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Why and how lambs escape wolves

4th Easter Sunday

Photo Courtesy of Sr. Amata CSFN

Fr. Luigi Maria Epicoco - published on 01/26/23

We realize that the Spirit is at work in us because, with no human explanation, we find the strength to take the next step.

Today’s readings can be found here. Read Fr. Epicoco’s brief reflections on the daily Mass readings, Monday through Saturday, here. For Sunday Mass reading commentary from Fr. Rytel-Andrianik, see here.

Today, Jesus describes the particulars of those who take the Gospel seriously: “Go! I am sending you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone on the road.”

Those who live according to the Gospel must fight the wolf-like strength of the world with nothing but their own lamb-like weakness. We all know that lambs always come to a bad end when dealing with hungry wolves. 

Yet it is here when Jesus asks for an act of faith. We are not strong ourselves. Our strength comes from trusting Him. Even a lamb can pass unscathed in front of a pack of wolves – if trusting Jesus.

This trust is the most beautiful definition of humility. The humble are those who fully trust in God. They do not trust themselves or their purses – that is, their abilities, the arsenal of cunning strategies they can keep in their saddlebags, or even the sympathy of anyone they might meet in the street. The humble trust only in God and in what God does in their lives through his Son Jesus.

This mysterious work acting in us is the power of the Holy Spirit. We realize that the Spirit is at work in us because, with no human explanation, we find the strength to take the next step. Without spiritual life (this powerful action of the Spirit in us) we are left to the wolves on our own. 


Father Luigi Maria Epicoco is a priest of the Aquila Diocese and teaches Philosophy at the Pontifical Lateran University and at the ISSR ‘Fides et ratio,’ Aquila. He dedicates himself to preaching, especially for the formation of laity and religious, giving conferences, retreats and days of recollection. He has authored numerous books and articles. Since 2021, he has served as the Ecclesiastical Assistant in the Vatican Dicastery for Communication and columnist for the Vatican’s daily newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

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