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4th Sunday of Easter - May 7, 2017


Traducir al Español

By Deacon Jeff Mevissen

 

When the Lord walked with his disciples and opened the Sacred Scriptures to them, their hearts burned within them. May the Holy Spirit set our hearts aflame as the Lord opens the Scriptures to us this morning.

 

Jesus is our Good Shepherd.  We know that sheep are not very smart and are defenseless against predators.  We are the sheep of the flock of God!  We need the Good shepherd to guide us and nourish us and keep us safe.  We can use this prayer to call on the Good Shepherd every morning and every evening:

 

Protect us, Lord, as we stay awake,
           watch over us as we sleep,
that awake we may keep watch with Christ,
           and asleep, rest in his peace.

 

As the Father sent Jesus so Jesus sends us – we are called to shepherd our family and friends to protect them from evil and guide them to life eternal.  Please stand for your shepherd blessing:

 

Lord, grant us the wisdom and courage
           to shepherd our family and friends to all that is good, all that is beautiful,
all that is true, and all that is just,
           we pray in Your name, Christ our Lord.

 

Since this is vocation Sunday, God grant us the wisdom and courage to answer his call.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd of the Church of St. James.  How the Good Shepherd has sent his Spirit to grant us Love, Joy, Peace, Kindness, and Generosity!  How providential that we are multicultural that we can experience what it means to be Catholic – that is – a universal church.  May the Good Shepherd increase our unity.  Jesus calls us to leave our comfort zone and reach out to brothers and sisters of a different culture and language to encounter in love.  Jesus calls us the be good stewards of the many gifts he has given us.  Do not be a mere consumer of the ministries at St. James – be an active participant.  Christ calls you.

 

Jesus is the Good Shepherd of our nation.  We are increasingly fractured into opposing groups – but Jesus calls us to solidarity.  Jesus calls us to treat one another with compassion and never fail to recognize the humanity of all people.  Jesus calls us to active participation in public life that the light of our faith may shine on public decisions.

 

The best shepherd story I ever heard comes from Fr. Greg Caiazzo.  When he was in Italy, he saw two herds of sheep crossing the road in front of him from opposite directions.  Fr. Greg thought the herds would become confused when they met and the shepherds take hours to sort their sheep.  In fact, each sheep followed the voice of its shepherd and the two herds crossed through each other with no confusion.  My dear brothers and sisters, let us hear and follow the voice of Christ, our Good Shepherd, that we never become lost or separated from Him.