Important Parish Reopening Information

Weekend Masses Resume the Weekend of July 4th and 5th
Daily Masses Resume Monday, June 15

Please Read: Weekend Mass to Resume on July 4th & 5th

A Reflection for the 4th Sunday of Easter

May 3, 2020

A Spiritual Reflection by Father Brian
Good Shepherd Sunday

I don’t think anyone would question the statement - “It’s a much Different World out there today !”

We only have to flip on the TV, to see how concerning it is.

It's like we have to be careful, not to think too much about all the bad news stories, (or the rainy weather), so - we won't feel ‘depressed’ and be ‘gloomy’ all the time.

I’m at fault myself.  I’ve been sending the Miami weather forecast to some of my friends each day 😊 !

These past 7 weeks have unfolded a lot of change and concern within the walls of our homes, our towns, our workplaces, and schools.

We indeed live in a different world - than the one we just knew, the one that existed just a couple of months ago.

And for us Catholics, having lost the opportunity to celebrate Community Masses, especially on Easter, has been a radical change in our spiritual lives, and we are faced with the uncertainty of when and how our Liturgies and Parish activities will resume.

I would say for now, we must rely in confidence that God will eventually overcome this virus and situation for our sakes.

To use the Divine Mercy principle:

Jesus, I Trust in You !

Let me present the Gospel of John for this Good Shepherd Sunday:

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

In the Scriptures, the Revelation of the Kingdom is often conveyed by means of metaphors, figures of speech, the Kingdom is like this… The Kingdom is like that…

Likewise, today we have Jesus describing the inner nature of the Church He is establishing, by way of an image taken from the day - the careful tending of the sheep by their Shepherd.

The 2nd Vatican Council declared –

“The Church is a Sheepfold whose One and Indispensable Door is Christ.”

It is a flock of which God himself foretells us He would be the Shepherd, and who’s sheep, although guided by human shepherds; are nevertheless continuously led and nourished by Christ himself, The Good Shepherd, who gave His life for His sheep.

The Church is like a piece of land to be cultivated, like a choice vineyard that has been planted by God. The true vine is Christ who gives life / and the power to bear abundant fruit / to the branches, that is, to us, who through the Church remain in Christ without whom we can do nothing.

Often the Church has also been called the building of God. The Lord himself compared Himself to the stone which the builders rejected, but which was made into the cornerstone. On this foundation the Church was built by the Apostles; the House of God - in which dwells His family, the Holy Temple, the New Jerusalem, the dwelling place of God among His people. As living stones, we’re built into It.

St. John contemplates this Holy City coming down from heaven at the renewal of the world - as a bride made ready and adorned for her husband.

The Church is also called our Mother. It is described as the spotless spouse of the spotless Lamb, whom Christ “loved and for whom He delivered Himself up that He might sanctify Her”, whom He unites to himself by an unbreakable covenant, and whom He unceasingly nourishes and cherishes.

The Church that he once purified, He Willed to be cleansed and joined to Himself, subject to Him in love and fidelity, and whom, finally, He filled with heavenly gifts for all eternity, in order that we may know the Love of God / and of Christ for us - a Love which surpasses our all our comprehension.

The Church, while on earth – is not fully home yet, and kind of like - in exile.

Right now - we can especially see - that were living - in this  ‘different world.’

But we are called to seek those things which are above, where Christ is seated at the right-hand of God.

We await His 2nd coming - where we, the Church, will be united with our Spouse, when He appears in His Glory !

And Jesus tells us today:

“I am THE GATE for you.”

Come in, come into My Church, and here you will be fed.

Not like the world, the crazy world out there that steals, slaughters and destroys.

Come, and follow Me, and be saved, safe from danger. Let Me be the guardian of your souls !

Come to Me that you may find pasture - a taste of heaven here and now, and after - forever.

Where the grass is greener, a land overflowing with milk and honey…

Come back to Me, to My Supernatural Kingdom.  

Come to My Church, and there you will find Me.

I am The Good Shepherd… I am your Gate.  I am – your Home !

Until Masses resume, we are very fortunate that our Parish Churches are open for private prayer.

My friends in New Jersey and Maine have their Church doors locked.

St. Agnes is open from 8 AM to 6 PM each day.

At St. Matthias has Eucharistic Adoration from 9 AM to 10 AM Monday to Saturday, 8 AM to 11 AM on Sundays.

Come to My Church, and there you will find Me.

COME -  SO THAT YOU MAY HAVE LIFE - AND HAVE IT MORE ABUNDANTLY !

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