The Fourth Sunday of Easter is traditionally called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” On this day we hear in our Gospel account how Jesus is the Good Shepherd who tends to the needs of his flock and came to give the sheep abundant life.
The image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd is a favorite of many people. Most folks find great comfort in Psalm 23, “The Lord is my Shepherd,” especially in times of difficulty. It is a reminder to us that the Shepherd is always watching over and tending to the needs of each one of his sheep. He knows them by name. How comforting to have a Shepherd who has an intimate relationship with each one of us.
The Church also designates this Sunday as the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. While we need to pray for vocations, we also need to ask young people if they have ever considered serving the Church as a priest, Consecrated Religious, or permanent deacon. Sometimes all it takes is an invitation to ignite the fire.
I am asking parents and grandparents to have the courage to be bold and speak about vocations to Church ministry with your children and grandchildren. You may be surprised by his or her response.
For young men in Middle School or High School, the Vocations Office is offering Vocations Camps this June. These camps include Mass, Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament, Rosary, Confessions, spiritual talks, sports, recreation, fellowship and discussion. They are wonderful opportunities to explore what the priesthood is all about. If interested, check them out at www.thinkpriest.org.
I ask all of you to please continue to pray that the Harvest Master will send more laborers to gather the harvest for the last day. Pray in a special way that vocations will come forth from this parish community. How blessed our community will be in return!
– Father Dennis, May 7, 2017