4th Sunday of Easter

Dear Parishioners, 

This Sunday goes by a lot of names.  Good Shepherd Sunday, World Day of Prayer for Vocations, and Mother’s Day. It gives a lot to think about, and certainly a lot to bring to prayer. The Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ, knows his sheep, and they follow him!.  He cares for them (us!) like no one else. He is the model by which we learn how to care for others.  Last weekend, the great catch of fish on the part of Peter and the other disciples could be said to represent the total inclusive nature of the Gospel. No one is excluded.  I recently saw a t-shirt that said “Love thy neighbor…. no exceptions!”  How true!  This is the welcome challenge of Christianity.  World Day of Prayer for Vocations affords us the opportunity to pray for priests, consecrated religious life, the Diaconate and many other life choices that are also true vocations.  This includes marriage, single life, and the way we choose to live our lives in service to others in the work of our life.  All are vocational. All are needed and worthy.  Mother’s Day!  I was blessed with a wonderful mother who went to God 22 years ago. Hardly a day goes by that I don’t consider one of the many blessings of having the mother I had and the Father as well, and realize that faith among the greatest gifts they gave me.  Their simple, consistent life of faith did more for us than any amount of money or earthly comforts could ever do.  There is no doubt that in all of these areas , the world stands in great need of our prayer and consideration.  It is a gift to follow the Good Shepherd and live in his care.  The current situation in the Church, where we are always praying for vocations also offers us new opportunities.  You, the members of the priesthood of the baptized are called to step up and be active in more and more ministries in the church.  That can be a good thing!  There are many gifts to be shared with the community of faith.  And we must not stop asking God to send workers into the harvest!  We are grateful for those who are currently studying and preparing for priesthood and religious life. As we celebrate this weekend with an abundance of titles, let our prayers and thoughts go in many directions as well!  Have a good week!

Fr. Elston