Revised Reconciliation Session #3 – Practice Session Sunday, January 20 from 1:30 pm to 2:30 pm, Tuesday, January 22 from 7:00 pm to 8:00 pm

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER


    In today’s gospel passage Jesus draws upon imagery associated with sheep herding. His listeners were aware of the practice of herding the sheep into a protective corral during the night to protect them from wild animals and thieves. In the spiritual sense, there are times when we are the thieves who claim to be concerned about the sheep (other people) but deceive them by offering quick fixes, which promise salvation without the need of painful personal conversion. People wrongly think that if we go through certain external rituals or by certain special prayers, we will find salvation in spite of our attachment to sin and other selfish behaviors. Or that reaching an emotional pitch of fervor, which cannot be maintained, will guarantee our future happiness. Prayers and rituals and fervor are wonderful and necessary, but only when they lead to real conversion from selfish tendencies to genuine concern for others as Jesus taught. This means that it is only through the door of Jesus’ teachings that one can find true salvation for He is the Way, the Truth and the Life

Do you know the peace and security of the Good Shepherd who watches over his own? The Old Testament often speaks of God as shepherd of his people, Israel. The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want (Psalm 23:1). Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock! (Psalm 80:1) We are his people, and the sheep of his pasture (Psalm 100:3). The Messiah is also pictured as the shepherd of God's people: He will feed his flock like a shepherd, he will gather the lambs in his arms (Isaiah 40:11). Jesus says he is the Good Shepherd who will risk his life to seek out and save the stray sheep (Matthew 18:12, Luke 15:4). He is the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls (1 Peter 2:25).
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and Guardian of our souls
Jesus made three promises to his followers. He promised them everlasting life. If they accept him and follow him, they will have the life of God in them. Jesus also promised them a life that would know no end. Death would not be the end but the beginning; they would know the glory of indestructible life. Jesus promised a life that was secure. Jesus said that nothing would snatch them out of his hand, not even sorrow and death, since he is everlasting life itself. Our lives are safe in his hands.
Do you listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd who calls you to himself?
The words which Jesus spoke upset many of the Jewish leaders. How could he speak with the same authority which God spoke and claim to be equal with God? He must either be insane or divine. Unfortunately some thought he was mad even though he cured a man who was blind from birth. We are faced with the same choice. Either Jesus is who he claims to be - the Son of God and Savior of the world - or the world's greatest deluder! We cannot be indifferent to his claim. For those who accept him as Lord and Savior he offers the peace and security of unending life and joy with God. Do you know the peace and security of a life fully submitted to Christ?

Confirmation - April 23 is the speaker night for students, teachers, parents and sponsors. All are requested to be in the church by 7pm for Sister Helena's talk on social media.

April 30 - Fr. Damien is back for his second talk for the parents. Students will be downstairs in class and all parents and sponsors will be upstairs in the church.

First Holy Communion - Congratulations to all those who received their First Holy Communion today. Thanks also to Bev. O'Grady for taking the classes.

SPRING CONCERT - May 12 is our next concert with Coro San Marco. Tickets are $20.00 and are on sale at the back of the church today and from the office during the week. This is a parish fund-raiser so come out and enjoy the beautiful music from Coro San Marco.

I hope you have a great week...

Fr. Phil