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Pope Francis: Identity as Disciples of the Risen Lord

April 22, 2018. ‘I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep.’

“The Liturgy of this fourth Sunday of Easter continues with the intent to help us rediscover our identity as disciples of the Risen Lord.,” Pope Francis reminded the crowds in St. Peter’s Square in his remarks before reciting the Regina Coeli on April 22, 2018. “In the Acts of the Apostles, Peter declares openly that the healing of a cripple, carried out by him, of which the whole of Jerusalem was talking, happened in the name of Jesus, because “’here is salvation in no one else’(4:12).”

The Holy Father continued: “Each one of us is in that healed man – that man is a figure of us: we are all there –, our communities are there: each one can be healed from the many forms of spiritual infirmity that he has – ambition, sloth, pride – if we accept, with trust, to put our existence in the hands of the Risen Lord. ‘By the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth…this man is standing before you well’ (v. 10), affirms Peter.”

In answer to the question of who it is that heals, who is this Christ, Pope Francis repeats the answer Jesus gave: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for His sheep (John 10:11).” And through His healing, he enables followers “to live a beautiful and fruitful life”.

The Pope reminded the crowd that they are called to “know Jesus” and this requires an encounter with Him: “abandoning self-referential attitudes to set out on new roads, indicated by Christ Himself and opened on vast horizons”. He concluded:

“To open ourselves to Jesus, so that He enters inside us. A stronger relationship: He is risen, so we can follow Him our whole life. In this Day of Prayer for Vocations, may Mary intercede, so that many will respond with generosity and perseverance to the Lord, who calls to leave everything for His Kingdom.”