PASTORAL MESSAGE – APRIL 25, 2021
Blessings and peace be with you!
Today, Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus reveals himself as a good shepherd who knows his own flock and sacrifices himself for them: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me.” (John 10:11-18)
What a joyful and blessed moment when we realize and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our shepherd. Notwithstanding how poorly some people might treat us due to our mistakes and faults, Jesus Christ is our Good Shepherd and will always protect and guide us onto the right path.
In the face of sinful actions, many people in society or even in our church communities, will say to those sinning: “Change or I will condemn you.” Today, Jesus revealed himself to be the Good Shepherd who wants us to know that He loves us so that we will allow him to embrace us and take us home to himself. With his gentle voice he says: “Here I am to carry you home.”
In the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-10), Jesus does not say to the lost sheep: “You’re dirty, you’re stinky, you’re lost, and you’re bleeding! This is the result of running away! This is a just punishment for your own crime!”
He does not say: “Here is what you need to do. You need to clean yourself up. You need to get your act together. You have to try harder.” Whoever treats the lost sheep in such a merciless way does not follow the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Jesus comes along saying: “Here I am. I love you. I’ll pick you up and carry you home.”
Celebrating this Good Shepherd Sunday, let us remind each other that we have an amazing God, who knows us better that we know ourselves, who
cares for us better than we care for ourselves, who
loves us so very much and willingly laid down his own life for us so that we who believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life would obtain unending joy.
By holding this truth that God is the Good Shepherd we can help to impress upon every single Christian heart that we do have God on our side and we can count on him always.
Also, on this Good Shepherd Sunday, we remember that it is important to make time each day to pray for our spiritual leaders including our parish priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters. We pray , too, for all those who are entrusted with the responsibility of shaping of our faith especially parents, godparents, teachers, uncles and aunts and others.
May God also grant to each of us the wisdom to recognize when we are being given grace, fortitude and understanding to become good shepherds to people under our care and people around us.
May God continue to grant us good health, strong faith and renewed hope.
Blessings and peace!