Saturday, April 28, 2012
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep" John 10, 11
On the fourth Sunday of Easter we celebrate the good shepherd. Jesus is the good shepherd we need to accept in our lives. He who laid and still lays His life down for us so that we may live in Him and He in us.
“No longer servants, but friends” What is friendship? Idem velle, idem nolle – wanting the same things, rejecting the same things: this was how it was expressed in antiquity. Friendship is a communion of thinking and willing. The Lord says the same thing to us most insistently: “I know my own and my own know me” (Jn 10:14). The Shepherd calls his own by name (cf. Jn 10:3). He knows me by name. I am not just some nameless being in the infinity of the universe. He knows me personally. Do I know him? The friendship that he bestows upon me can only mean that I too try to know him better; that in the Scriptures, in the Sacraments, in prayer, in the communion of saints, in the people who come to me, sent by him, I try to come to know the Lord himself more and more. Friendship is not just about knowing someone, it is above all a communion of the will. It means that my will grows into ever greater conformity with his will. For his will is not something external and foreign to me, something to which I more or less willingly submit or else refuse to submit. No, in friendship, my will grows together with his will, and his will becomes mine: this is how I become truly myself. Over and above communion of thinking and willing, the Lord mentions a third, new element: he gives his life for us (cf. Jn 15:13; 10:15). Lord, help me to come to know you more and more. Help me to be ever more at one with your will. Help me to live my life not for myself, but in union with you to live it for others. Help me to become ever more your friend. (Pope Benedict XVI - Homily 29th June 2011, Solemnity of St. Peter & St. Paul) For full text: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110629_pallio_en.html
Pope Paul VI instituted this Sunday as a World Day of Prayer for Vocations by saying: “O Jesus, divine Shepherd of the spirit, you have called the Apostles in order to make them fishermen of men, you still attract to you burning spirits and generous young people, in order to render them your followers and ministers to us” (Pope Paul VI launching the 1st Word Day of Prayer for Vocations)
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations ...” (cf. Mt 28:19f.) The Lord challenges us to move beyond the boundaries of our own world and to bring the Gospel to the world of others, so that it pervades everything and hence the world is opened up for God’s kingdom. We are reminded that even God stepped outside himself, he set his glory aside in order to seek us, in order to bring us his light and his love. We want to follow the God who sets out in this way, we want to move beyond the inertia of self-centredness, so that he himself can enter our world. (Pope Benedict XVI - Homily 29th June 2011, Solemnity of St. Peter & St. Paul) For full text: http://www.vatican.va/holy_father/benedict_xvi/homilies/2011/documents/hf_ben-xvi_hom_20110629_pallio_en.html
Lord, You laid your life down for us and You continue to humble Yourself in the Holy Sacrament of the Eucharist so that we may receive You and experience You, as You continue to invite us to live in communion with You. Give us the grace to open our hearts to listen to Your voice as You speak to us and to be ready to seek Your Divine Will knowing that it is the best road for us. Mary, Mother of God pray for us that like you and with you and St. Joseph we may follow the Good Shepherd. Amen.