Monday, May 4
Monday, May 4
The sheep follow the Good Shepherd because they recognize his voice.
Yesterday was the Fourth Sunday of Easter, known as Good Shepherd Sunday because the Gospel is always taken from the 10th chapter of John, where Jesus speaks of himself as the “good shepherd”. This excerpt of a reflection on the Gospel really struck me:
“We surely are blessed to have the Son of God as our Shepherd, who came among us in order to lead us to heaven. Do we fully appreciate our privileged position? Do we always live up to our heavenly vocation? We know His voice, we know what He asks of us but do we always listen to that voice, do we always do what He asks of us?…
“We have a few short years, but short though they be, we can earn for ourselves an eternity of happiness during this life… We know that if we follow the shepherd of our souls, we are on the way to the true life, the perfect life, the unending life which will have no admixture of sorrow, regret or pain. Where Christ is, there perfect happiness is, and there with God’s grace we hope and trust to be.”
~Fr. Kevin O’Sullivan, O.F.M
It is no wonder, then, that it was also World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The purpose of the World Day of Prayer for Vocations is to publicly celebrate vocations to ordained ministry and religious life in all its forms.
A good priest is a good shepherd. Everyone is important, but the priority for Jesus was the lost sheep. A good priest is a good shepherd – bringing people back to and to the church.
But in speaking specifically about the good shepherd, we are looking toward the good priest. It is the priest, “by virtue of the consecration which he receives in the sacrament of orders, is sent forth by the Father through the mediatorship of Jesus Christ, to whom he is configured in a special way as head and shepherd of his people, in order to live and work by the power of the Holy Spirit in service of the Church and for the salvation of the world.”
That explanation of the priesthood is a quote from Pope St. John Paul II in his papal address Pastores Dabo Vobis, which means “I will give you shepherds.” That is the gift God has given the Catholic Church in the ministry of the priesthood: shepherds to watch over his flock, the Church.
Let us Pray
Dear friends, on this day in particular, but also in the ordinary pastoral life of our communities, I ask the Church to continue to promote vocations. May she touch the hearts of the faithful and enable each of them to discover with gratitude God’s call in their lives, to find courage to say “yes” to God, to overcome all weariness through faith in Christ, and to make of their lives a song of praise for God, for their brothers and sisters, and for the whole world. May the Virgin Mary accompany us and intercede for us.
~ Pope Francis, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 2020.
World Day of Vocations Doodle (coloring page)