Good Shepherd Sunday

I am the Good Shepherd, say the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.  ALLELUIA!  This Gospel Acclamation sums up what we are all working towards in life.  To open our heart and accept Jesus as our shepherd. When He speaks, we should open our ears and listen.

I am the Good Shepherd, say the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.  ALLELUIA!  This Gospel Acclamation sums up what we are all working towards in life.  To open our heart and accept Jesus as our shepherd. When He speaks, we should open our ears and listen.

Drawing our attentions to the Gospel reading, though short in nature, it is simple and pure–one that we should take special attention to:

John 10: 27-30 L51C

Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.  No one can take them out of my hand.  the-good-shepherd-by-nathan-greene-5-options-available-15.jpgMy Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.  The Father and I are one.”

We should focus on the key phrase of:

No one can take them out of my hand.

From the readings, we are able to understand and form the image of Jesus—as the Good Shepherd.  One who calls out among His sheep; each by name, taking care to guide them to safety and to deliver them from all evils.  Though the message is short this week, we are able to gather that this relationship with Jesus is ESSENTIAL and of GREAT importance.  It is a message of an unbreakable bond between ourselves and that of our Shepherd.  We are told that we should listen to the call and message of Jesus, and that we should listen to the message with great care.  That this message will allow us to never have fear, and that we shall never experience a separation from God, as nothing can break the bond, nor remove us from the palm of His hand.lost-sheep

Our second reading: from Revelation.

We are given the image of a “great multitude.” Something that is beyond our comprehension [size wise].  It is full of a message that this “multitude” is the body of Christ.   That the group comes from all nations, race, tongues—composed of those that suffered and survived great distresses; those that washed themselves in the Blood of the Lamb.

Jesus-and-His-followersThose in the early Church were faced with great adversity.  Even our Apostles suffered greatly [John is the exception as he died from old age on the island of Patmos] –they were martyrs of the violence inflicted unto Christians by the Romans.  Because of this persecution, many people would have had reason to doubt Jesus, to doubt the word of God—to flee from His promise of Salvation.  Yet, He gives us the message that NO ONE can take them from the palm of His hand.  Even in death, we are not separated from our Heavenly Father.  Our Good Shepherd gives us Eternal Life, something that NEVER changes.

Psalm 100: 1,2,3,5

Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.

Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.

The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.

This Psalm is an invitation for all to come to the Lord and to do so with a great sense of Joy and Thanksgiving.  We are joyful and thankful because we come knowing that we are jesus-and-the-lost-sheepGod’s people, that we are a community with Him.  That we cannot be taken from Him.  Even though we receive the call individually, we come to our Lord as a community.  As a GROUP of disciples that are there to listen to the Lord and to go forth and bring others to Him.  In this multitude we experience diversity, knowing that ALL are welcome.

Holy Family, PRAY FOR US!

 

Deus lo Vult

 

©2019 Lawrence V. McCrobie  |   http://www.LawrenceMcCrobie.com   |   http://www.OneStepCloserCatholic.org

 

Terror in the Modern World: The Church in the Target Zone

There is terror everywhere we turn.  It is almost as if we are not able to make a move without hearing of tragedies that ultimately could have been avoided.  We live in a world that is becoming increasingly full of resentment, hate, and consumed with acts of violence.  This is NOT the message that Christ wanted for us.  But make no mistake this is the work of Satan and we must find strength to resist it.  Now we hear of terror all year long, and most of the time the Catholic Church is swift to come to the aid of those affected, as this is what our faith is founded upon—CHARITY!  But when the terror and act of violence comes around the Holiest of Days to the Christian faithful, we must see it for what it is.  It is nothing more than the Satan’s attack on the Christian Faithful.

Creating fear and destruction is Satan’s way at getting to us.  It is a way to distract us from the message of God, brought to us through Christ our Lord.  We must find ways to center ourselves towards the message of the Gospel.  We can do this through unity.  The Unity with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  The best way to find this unity is to share in the celebration of the Eucharist.  By attending the celebration, and through participation in the most Holy Sacrifice of the Eucharist, we develop a strong sense of faith.  Through this growth in faith we are able to build up defenses that enable us to guard off and conquer the attacks that Satan sends forth.  It is through this personal development that our witness to Christ becomes seen in the community around us.  It is from that that we evangelize and bring others to the moving and powerful message of God.

Terror will always exist.  It existed in the days of the Early Christians, ending with extreme violence—something that we see echoed even today.  However, we cannot let the terror win.  We must build our defenses through prayer, meditation, and spiritual growth/development.  Only then can we begin to walk the path of defeating the evil and wicked attacks of Satan upon the world.

Please join with me in prayer for those affected by terror and attacks on the Catholic Christian faithful, and Christians all around the world:

St. Michael the Archangel, defend us in battle, be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.  May God rebuke him we humbly pray; and do thou, O Prince of the Heavenly host, by the power of God, cast into hell Satan and all the evil spirits who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.


Amen.