From the Desk of Father Mike
Well with our Scripture readings this weekend I believe God is laughing – not ATus, of course, but WITHus! This 4thSunday of Easter is traditionally known as “Good Shepherd”Sunday, since Jesus gives us the image of himself in our Holy Gospel as the Good Shepherd and us as His sheep. And in this comparison, God is laughing. Just think about it: Sheep are not very smart animals. You’re never going to go to the zoo and watch trained sheep! Sheep have a strong flocking instinct and they rarely act independently. If they are separated from their flock, they have very little natural ability to survive on their own; even the sound they make is pathetic and doesn’t do much to scare off other animals. They are stubborn and slow. And no matter what the nursery rhyme tells us: their fleece is rarely white as snow: their coats are dirty, matted, and collect all sorts of debris. And this is what Jesus tells us we are like in the Holy Gospels?! Yes indeed, God is laughing, but it’s a gentle, loving laugh.
Being the genius story teller that He is, Jesus uses this imagery to make a point about our relationship with the world and our connection with Him. But are we humble enough to accept the point that is being made: namely, that we can be very much like sheep. That is, we often find it easier to move with the status quo – and not make our own thoughtful, prayerful decisions about things. We get caught up in the fervent race and pace of life as we frenetically move from one thing to another without much thought. We are herded into the idea that the more we have – the happier we’llbe. Sometimes we don’t listen for the gentle voice of Jesus our Good Shepherd. We must quiet the restlessness of our hearts. By letting Jesus lead us, we can free ourselves from so many burdens and anxieties in this life – this unceasing drive to be successful: in work, in marriage, in parenting, in life. In fact, this elusive goal to be successful is really a secular goal – one that our world tells us to value. Our faith calls us not to be successful – but to be faithful. Are we faithful – in our work, our marriage, our parenting, in our lives as Christians? Do we recognize the gifts and graces that are already present in our lives or do we dwell on what we don’t have? Do we rejoice in the “what is”in our lives, or do we spend out energy lamenting and complaining about “what isn’t”. Yes, indeed – life will be filled with discouragement, sickness, sorrow and doubt. But it’s only after we give all this over to our Good Shepherd that we will begin to experience that elusive peace for which we desperately yearn.
As your “Most Blessed Sacrament Parish Shepherd” I am so excited for our PARISH FESTIVAL! I am already working on my secret recipe for the “Barbecued Pulled Pork Sandwicheswith a side of Zesty Slaw”that I will be creating (with a little help 😊). As your Shepherd, I humbly ask that in some way, large or small, you get involved in making our 2019 Parish Festival a great event! It really is an endeavor that can pull together our Parish, our Neighborhood, our Community…in a fun and evangelical way. And as I guaranteed at Mass last week – the weather is going to be BEAUTIFUL! On this 4thSunday of Easter, this “Good Shepherd Sunday” – be grateful. Laugh with God today, as I am fairly certain that God is laughing with us!
It is a joy and blessing to serve as your “Good Shepherd” –