The late Psychologist Erich Fromm, in his famous book, “The Art of Loving,” said loving relationships are a necessary ingredient of a fulfilled life. Yet, he observed that in our everyday, stressed out lives, all too often we treat our loving relationships as “a luxury — a dimension we can get along without.”
But the Gospel Truth is in reality, we cannot. “We either love or die,” says Fromm. In terms of the “Good Life” — the fulfilled life — “there are a thousand ways to die, but there is only one way to live.” And that’s a number we can wrap our heads around!
In today’s Gospel Lesson, Jesus invites us to continue our search for the good life by considering the life of a sheepfold. Although we may know little or nothing about raising sheep, nevertheless we can readily grasp the picture Jesus portrays in today’s lesson. The sheepfold has only one gate to enter and leave by in order to find the food and protection needed to sustain life. Using this imagery, Jesus says, “I am the gate. Anyone who enters through me will be safe: he will go freely in and out and be sure of finding pasture” (Jn. 10:9). Then He says, “I have come so that they may have life and have it to the full” (Jn. 10:10)
“I am the Good Shepherd,” Jesus assures us. “Follow Me!” But we are not sheep. We are human beings in whom God has vested the power of choice: to accept or reject Jesus’ invitation; to believe or disbelieve that we are more than a grain of sand with little or no control over our own fate; to believe or disbelieve that we are a miracle of God’s creation capable of rescuing ourselves from our own living death; to believe or disbelieve that we can transform the struggle for mere survival into the marvelous, life-enriching adventure Jesus offers us.
Our power of choice is real. So let us choose to persevere … rather than quit. Praise … rather than gossip. Heal … rather than wound. Give … rather than take. Act … rather than procrastinate. Grow … rather than rot. Pray … rather than curse. Live.. rather than die.
Peace and Blessings!
P.S. Just wanted to thank those parishioners who have ministered to me by giving me ride to get groceries and driving me to and from St. Catherine and St. Coleman. Many thanks to Rose & Grace; Gail, Katrina, Sonja, Bob, Nancy, Vincent, Michael and Nina
Liturgical Music Corner by our Music Director, Rebecca Brown
April 26, Fourth Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday
“I am the Good Shepherd, says the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me.”In today’s gospel, Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd, who “lays down his life for the sheep”. In biblical and ancient times, shepherds were the leaders and kings who were supposed to be concerned with justice and providing for their subjects. Today we encounter the Good Shepherd, whose love for us far surpasses that of any king or leader, who loves us so deeply and intensely that He is willing to lay down His life for us.
Songs for the 9 am Mass:
Gathering Song: This Day Was Made By the Lord (BB # 574)
Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria, gloria!
Gloria in excelsis Deo, et in terra, terra pax.
Psalm 118: Give thanks to the Lord for He is good, His love is everlasting.
Preparation of Gifts: Shepherd of My Heart (ss)
Communion: In Christ Alone (BB # 414)
Recessional: Christ the Lord is Risen Today # 180
On April 11, Josephina and Ben Robles celebrated their 45th wedding anniversary with mass and reception. Here is some video: