Good Shepherd Sunday! The month of May, the month of Mary!
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. Each year, this Sunday we reflect on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who devotedly and kindly takes care of his flock.
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 lays 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.” We are fed at this table and send out shepherd in our daily life. We are called to do the same, to break us and give to others.
We can see the image of shepherd throughout the Bible. In the book of the prophet Jeremiah chapter 23, we see the contrast between the good shepherd and false shepherd. The Lord says, “I will raise up a righteous branch for David; as king, he shall reign and govern wisely.” This weekend we have responsorial psalm 23. This psalm tells us that our God is a loving and caring God, he is with us.
Today is the Good Shepherd Sunday and “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” Let us pray for Pope Francis, he shepherds our church. Let us pray for Bishop of our diocese James Powers, all the priests, religious, deacons, seminarians. Let us also pray for all those who are like a shepherd in our life.
The month of May is dedicated to Mary. The Catholic Church proclaims the great nobility of the mother of Jesus, Mary most holy, and presents her as the supreme model for all mothers. She was born into humble surroundings, she was called by God to be the mother of the Son of God. She affirmed her obedience to the call of God, and lived out her vocation throughout her entire life. Mary, the mother of Jesus, our Blessed Mother is the true model of motherhood.
Our nation is consecrated to Mary. As we continue to face the ongoing effects of the pandemic of the coronavirus, the president of USSCB, Archbishop José H. Gomez has announced that the U.S. bishops will join the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops on May 1 in renewing the consecration of the two nations to the care of our Blessed Mother. When you read this bulletin, we might have passed the time of consecration. We will be joining with Archbishop José H. Gomez and other Bishop to renew the consecration on May 1st at 2 p.m. central time. Let us continue to ask the intercession of our Mother for our life, especially this time of great need.