Pastoral Message – May 8, 2022
Blessings and peace be with you. May Almighty God continue to guide us and bless us with good health, strong faith and renewed hope.
Today, on Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus revealed himself as a good shepherd who knows his own flock and is a sacrifice 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 blessing moment to realize and acknowledge that Jesus Christ is our true Good Shepherd. Despite of how poorly people might treat us due to our mistakes and faults, Jesus Christ as the Good Shepherd will always
protect and guide us to walk on the right path. Unlike society or religion which will judge when someone commits sins: “Change or I will condemn you.” Today, Jesus as the Good Shepherd wants to us to know that He loves us and wants to embrace and take us home with a loving act and a gentle voice: “Here I am to carry you home.”
In the parable of the lost sheep (Luke 15:1-10), imagine religion and society standing up in front of the lost sheep and saying: “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.” Without a pause, they continue: “Here is what you need to do. You need to clean yourself up. You need to get your act together. You need to reincarnate if you can. You have to try harder.” The lost sheep inwardly responds, “But I don’t know the way to get back to God. I don’t know who my shepherd is, I can’t clean myself. In addition, the way is dangerous. I am not tough enough to defend myself, and I am bleeding.” Mercilessly they respond: “Wow! Take it or blow it!” But Jesus comes along saying: “Here I am. I’ll pick you up and carry you home.”
As we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, let us remind ourselves 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 may have eternal life if we believe that He is the Way, the Truth and the Life. By holding this truth, the image and understanding of God as the Good Shepherd needed to be imprinted into every single Christian heart and head, to echo and overshadow difficult times that we are facing in our daily life and to know that we have God on our side to count on, always.
Indeed, on this Good Shepherd Sunday, let us take time to pray for our spiritual leaders such as our parish priests, deacons, religious brothers and sisters, and those who inherited the role of shaping our faith like our parents, teachers, uncles and aunties… Indeed, as we celebrate Mother’s Day, let us remind ourselves that our Mother is like a Good Shepherd who is willing to lay down her life for us. Let’s pray, honor and respect our Mother. Show our love to Mom in every single way either big or small because we love Mom. May God also grant us the wisdom to recognize that every single one of us is given grace, fortitude and understanding to become good shepherds to people under our care and people around us.
Blessings and peace!