Skip to main content

Lent,6th S,April10,11

Lent,6thS,April 10,11

Lent 6th S, April 10,11


We are gathered today under the shadow of the passing away of our beloved Major Archbishop, Mar Varkey Cardinal Vithayathil.

To all those who knew him, he was a man of inestimable love and openness. The concern and sensitivity he showed to the people who visited him are unmatchable. Through his words and actions he brought the love of Jesus to heal and comfort every one who felt hurt and put down. The transparency and openness he exhibited in his life can never be forgotten. Words of love and concern tumbled down from his lips. His monastic simplicity and loving concern were evident to every one who came into contact with him. He was a genuine shepherd to his people.

Today as we reflect on the words of Jesus as the Good Shepherd, we can find a good example of that shepherding in the life of our Major Archbishop.

God as a Shepherd is a concept that is familiar to every Jewish heart. Jesus in today’s Gospel evokes all those loving and comforting images when He tells his listeners that he is the Good Shepherd and he would lay down his life for the sheep. It is not just green pastures and water that he is offering. He is offering Himself and all that is implied by that sacrifice.

The Israelites were very familiar with the lives of shepherds and they were aware that a real shepherd would recognize his sheep and the sheep would also recognize his voice. It was a custom in those days for sheep belonging to different shepherds to be enclosed together in one pen. Each shepherd would call his sheep and the sheep would recognize his voice and go out with him. Using that image, Jesus reminds his listeners that He is close to His followers and that He would sacrifice his life for them.

This parable of the Good Shepherd gives us hints of the warmth of the love that Jesus has for his followers.

Jesus is our Savior and He will guide us through the right paths. He will protect us from our enemies. He will comfort us in our troubled times. He will be with us in our most vulnerable moments. He will carry us in his arms when it is difficult for us to walk the paths of life. His love will always envelop us.

During the season of Lent, we become very much aware of the suffering and death of Jesus for our salvation. We become once more reminded of the immense love that Jesus has for each one of us. He will never abandon us and will always be with us in the darkest moments of our lives.

The parable also is a reminder to each one of us to become good shepherds to our neighbors. We are given different tasks in our lives. We interact with so many people in our lives. We can be distinctively different in those daily interactions. We can pour the oil of love and comfort into our dealings with people. To be a caring husband, a loving father, or a sensitive administrator is something that we can do in our lives. People will recognize then that we are different.

Can we be good shepherds to the people who are entrusted to our care? There is a beautiful novel written by Tony Hendra called, ”Father Joe: the Man Who Saved My Soul.” Fr. Joe, a Benedictine Monk was the constant in his life during all the troubled times of his life. When his marriage failed and when he became a failure in his journalistic profession as well as in personal life, he went to Fr. Joe asking him the permission to join the monastery. Joe told him to go back and become a better husband and a better father to his children.

Yes, we can be good shepherds. Our family life and our life in the community will undergo a sea change if we can turn out to be loving and caring to those who are entrusted to our care.


Popular posts from this blog

Presentation in the Temple.Lk.2:21-35,Jan.2,11

In today’s reading from the Gospel, St. Luke gives an account of the Presentation of Jesus to the Lord at the Temple and the prophetic utterances of Simeon and Anna. According to Leviticus 12:1-8, the birth of a male child disqualifies an Israelite woman from touching any holy object or approaching the Temple for forty days. After that, she must offer sacrifice in Jerusalem. “Among the Jews, the first born sons belonged to the Lord. Those not of the tribe of Levi had to be redeemed—in the temple, to show that they continued to be God’s property.” (Navarre Bible,P.252)When a woman had borne a child, she had to come to the Temple after 40 days for purification. She had to bring a lamb for a burnt offering and a pigeon for a sin offering. If she could not afford the lamb, she was permitted to bring another pigeon. As Mary and Joseph were poor, they brought two pigeons.
But their presentation of Jesus at the Temple became an occasion for Simeon to prophesy that Jesus would bring salvation …

Easter 6th S,May 29,11

Easter 6thS,May 29,11 Easter 6thS,.May 29,11(Jn.17:21-26)Cardinal Bernardin in an essay on “How can I find God” speaks about his habits of prayer. He has often, he says, given talks on prayer but neverspent much time in personal prayer. When he shared this dilemma with some of his priest-friends, they advised him to act on his desire and set apart an hour in the morning for prayer. With their encouragement and support, he resolved to devote an hour each day to prayer. He says: “During the early days of this new habit of prayer, I began to realize how often I had looked elsewhere for God rather than right in the midst of each day’s journey.” He adds further that he has constantly “tried to enter into closer communion with God through prayer. This search for union, he says, has been “an exciting,life-giving, sustaining experience.”In today’s Gospel, which is the third part of the Priestly Prayer of Jesus, we hear the deep yearning of Jesus for the bond of unity that should exist among a…

Easter 7th S,June 5,11

Easter 7th S, May 5,11(Mk.16:9-20)Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVl in his new book, “Light of the World”, speaks of the presence of a new mindset that he calls as “negative tolerance” in many Catholics which somehow, for the sake of not offending anyone, undervalues the teachings of Christ. According to the Holy Father, Christians are very shy of speaking about their faith or of witnessing to Christ in public life.Public arena is full of people who somehow think that it is all right to ignore the meaning and significance of the Christian faith. Christians move around without in any way revealing their faith or their attachment to Christ.One of America’s foremost novelists, Walker Percy once said that Christians proclaim that they have the Gospel but they go around as if they have the bad news.This lethargy in the witness to our faith should be examined in the background of today’s Gospel where Jesus proclaims the need to preach the Gospel as a bounden duty of every believer in Him. Toda…