APRIL 26, 2015 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – “Good Shepherd Sunday”

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APRIL 26, 2015 – FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – “Good Shepherd Sunday”

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His wordsby Fr. Julius C. Lupot

READINGS:     Acts 4: 8-12   /   Psalm 118: 1. 8-9. 21-23. 26. 28. 29   /   1 John 3: 1-2

JOHN 10: 11-18

HIS WORD…I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD, AND I KNOW MINE AND MINE KNOW ME… I HAVE OTHER SHEEP THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THIS FOLD… THESE ALSO I MUST LEAD, AND THEY WILL HEAR MY VOICE, AND THERE WILL BE ONE FLOCK, ONE SHEPHERD… 

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my words…Pastoral Responsibility and Ecumenism. John 10:16 contains ecumenical undertones and therefore it was a kind of “prophetic and predictive proclamation” of John on what will happen to the Church through ages and histories; that is, withthe emergence or coming of other different cults, sects, denominations, and “religions”. And precisely, they are “the other flocks that do not belong to the fold” (Jn 10:16a), and still Jesus recognizes them as His sheep so that “there will be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16b) if they will all hear and listen to the voice of Jesus, the Chief Shepherd and Good Shepherd. How noble and heroic indeed is the Second Vatican Council (Vatican II) when itincludes and incorporates the theme of “Ecumenism” in the 16 Documents of the Council. It is indeed a welcoming gesture with the spirit of reconciliation to the “other sheep” that do not belong to the fold of the Catholic Church. To have one flock all over the world is the goal of Jesus Christ as the Chief and Good Shepherd for all in the world. And it indeed happened; we may have different religious groupings or affiliations or “religions”, but we acknowledge the same Jesus the Good Shepherd in the Bible, Catholics and non-Catholics alike.

Brothers and Sisters, this is Pastoral Responsibility in the Church, and the pastors or priests should not be selective in knowing, leading, feeding, and protecting the flock entrusted to them. Their lives should be for the whole flock, young and old, rich and poor alike, and even including those in the other fold. That is why in the Catholic Church, the Pope, the Cardinals, the Archbishops, the Bishops, the Priests, and the Deacons belong to nobody nor to somebody but to everybody so that they can render service to anybody in need. They become servant-leaders to the flock they are tendingto and caring for. And Jesus called them to do so by giving them the par excellent model of shepherding; that is, “giving His life for the sheep” (Jn 10: 11. 15). And the pastoral responsibility therefore is to gather all the sheep wherever they are in the world and bring them to Jesus, the Good Shepherd, so that “there will be one flock, one shepherd” (Jn 10:16) in the whole world.

Brothers and Sisters, today is “World Day of Prayer for Vocations”. Our Mother Church asks us to pray for more shepherds to lead the flock to Jesus, the Chief Good Shepherd, so that they may have life in Him. We pray also for our shepherds of today, that they may not only be ordinary shepherds to their flock but “good shepherds” modelled after the Risen Lord who declared: “I am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (Jn 10:11).

MAY GOD BLESS OUR SHEPHERDS TO BECOME GOOD…

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