Fr. Stan’s Article

Did you ever have a dangerous job? Since I’m not a fan of heights, I always admired the risky jobs of people working on bridges or skyscrapers. We often think of people in law enforcement or rescue as people having dangerous jobs since they put their lives on the line for the safety and well-being of others. They’re the ones who run toward danger when everyone else is going the other way. We’re grateful for their courage and dedication.

You wouldn’t normally think that being a shepherd was a dangerous occupation unless you understood it as Jesus does in today’s Gospel. In Jesus’ day sheep were always in danger of being stolen, hurt, or ravaged by wolves or other wild animals. The only thing that stood between them and danger was their shepherd who was willing to lay down his life for their safety. It was this image that Jesus used to define Himself with regard to all of us. He is the Shepherd who calls us by name and we are His flock. He is willing to sacrifice Himself for our well-being and our eternal happiness. He protects us from the danger of evil and leads us to the fulfillment of our purpose and destiny. His prayer for us is to be united with Him in the Father’s love as God’s children.

It is very appropriate that our children are celebrating their First Communion on this Good Shepherd Sunday. They are joining their parents and this community at the Lord’s Table for the first time. Together with them we are being fed and led by the Good Shepherd in order to become His one flock. Let us thank the Lord for this great gift of His body and blood. Let us live as the sheep at God’s right in Matthew 25:31-40 (look it up!). Following Jesus’ command to love we will find our way to everlasting love.

You’re invited to the round table discussion this Thursday at 7:00 PM to 8:30 PM in the East Overflow on racial reconciliation. Jesus’ prayer for our unity immerses us in the hard work of facing what separates us and seeking His help to open our minds and hearts to one another. While our community is diverse, we hold attitudes and values that keep us from understanding and celebrating that diversity. Join in the discussion this Thursday.

I’d like to thank our Scouts and their leaders for last Sunday’s Pancake Breakfast. They wanted to show their appreciation to St. Mary’s for sponsoring them and providing the use of our facilities for their programs. They served a delicious all-you–can-eat meal for those who braved the “ice storm” to be with us at Mass and chose to stay for a while afterwards.  I’m sorry that the Blood Drive was cancelled due to the weather. I’m sure our donors would have enjoyed the breakfast as well.

We’re at the mid-point of the Easter season. Are you still joyful?

Easter peace and joy,

Fr. Stan