Posted by: fvbcdm | May 12, 2014

Feast of Saints Nereus, Achilleus, and Pancras (12 May 2014)

Every day last week, we read in the gospel at Mass from the 6th chapter of Saint John’s gospel having to do with Our Lord’s promise to give the world his flesh to eat and his blood to drink. Now, we continue to read from Saint John, but now the scriptures have to do with Our Divine Lord as the gate by which we are to enter the kingdom of heaven, and then as the Good Shepherd who leads his flock into heaven.

We must not be misled by the pretty holy cards and stained glass windows in some churches showing Jesus with a sheep draped around his neck, or a cuddly little lamb in his arms. Rather, we must constantly remind ourselves that when he calls himself the Good Shepherd, he is implying that we are the sheep whom he leads into eternal life. People who live in a part of the world where there are lots of sheep, like Wyoming in our country or Scotland in Great Britain, know that sheep are not very intelligent animals. They are nowhere near as clever as are foxes or wolves or dogs or snakes or birds of prey. They need guidance, care, and protection; otherwise, they will easily succumb to their enemies like wolves, coyotes, bears, and human beings who want to steal them. When Jesus calls us “sheep,” he is not paying us a compliment. He is telling us that we are lacking in astuteness about our own well-being and therefore need constant guidance and shepherding.

Can you remember when we were kids, we had to be warned often: don’t go out into the street. Stay on the sidewalk; don’t walk in the mud. When I was about seven years old, I stepped on a board that had a rusty nail in it, pointing up. It went through the sole of my shoe into the ball of my foot. The pain was terrible, and I was laid up for several days while that dangerous wound healed. All of that because I wasn’t looking where I was walking.

Very often we adults are even more foolish in our spiritual lives than are children in their daily lives. We need shepherding; we need guidance; we need an intelligence and prudence superior to our own. We need Our Lord Jesus Christ. Thank you for seeking God’s truth, God Bless you, Father Victor Brown, O.P.

Note:  This message was composed some years ago

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