From Our Pastor's Desk
From Our Pastor's Desk
Sunday, April 30th, 2023 – Fourth Sunday - Cycle A Readings: Acts 2:14a, 36-41, Psalm 23 “The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want ”, 1 Peter 2:20b-25, John 10:1-10
My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, last week the bishop and the priests in the diocese went on a retreat. It was a fruitful time to renew ourselves in the Lord. We prayed for you and I wish to thank you for your prayers. Bishop Wack extends his warm greetings to you and his sincere gratitude to each one of you for your faith, love and support to the diocese. May the good Lord bless you. Amen.
The Good Shepherd is one of the oldest and most popular images of Christ. Every year on this Fourth Sunday of Easter we hear a section from chapter ten of the gospel of John that deals with the Good Shepherd. The part of chapter ten read this Sunday does not mention the Good Shepherd. Jesus describes himself as "the gate of the fold" of sheep. In the part we will read next year he will call himself "the Good Shepherd." However, "the door of the sheepfold" has a role as helpful as that of the shepherd. The shepherd has to watch over the fold to protect the lives of the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who leads, guides and protects his sheep. The Good shepherd’s sacrifice gave life to his sheep and brought them back to the fold. Today, we meditate on the Good Shepherd’s merciful tenderness, so that we recognize the rights he acquired over each one of us by his death. It is a good opportunity to consider in our prayer our love for the Good Shepherds.
My dear brothers and sisters, this Sunday is also Word Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly fulfill the Lord's instruction to, “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send laborers into his harvest” (Mt 9:38; Lk 10:2). Priests and Religious or consecrated men and women are called to follow Christ and collaborate with him in guiding the flock of God. Let us spend time each day praying for our priests and religion. Please pray that young men and women hear and respond generously to the Lord's call to the priesthood, diaconate, religious life, societies of apostolic life or secular institutes. In praying for vocations, let us pray for our own vocations: married life or single life. This day offers us an opopportunity to ask oneself how in whatever capacity or vocation we found ourselves, we have been a good shepherd in the image of Christ. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, answer our prayers.
In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Fr. Paschal Chester, SVD