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Good Shepherd - Feed My Sheep

Homily 04 21 2013
Fourth Sunday of Easter C


View the Readings for this day

The fourth Sunday of Easter is known as Good Shepherd Sunday, and it is the "World Day of Prayer for Vocations."


The scripture lessons for this day concern the role of the shepherds of God's flock in the Church.

Each year on this Weekend, we reflect on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who devotedly and kindly takes care of his flock.

The title "pastor" means shepherd. A shepherd leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects, and protects his flock-responsibilities that belong to every Church leader.

There is a story about the famous monk, Thomas Merton (d. 1968) that tells us something about hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd.

Merton belonged to the Abbey of Gethsemani, the Trappist monastery near Bardstown, Kentucky.

I made a retreat there a number of years ago. It is a highly wooded area and occasionally a forest fire will break out in the surrounding hills

In the time of Merton, the local farmers would go out themselves to battle the blaze and the monks would go out too.

One time Merton was leading a group of novices to the area of the fire with their shovels and brooms. Suddenly the monastery bells rang for the Angelus prayer that is traditionally said three times a day.

Merton ordered the young men to stop in their tracks and to say the prayer in honor of Mary's "yes" which is the Angelus.

One of the novices later wrote: "The very idea of it made me laugh. It all seemed so incongruous, praying there while the flames crackled and spread through the dry grass and leaves [in the near distance] behind us. But then it struck me that prayer is always incongruous" (James Finley).

Yes, prayer is always incongruous because the demands of life will consume us if we let them.

There will never be time for prayer in our busy lives unless we make the time.

And yet prayer is the rock foundation of the Christian life.

In the little short Gospel today from St. John, Jesus tells us that his sheep hear his voice and they know him by his voice and they follow him.

We hear his voice in many ways...

  • Through the scriptures
  • Through the sacraments
  • Through each other
  • Through the experience of nature and beauty and art and culture
  • And above all through giving and receiving love

But it is essential to actually speak to Jesus and to hear him speak back to us in our hearts.

We pray because we must. We pray because it is foolish not to pray. We pray because of a simple desire for God.

We do not pray to attain some goal of holiness but simply to be with God through Christ the Good Shepherd. We do not pray to feel good

We pray because this is the only way to really live and breathe. Take the time to pray.

Adults - pray every day alone and with your spouse and family; have the courage to take time out from work and play and socializing in order to pray.

Teenagers - don't be afraid to be seen at prayer in the classroom or in public -not because you want to draw attention to yourself but because you need to be close to Jesus.

Little children - run to Jesus the Good Shepherd in prayer whenever you can and let your prayer mature as you grow up.

On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us pray for vocations to priestly and religious life so that we may have more good shepherds to lead, feed and protect the Catholic community.

Today is the beginning of The Annual Catholic Appeal for 2013. In this Year of Faith, we owe a debt of gratitude to those who came before us by passing on this gift of faith to those who come after us.

The generosity of Catholics in the Archdiocese is LEGENDARY.

As your Pastor, I have been gratified and enormously encouraged by your support of the Annual Catholic Appeal.

Sixty-three ministries and services continue to meet the pastoral and temporal needs because of you.

Your donations help in so many ways but they will help to ensure that our growing Catholic Community has enough priests to serve parishes by providing financial support for education of men now studying for the priesthood.

Your gift will say a well-deserved "Thank you" to retired priests, and sisters who have served in the Archdiocese over the years by providing funding for their retirement needs.

Soon I'll be in that boat and so I have a greater sense of the importance of supporting the Retired Priests.

With your help, Catholic Community Services will be able to expand in the Archdiocese from Bellingham to Vancouver and from Bellevue to Grays Harbor.

I am asking each one of you to consider the priceless gift of faith you have been given, and to ensure that this faith lives on in generations to come.

Please join your fellow Catholics in giving that gift of faith which helps provide many areas of life in the Archdiocese but also our parish receives a rebate of the monies that come in over our goal.

Pledge cards are in the pews and many of you have received a letter from the Archbishop.

May I ask you to consider raising what you gave last year and if you are beginning to assist for the First Time in the Annual Catholic Appeal, I'd like to suggest a dollar a day or $365.00 for this year.


Home Homilies Homily 04 21 2013

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Mass Schedule

Saint Aloysius
Tue - Fri - 8:30am
Sat - 5:00pm
Sun - 10:30am

Holy Days
8:30am & 7:00pm

First Friday
8:30am followed by Adoration until 7:55pm

- After weekday Mass
- Before Sat & Sun Mass
- Mon - 3:00pm

Sat - 3:30pm - 4:30pm
Or by appointment

Our Lady Of Lourdes
Sun - 8:30am

Before Sunday Mass

Find Us

Saint Aloysius
211 West Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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Office Hours
Tue - Fri 9am - 12:00pm

Our Lady Of Lourdes
506 Ash Street
Wilkeson, WA 98396
Phone: 360-829-6515
Fax: 360-829-5190
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