_"My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me; and I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand."( John 10:27-28)_

_*Today is good shepherd Sunday and it is also called Vocation Sunday. It is a sunday in the Easter season when the Church reminds us once again of who we are in Christ and what thte Lord expects of us as his children.*_

_In his message for this year's vocation Sunday, the Holy Father says, "We know that the Church exists to evangelize, to go forth and to sow the seed of the Gospel in history. This mission can only be carried out if all areas of pastoral activity work together and, even more importantly, involve all the Lord's disciples. For" in virtue of their baptism, all the members of the people of God have become missionary disciples. (Matthew 28:19). All the baptized, no matter their position in the Church or their level of instruction in the faith, are agents of Evangelization." (Evangelii Gaudium, 120.)_

_*This means that Vocation is not used restrictively to apply to only the priests and religious, but in broader sense it applies to the laity in its entirety, such that in whichever profession you find yourself whether married or not, working or not, you are bound to proclaim Christ and win souls into the kingdom.*_

_We see in the first reading of today how Paul and Barnabas, courageously and with zeal proclaimed the gospel to the people and many came to believe in Christ and greater number was added to the faith. They fulfilled their Vocation as given to them by God and this was possible because they chose to listen to the voice of Jesus the good shepherd._

_*Their mission of winning souls was not without oppositions from the Jewish people who were filled with jealousy because of the success they were recording and this made them to try to contradict them and drove them away from their city, but that did not stop them from speaking about Jesus.*_

_Jesus tells us in the gospel reading that His sheep hears His voice and He knows them and they follow Him. He is the good shepherd and any sheep that follows Him will never be lost. He knows the sheep, He feeds the sheep and He protects the sheep. There are many voices out there in the world seeking our attention, but we must be careful not to be deceived by the voice that is not that of the shepherd. We must heed the voice of the shepherd, stay among the sheepfold, follow the guide laid down by the shepherd and we will never be lost._

_*If we do not draw close to Jesus the good shepherd and listen to Him, it will be difficult for us to carry out our task well in the vocation where the Lord has called us. Before we can go out to proclaim the Lord, we must make sure that we listen to the Lord's guide and follow it as He has given to us. We must stay close to Jesus so that He will feed our soul with the food we will share with others in the course of our witnessing.*_

_If we listen to the voice of the good shepherd and do what He tells us, we will live out our vocation well and in the end we shall be counted among those who shall stand before the lamb, where there will be no more hunger, pain, sickness and sorrow and tears will be wiped away from our eyes forever as we see in the second reading._

_*We are called today to return back to the sheepfold, we are called today to take our vocation seriously, we are called today to support the work of Evangelization either by giving or by going. We are called today to pray for more vocation to the priesthood, religious and lay apostolate groups. We are called to listen and listen well and then follow the good shepherd who knows the way to the place where we shall find pasture.*_

_Good morning dearest one. Smile😊as you begin your day and do have a lovely Sunday. May Jesus the good shepherd help you to continue to follow in His steps. Amen. *And may the Almighty God bless you: the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.*_

*Meditation:* Acts 13:14,43-52/Psalm 100:1-3,5/Revelation 7:9,14-17/John 10:27-30

*Watch-Word:* The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want

*If we follow the Good shepherd and listen to His voice, we will not be led astray by every other fake voice that seeks our attention.*

(Fourth Sunday of Easter. Cycle C. Vocation/Good Shepherd Sunday)

*© Rev. Fr. Augustine Eleke