The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday and it is the “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” The scripture lessons for this weekend is about the role of the shepherd.
In his book, The Holy Land, John Kellman describes a field pen. It consists of a circular stone wall about four feet high with an opening in it. Kellman says that one-day a Holy Land tourist saw a field pen near Hebron. He asked a shepherd sitting nearby, “where’s the gate for your pen?” The shepherd said, “I am the gate.”
The shepherd then told the tourist how he herded his flock into the pen each night. Then he lay down across the narrow entrance. No sheep could leave the pen, and no wild animal could enter it without stepping on his body.
Jesus is our shepherd, who laid down his life for us to give us new life, and He is with us. He broke the bread and said to his disciples, this is My Body, take and eat it. Jesus tells us the same, “This is My Body.” Like Apostles, we are also fed at this table and sent out to break and give to others.
Even though the Apostles lived with Jesus and learned scripture and broke the bread with him, we all know, after the crucifixion, resurrection and even after ascension, the Apostles felt emptiness in their life. But they were gathered in prayer to receive the Holy Spirit. On the day of Pentecost their lives were transformed. Then proclaimed the Good News and performed miracles in the name of Jesus of Nazorean.
This Sunday we are celebrating the Sacrament of Confirmation. Our young men and women were preparing for this day, for the reception of Sacrament of Confirmation. Apostles received Holy Spirit at Pentecost. It was life changing for them. They received gift of the Holy Spirit. What are they? There are seven of them: 1. Wisdom which helps to understand things from God’s point of view; 2. Understanding which helps us to understand deeper meaning of supernatural truth; 3. Knowledge helps us to appreciate the life God has given: begin to see God’s presence in people, things, and nature and treat them with proper dignity; 4. Right Judgement or Counsel which helps to make right decision God would want me to make; 5. Reverence or Piety which helps to trust God more, relationships become stronger; 6. Courage or Fortitude which helps to stand up for what I believe; 7. Fear of the Lord or Awe and Wonder which helps to stay on the right path to heaven. Fear of the Lord is because I love God and I want to please Him.
Let us join in prayer for our young people, those who are receiving Sacrament of Confirmation, may God pour the gift of the Holy Spirit, so they may come out of the Upper Room and reach out in mission to others. Let us pray that with our Confirmandi, their sponsors, families, and our entire cluster will be renewed by the power of the Holy Spirit.