The fourth Sunday of Easter is often called Good Shepherd Sunday, because the readings are about the care we receive from Christ, our true shepherd. We rejoice that this pastoral care continues, in the loving tenderness extended by many Christian women and men today.
• Today is the Day of Prayer for Vocations.
Knowing the God cares for us every step of the way, we rely on divine forgiveness (pause):
Lord Jesus, you have shown us the way to the Father: Lord, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you have given us the consolation of the truth: Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd, leading us into everlasting life: Lord, have mercy.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
God of lasting love,
fulfil your plan of salvation
to gather into one fold
the peoples of the whole world.
Let everyone on earth
recognise your Christ as the Good Shepherd,
who freely lays down his life for all
to take it up again in power.
Grant this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Acts 4:8-12 — Peter explains how he healed a cripple. He did it by praying in the name of the Lord Jesus.
1 John 3:1-2 — John reflects on the love of God the Father, which is lavished on all God’s children.
John 10: 11-18 — We are told that Jesus is like a shepherd who lovingly cares for his sheep.
Introduction (by the Presider) Confident that God’s care is boundless, let us bring forward our prayers.
- For our world — that we may soon be free of COVID-19 (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.
- For Christians, Jew and Muslims —that we may care for each other in these stressful times (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For bishops, priests and Religious— that they may love like the Good Shepherd (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For carers, whether working in hospitals or homes — that they may be tender and patient (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For chaplains and others who look after the dying — that they may love them to the end (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
- For young people — that they may continue the work of the Good Shepherd, in whatever vocation He calls them to (Pray quietly a moment, then… Lord, hear us.)
The presider prays for the dead For all who have died in Christ (especially N & N), that may dwell in God’s house forever (Pray quietly, then… Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Loving God, like a caring shepherd you bring us along the right path: hear our prayers and grant us your help, through Christ our Lord. Amen
Prayer over the gifts
make the paschal mystery our constant joy:
may it continue within us the work of redemption
and be the cause of our unending delight.
Grant this in the name of Jesus, the Lord.
Preface (Easter III)
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
that we should always sing your glory, Lord;
but we praise you with greater joy than ever
in this Easter season
when Christ became our paschal sacrifice.
He continues to offer himself for us,
to plead our cause before your throne.
Christ is the victim who dies no more,
the Lamb, once slain, who lives for ever.
Therefore, the universe resounds with Easter joy,
and the choirs of angels sing the endless hymn of your glory:
Eucharistic Prayer III
Lord, you are holy indeed,
and all creation rightly gives you praise.
All life, all holiness comes from you
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord,
by the working of the Holy Spirit.
From age to age you gather a people to yourself,
so that from the rising of the sun to its setting
a pure offering may be made
to the glory of your name.
And so, Lord God, we humbly pray
by the power of your Spirit sanctify these gifts
we have brought before you,
that they may become the body + and blood
of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
at whose command we celebrate this eucharist.
On the night he was handed over to death,
he took bread and gave you thanks and praise;
he broke the bread,
gave it to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND EAT IT:
THIS IS MY BODY, WHICH WILL BE GIVEN UP FOR YOU.
When supper was ended, he took the cup;
again he gave you thanks and praise,
gave the cup to his disciples, and said:
TAKE THIS, ALL OF YOU, AND DRINK FROM IT:
THIS IS THE CUP OF MY BLOOD,
THE BLOOD OF THE NEW AND EVERLASTING COVENANT.
IT WILL BE SHED FOR YOU AND FOR ALL,
SO THAT SINS MAY BE FORGIVEN.
DO THIS IN MEMORY OF ME.
The mystery of faith…..
Calling to mind, Lord God
the death your Son endured for our salvation,
his glorious resurrection and ascension into heaven,
and eagerly awaiting the day of his return,
we offer you in thanksgiving this holy and living sacrifice.
Look with favour on your Church’s offering
and see the Victim by whose sacrifice
you were pleased to reconcile us to yourself.
Grant that we who are nourished by the body and blood of your Son
may be filled with his Holy Spirit
and become one body, one spirit in Christ.
Let him make us an everlasting gift to you,
that we may share in the inheritance of your saints,
with Mary, the virgin Mother of God,
with the apostles, the martyrs,
[Saint Mark the Evangelist], and all your saints,
on whose constant intercession we rely for help.
Lord, may this sacrifice
which has made our peace with you
advance the peace and salvation of all the world.
Strengthen in faith and love your pilgrim Church on earth:
your servant Pope Francis, our Bishop N.,
all bishops, priests, and deacons,
all ministers of your Church,
and the entire people your Son has gained for you.
hear the prayers of the family you have gathered here before you,
and unite to yourself all your children
now scattered over the face of the earth.
Welcome into your kingdom our departed brothers and sisters
and all who have left this world in your friendship.
We hope to enjoy with them your everlasting glory,
through Christ our Lord,
through whom you give the world everything that is good.
Through him, with him, In him,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
all glory and honour is yours, almighty Father,
for ever and ever.
Prayer after Communion
Like a good shepherd, O God,
keep watch over those
you have redeemed by the blood of your Son,
and lead them as your flock into heavenly pastures.
We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’; ‘Shepherd Me O God’, ‘All in an April Evening’; ‘Colours of Day’; ‘Awake from your Alumbers’.