some way – Come and get me, Jesus. But I also pray it when I am happy and peaceful. At those moments, I ask Jesus to come and get me and take me deeper into his heart, deeper into his will, deeper into my faith. It really is a great, all-purpose prayer! Come and get me, Jesus.
Today, we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter which is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel on this Sunday is always about Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In today’s Gospel, we heard Jesus say five times that he is the Good Shepherd who will lay down his life for his sheep. He certainly did that for us on Good Friday, and we can never thank him enough for that. But there is another dimension of Jesus being our Good Shepherd that I want to focus on today. Remember the parable Jesus told about the hundred sheep in the wilderness and one of them gets lost? In that parable, what does the shepherd do? He goes and searches for that one lost sheep, right? And he keeps on looking until he finds it, and then he brings it back home rejoicing. Well, to me that is a perfect image of the prayer Mike’s friend suggested to him: “Come and get me, Jesus. I’m that lost sheep. Come and get me.”
So, the first thing I want to say today is that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, never gives up looking for us to come and get us. Wherever we are, whatever dumb thing we’ve done, whatever mess we’ve gotten ourselves into, Jesus will never stop seeking us, loving us, and inviting us to come back to his loving heart; he will always forgive us, heal our wounds and give us strength to bear our burdens. That is what happens when Jesus comes and gets us, and we could not ask for a better shepherd than that!
But the other side of this image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is that you and I have to recognize the fact that we are sheep and that we often get lost. We get distracted, we get stuck, we struggle, and we blow it now and then. In other words, we are all sinners – from Pope Francis to all of us here in church today. And that means that, on a pretty regular basis, we all need Jesus to come and get us. The problem is, so often we don’t consider ourselves that lost sheep; we think we’re part of the 99 sheep that are doing just fine. We think: “No sirree, I don’t need Jesus to come and get me; I am just fine the way I am. I go to church, I say my prayers, I give in the collection…I’m a good sheep that never gets lost. I’m not like those sinners out there.”
Here’s another example. I cannot tell you how many times a sweet little old lady has told me in confession, “Father, I don’t have anything to confess. I am 90 years old; what sins can I commit?” Well, let me tell you sweet little old ladies that, of course, at that age none of us is going to be out there beating people up, stealing, getting drunk, doing drugs or sleeping around – well, at least I hope not! But for most of us – old and young – here and here is the devil’s playground (point to my head and my heart) – here and here is where we all struggle with thoughts and feelings of anger, bitterness, revenge, judgment, criticism, impatience, gossip, lying, prejudice, unforgiveness, pride, greed, jealousy, envy, fear, despair, etc. All of us struggle with those things sometimes, even sweet, little old ladies! Am I right or am I right?
So, please, do the important work of examining your conscience before you come to confession! And please do not tell me, or any priest for that matter, that you don’t have anything to confess! Outside, after Mass, you can pick up an examination of conscience to help you to grow in your faith, and to use especially before you go to confession.
So, my brothers and sisters, the great news is that Jesus truly is our Good Shepherd who gave his life for each of us, and who will also seek after us relentlessly, who will come and get us when we are lost, bring us back home to his loving heart, forgive our sins, heal our wounds and give us strength to bear our burdens. And he is the Good Shepherd who will take us deeper into his heart if we ask him.
I would like to finish my homily by leading you in a “Come and Get Me, Jesus” prayer at this time. Please repeat after me…
Lord Jesus, thank you for being my Good Shepherd, for laying down your life for me so that my sins would be forgiven. Please help me to realize how much I need you in my life every day. Come and get me, Jesus, when I am struggling, when I am lost. Bring me back to your loving heart. Forgive my sins, heal my wounds, and give me strength. Come and get me, Jesus, and take me deeper into your heart, deeper into your will and deeper into my faith. Amen.
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