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제목 Our Attitudes to the Good Shepherd (2018-04-15)
작성자 관리자 작성일 2018-04-17







Our Attitudes to the  Good Shepherd

(The 2nd Sunday after Easter 2018-04-15)


Today is the 2nd Sunday after Easter. The next visit of the priest, Fr. Onoda, will be on Thursday 26 April up to Monday 30th.


Let me introduce myself a bit. I am Etienne Demornex, from France. I was ordained a prist for SS[X at ECONE in 2007. I have spent 10.5 years in Africa and I have appointed to replace Fr. Laisney who is now in New-Zealand.


Introduction


Today’s Sunday is commonly called “Good Shepherd Sunday” because of the Mass Gospel in which Our Lord says: “I am the Good Shepherd”. In our Society it is a Sunday which is dedicated to seminaries: let us therefore not forget to pray for all the young men who prepare themselves to the priesthood or religious life in our seminaries and novitiates.


I would like today to say a few words on this title of “Good Shepherd” which Our Lord gives Himself and consequently on what should be our attitude as “good sheep”.


1.  Our Lord Jesus is the Good Shepherd


What is for Our Lord a good shepherd? Somebody who cares for those under his responsibility, who defends them and looks for those who would have gone astray. Our Lord Jesus is excellently the Good Shepherd to us.


Indeed Our lord really cares for us:
He wants our welfare and ultimately our eternal happiness and that is why He came down from Heaven. Remember how many miracles He performed in favor of the sick, of the poor, of the sorrowful, of the hungry.

Our Lord cares for us in the sense that He gives us the spiritual food we need. He satisfies the thirst of our soul for truth and happiness: He came to teach us about God, Heaven, and the way to Heaven. Remember His sermon on the mountain: “Blessed  are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of Heaven, Blessed are the meek, for they shall possess the land, etc…” (Mt 5;3). More than this, Our Lord Jesus gave Himself in the Holy Eucharist to be our spiritual food: He Himself decided to come in our soul to enlighten our minds with the truth and enflame our heart with love.

Our Lord cares for us, it means also that He guides us in the spiritual ways: for example in the Gospel we see Our Lord teaching Nicodemus about the necessity of Baptism, instituting the Sacraments as means of getting grace, advising the young man how to become more perfect: “If you want to be perfect, go and sell what you have and give it to the poor, and you shall have treasure in heaven: and come follow Me” (Mt 19;21); during the Last Supper, Our Lord promised to send the Holy Ghost to his disciples in order to guide them: “The Paraclete, the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my Name, He will teach you all things” (Jn 14;26)


Our Lord is a good shepherd because He protects us. How?
Our lord protects us against errors and wrong doings. Because he loves us and wants our good, He warns us against sin. Remember how he chased away twice the sellers in the temple of Jerusalem  telling them: “it is written: My House shall be called the house of prayer; but you have made it a den of thieves” (Mt 21;13); remember how He reproached harshly to the Pharisees their bad will and how they were misleading people from the truth: “Woe to you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites…, blind guides…you foolish and  blind… you serpents, generation of vipers…” (Mt 23;13); even St Peter Our Lord did not hesitate to blame when he tried to stop Him from accepting His Passion: “Go behind Me, Satan, you are a scandal unto me” (Mt 16;23)
 
Also Our Lord Jesus defends us against our enemies, the “wolf” which means the devils, the world and the flesh. He has gone to Heaven but yet He is still with us in the Holy Eucharist, still with us by the spiritual assistance He gives us at any time: “Behold I am with you all days, even to the consummation of the world” (Mt 28;20), and especially in time of persecution “I will give you a mouth and wisdom which all your adversaries shall not be able to resist and gainsay” (Lc 21;15).

And because “Greater love than this no man has, that a man lay down his life for his friends” (Jn 15;13), Our Lord Jesus has defended us up to the point to die for the remission of our sins and to save us from hell: “I am the good shepherd… and I lay down my life for my sheep” (Jn 10;15).

Our Lord Jesus is a good shepherd because He looks for the lost sheep with mercy. Our Divine Master came on earth to gain salvation for all people and He calls all people to follow Him. To His Apostles, He said: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations; baptizing them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you” (Mt 28;19); in today’s Gospel He says:  “Other sheep I have that are not of this fold; them also I must bring” (Jn 10;16); in the Gospel according to St Luke He said: “What man of you that has an hundred sheep, and if he shall lose one of them, does he not leave the 99 in the desert and go after that which was lost until he find it?” (Lc 15;4).


2.  Our response to the Good Shepherd


We have really in Our Lord Jesus Christ a perfect shepherd taking care of us, protecting us, full of mercy.
But now the question is: are we, on our side, the good sheep docile to the voice of our Master? Somebody said that one reason for which we are so poor intellectually and spiritually in the world of today is not only because of the lack of spiritual masters but more because of the lack of docile disciples capable to listen to the masters and learn from them. All the science and the care of the master is useless if the disciple is not disposed to receive it.
How should we be “good sheep”, docile disciples under the guidance of the Lord? By corresponding to His actions on us:


Our Lord cares for us, let us take advantage of this care:
Our Lord Jesus wants our good and eternal happiness. Let us therefore accept it and live accordingly, it means to trust His Providence. We know that Jesus is God and that He is in control of everything, that He organizes everything in our life to make us grow spiritually and reach Heaven. We should then bear patiently the trials of this life and persevere in our Catholic Faith whatever happens: “Fear not little flock, for it has pleased your Father to give you a kingdom” (Lc 12;32).

Our Lord offers us spiritual food: Himself in the Holy Eucharist and in His teachings: “Not in bread alone does man live, but in every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Mt 4;4). Therefore let us be attentive to eat eagerly the spiritual food we are given: there is no possible “over-eating” in that domain! Let us receive Holy Eucharist as often as possible; let us read regularly the Holy Scriptures; let us deepen our knowledge of the Catholic Faith, let us pray often.

Our Lord knows the way to Heaven, knows what is good or bad for us. Let us therefore accept willingly His guidance: the Commandments of God and of the Church; let us put joyfully into practice the evangelical counsels (spirit of poverty, chastity, obedience).

Our Lord protects us: let us put ourselves willingly under His protection:

Our Lord warns us against dangers, errors and wicked people who could mislead us. Let us therefore have o the humility to accept these warnings which He gives us especially through the Magisterium of His Church.

Our Lord stays with us, physically in the tabernacle and spiritually in our soul by sanctifying grace. Let us therefore stay close to Him, visiting Him often in the Blessed Sacrament if we can or at least talking to Him often in our heart.
      

Our Lord gave His life for us. Can we now do less than to work and to fight and to die for His glory? As St Thomas the Apostle said: “Let us also go, that we may die with Him” (Jn 11;16) or as Jesus Himself said: “Blessed are you when they shall revile you and persecute you, and speak all that is evil against you, untruly, for my sake, be glad and rejoice for your reward is very great in Heaven” (Mt 5;11).


The sacred Heart of Our Lord was burning with love of soul and the desire of their salvation: let us have as well a great desire for our own salvation and for the salvation of the people around us. We must have a missionary spirit, that is to say to work for the salvation of souls by our prayers, our sacrifices, by living an authentic Catholic life, by professing our Faith when we have the occasion, by spreading good writings about the Faith, etc…


Conclusion


Dear Faithful, without any doubt, we have a good Shepherd: Our Lord Jesus Christ. But maybe we are not good sheep, not enough docile to the voice of Our Lord Jesus. During this Mass, let renew our resolutions to leave behind our sinful habits and to give our entire heart to Our Lord.


May Our most Blessed Mother, the Virgin Mary, make us hear and follow the voice of the Lord her Divine Son always.  Amen.


By  Fr. Etienne Demornex