“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.”
Praised be Jesus Christ!
Today, the Church celebrates Good Shepherd Sunday. Both the First Reading and the Gospel show images of a shepherd.
In the Acts of the Apostles, we see the first pope, the first Chief Shepherd, St. Peter, addressing his flock. Then, in the Gospel, we see Christ, the Good Shepherd, describing the protective love of shepherd for his flock.
This is a perfect Sunday to pray with great fervor for vocations to the Priesthood. Beg Our Lord to send courageous, compassionate, and ardent shepherds for the flock of the Diocese of Allentown. Ask that these shepherds might have the strength of Peter to confirm the faith of those entrusted to their care.
During this week, as we reflect on the need for priests and religious, let us ask the Lord to bless families with generosity in promoting vocations among their children. We need good and holy men and women to serve the Church. Lord, graciously hear us!
As always, know of my prayers before Our Lord in the Most Blessed Sacrament.