How blessed are we to be the sheep of such a Good Shepherd! Jesus promises that “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” When we follow the voice of our Shepherd, he leads us exactly where we want to go. But in today’s culture, many voices are competing for our attention. The voice of the media is a loud one, entering our homes and families through television, the Internet, print materials, and so on. All of this has its appropriate place. We simply need to be sure that we don’t allow these voices to become the primary ones in our lives.
To hear the voice of Jesus, we need to encounter his word in the Bible; we need to fill our ears with the message of the Gospel, to listen attentively to the prayers and preaching at Mass, and to “tune in” to the teachings of the Church and of the Holy Father. All of these things will help us to stay close to our Shepherd. Jesus promises of those who hear his voice and follow him that, “No one can take them out of my hand.” When we stay near the Lord, we can rest assured that he will fulfill his promises.
In his message for the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, Pope Francis wrote: “All the faithful are called to appreciate the ecclesial dynamism of vocations, so that communities of faith can become, after the example of the Blessed Virgin Mary, like a mother’s womb which welcomes the gift of the Holy Spirit (cf. Luke 1:35-38). The motherhood of the Church finds expression in constant prayer for vocations and in the work of educating and accompanying all those who perceive God’s call. This motherhood is also expressed through a careful selection of candidates for the ordained ministry and for the consecrated life. Finally, the Church is the mother of vocations in her continual support of those who have dedicated their lives to the service of others.
We ask the Lord to grant to all those who are on a vocational journey a deep sense of belonging to the Church; and that the Holy Spirit may strengthen among Pastors, and all of the faithful, a deeper sense of communion, discernment and spiritual fatherhood and motherhood.” …..Pray for vocations in the Church….pray for our seminarians studying for the Diocese of Trenton. May God bless you and keep you always in His Love!
My Homily today: 04.17.16 Our Shepherd
Joyfully in the Lord,
Rev. Msgr. Edward J. Arnister
Pastor, St. Rose Parish