Good Shepherd Sunday

Sisters and Brothers: Christ is risen, Alleluia!

Jesus tells His disciples that the sheep recognize the voice of the shepherd, that they run away from strangers. Even today, during the season of Easter there is a buzz in the sheepfold, a barely contained excitement: the Shepherd walks among us. We can feel Him as He draws near, gathering the children for their First Communion and clearing a way for them to the table. We can hear His gentle murmuring as He speaks to each of us, calling us by our name. Sometimes we feel so clumsy, struggling to carry out His wishes, falling prey to daily inconveniences and frustrations. But He comforts us with a touch, a word, a smile.

Even the disciples have trouble understanding what Jesus is saying to them until He speaks in plainer language. We are called to love others. To reach out and make connections that heal and bring those who suffer to new life. Christ speaks through us each time we share a comforting word, a helping hand. We are the sheep who know the Master. We follow His voice and it always leads us back to the safety of the sheepfold. And when we find others who have been led astray, who have listened to the cold, harsh voices of the thieves and robbers we cry out to them “Listen to the Master!” Like Peter who came before us we carry with us the hope of the Holy Spirit, the joy of those who have known the Lord and have been amply fed at His table.

In these times of pandemic, when it is so easy to argue statistics and probabilities, when it is so difficult to tell who to listen to and who to trust, we need to simplify our speech and our actions so that Christ’s message can ring loud and true: He is the Shepherd and all who flock to Him will be cared for and loved.

I Am the Door of the Sheepfold

Not one that’s gently hinged or deftly hung,
Not like the ones you planed at Joseph’s place,
Not like the well-oiled openings that swung
So easily for Pilate’s practiced pace,
Not like the ones that closed in Mary’s face
From house to house in brimming Bethlehem,
Not like the one that no man may assail,
The dreadful curtain, the forbidding veil
That waits your breaking in Jerusalem.
Not one you made but one you have become:
Load-bearing, balancing, a weighted beam
To bridge the gap, to bring us within reach
Of your high pasture. Calling us by name,
You lay your body down across the breach,
Yourself the door that opens into home.

— Malcom Guite

Please join us at Sunday Mass, “live from St. Monica’s” this Sunday at 10 AM. Visit our website where you will find the links to guide you to the Parish YouTube page.  You can also watch later, at whatever time is most convenient for you.

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May God bless us all and keep us safe.