This text is used for the Lectionary Year C on April 17, 2016.
For most churches that observe the liturgical year, the fourth Sunday of Easter is designated, “Good Shepherd Sunday.” From the early centuries of the church and well into modern times, the day was observed only one week after Easter Sunday, and was regarded as a feast of exceptional importance. On Good Shepherd Sunday each year, the Twenty-Third Psalm is read, as is a portion of Jesus’ “Good Shepherd discourse” in John 10. A different segment of John 10 is read each year: verses 1-10 in Year A; verses 11-18 in Year B; and in our Year C text, verses 22-30.
It may seem puzzling to us that an entire Sunday every year is given to a single image of Christ (and of God) especially one that is so culturally remote from most modern listeners. But the New Testament makes many allusions to Jesus as a shepherd, and even the Roman catacombs are filled with depictions of him as the Good Shepherd. The 10th chapter of John is a rich meditation on the theme, with much to contemplate and to preach.