Good Shepherd Sunday/Mother’s Day

by Fr. Peter Chinnappan

The fourth Sunday of Easter, known as Good Shepherd Sunday, is also the “World Day of Prayer for Vocations.” The Scripture lessons for this day concern the role of the shepherds of God’s flock in the Church. Each year on this Sunday, we reflect on the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who devotedly and kindly takes care of his flock. The title “pastor” means shepherd.  A shepherd leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects, and protects his flock—responsibilities that belong to every Church leader.  The earliest Christians saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the ancient Jewish dream of the Good Shepherd Who also wished to include the Gentiles as part of God’s flock.  

Life Messages: Let us become good shepherds and good sheep, good leaders and good followers. (1) Let us become good shepherds:  Everyone who is entrusted with the care of others is a shepherd.  Hence pastors, parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, government officials, etc. are all shepherds.  We become good shepherds by loving those entrusted to us, praying for them, spending our time and talents for their welfare, and guarding them from physical and spiritual dangers. 

(2) Let us be good sheep in the fold of Jesus, the Good Shepherd: Our local parish is our sheepfold, and our pastors are our shepherds.   Hence, as the good sheep of the parish, parishioners are expected to a) hear and follow the voice of their shepherds through their homilies, Bible classes, counseling and advice;  b) receive the spiritual food their pastors provide by regular participation in the Holy Mass, by frequenting the Sacraments and by attending prayer services, renewal programs, and missions;  c) cooperate with their pastors by giving them positive suggestions for the welfare of the parish, by encouraging them in their duties, by lovingly offering them constructive criticism when they are found misbehaving or failing in their duties, and by praying for them and forgiving them at need; and d) cooperate in the activities of various councils, ministries, and parish associations. (3) Let us pray for vocations to priesthood, the Diaconate,  and the  consecrated life so that we may have more good shepherds to lead, feed and protect the Catholic community.

The role of mothers in our lives: This is a day to admit gratefully the fact that none of us is able to return, in the same measure, all the love that our mothers have given us. Their influence on their children is so great that it affects the children throughout their lives. Our mothers not only gave us birth but nursed us, nurtured us, trained us in their religious beliefs and practices, taught us good manners and ideal behavior, disciplined us as best as they could, and made us good citizens of our country, our Church, and our society. There is a beautiful Spanish proverb: “An ounce of mother is better than a pound of clergy.” Hence, it is highly proper for us to express our love and gratitude to our mothers by our presence (if possible), gifts, and prayers on Mother’s Day. We offer this Eucharistic celebration on Mother’s Day for all the mothers in our congregation, whether they are alive here or have gone for their eternal reward.   The word “Mom” is synonymous with sacrificial, agápe love in its purest form, as commanded by Jesus in his farewell speech: “Love one another as I have loved you.” Hence, let us lavish our love on our mothers and express our gratitude for them in the form of fervent prayers offered for them before God.

A Prayer for Mothers

Our mothers are earthbound angels

Sent by God above

To give our lives direction

And fill our hearts with love.

They have no wings or halos

And yet they are divine,

For years of toil and sacrifice

Have rendered them sublime.

So, mothers, may God bless you

Wherever you may be,

For the gift of love, you gave us

Lives on eternally!

Thank you mother: Thank you, dear Lord, for our mothers: who were brave enough to give us birth, who loved us through many growing-up years, who taught us about God and love and being good, who often got no thanks, whose ears could hear the slightest cry, whose eyes didn’t miss much either, whose hands held and bathed and picked us up, whose hearts were often broken, who always forgave and forgot, who encouraged us when things went badly, who always had time to listen to us, who worked so hard to make things go well, who made the world so much better — who deserve our love on Mother’s Day and every day even for eternity. Amen.

Posted on May 6, 2022, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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