Deacon Richard Sage’s Homily 2019-05-11 the 4th Sunday of Easter

By | September 6, 2019

– Now, this Fourth
Sunday of Easter always carries a theme
of the Good Shepherd. And it is an image for
us to be looking at, it’s not like an
advertisement as, gee, it would be
good if everybody got a job as a good shepherd. But it’s more of an image. It’s among the many ways we
might interpret the image, is that of a person who is
responsible and who cares. That is what Jesus in the
Gospel is talking about today. The Good Shepherd is responsible
for his sheep, for us. The Good Shepherd loves
us, guides us, protects us, and shows us the way to
eternal life with him. The Good Shepherd is
the one who cares. The Good Shepherd takes the
time to get to know others, to know us, and cares so much that he
will even give his life for others, as Jesus did,
as he laid down his life for his sheep, you and
me, in order to provide for us eternal life. So just for a moment,
imagine something. Imagine what would happen
if all of us, if everyone, felt that same measure of
responsibility and cared, really cared, about our
brothers and sisters who are hungry,
homeless, helpless, mistreated,
victimized, suffering, impoverished,
threatened, or rejected. Just imagine, what would
it be like if everyone cared and felt that
measure of responsibility. Imagine the monumental
consequences if everyone became
a good shepherd. We belong to a Church that is
populated by good shepherds, caring individuals who give
their lives for others. For example, recall the priests and religious sisters and
brothers and dedicated laity who were martyred
in El Salvador. Or like Brother James Miller, a native of the
Stevens Point area, who was martyred in
Guatemala in 1982. Today’s missionaries
are struggling in the remotest
parts of the world. There are peace activists
trying to make a difference. Women and men clothing the
naked, feeding the hungry, working at homeless
shelters, aiding immigrants. Men and women caring for
the lonely, the sick, and the dying with great
love and compassion. And those who are challenging
the evil of human trafficking, including, we have to recall,
the lead efforts being done by our own Franciscan Sisters
of Perpetual Adoration. In our Gospel reading,
we heard Jesus say, “My sheep hear my voice. “I know them, and
they follow me. “I give them eternal life.” Do we hear and
know Jesus’ voice? Do we hear and know
our Good Shepherd? When the blind man cried
out, “Lord, I want to see!” Jesus gave him his sight. When his mother whispered to
him, “They have no more wine,” Jesus turned water into
wine for the wedding feast. When the apostles told him,
“They have nothing to eat,” Jesus fed 5,000. Who or what are the
voices that we listen to, the voice of a
stranger, TV, magazines, the voices on social media? Jesus said, “My sheep hear
my voice, I know them.” Today, we also think
of a very special group who are like shepherds to
their families, our mothers. They bring life into the world. They sacrifice everything
for the spiritual and physical health of their
children, their families. We honor all of our mothers
today, whether they are living or have entered eternal life, because they have accepted
the responsibilities and fulfilled them in
caring and loving ways. The Good Shepherd is
everything to the flock, their life, sustenance,
and their care is entirely in his hands. Jesus is preeminently
the Good Shepherd. He not only loves, feeds,
and guards his sheep, but he also gives us
life, eternal life, at the cost of his own.

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