April 22 Fourth Sunday in Easter
“I am the Good Shepherd….” If ever an image resonates within my heart and mind as a pastor it is the image of Christ the Good Shepherd. What does the Good Shepherd do to distinguish himself? Our Lord gives the following characteristics:
The first is that the good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. During the ordination rite for deacons and priests a posture that often people are most moved by is when the candidate prostrates himself on the ground during the Litany of the Saints. This ancient posture is a sign that the person desires only one thing: namely, to give his life for the people to whom he has been asked to serve. Today, please pray for all priests and deacons that we may always lay down our lives for the people to whom we have been called to serve.
The second is that the Good Shepherd knows his sheep by name. One of the things that many people shared with me about Fr. Curran was that he knew the parishioners of the parish by name. Sadly, my memory for names is not as great as his; however, I can say that even though I may not know all parishioners by their names, I recognize you all as people desiring the same thing: to follow Christ! This weekend please join together and continue to pray for our parishioners (those whose names we know and those whose hearts we know) who are sick, homebound, or suffering and ask the Lord to heal them and help them.
Finally, the Good Shepherd knows for Whom he works. If you are a part of a company you know that there is always the “boss” to whom you report. But in the case of the Good Shepherd, the Lord Jesus Christ responds and says, “I ‘work’ for my Father in Heaven.” This weekend let us all renew our commitment to follow Christ and to live not for ourselves, but may we all continue to live for the ones we are called to serve.
The Church encourages us to pray for all vocations, all people, and all Christians. This week may we continue to live for Christ alone, follow the example He has given us, and respond generously to His call. May our love for Christ enlighten the world and may our witness give clarity in the darkness.
May the Lord Bless You and Keep You,
Fr. Timothy Kalista