Dear Church Family,
On Good Shepherd’s Sunday, every year Church Family, as I celebrate Mass and look out at you I am also looking up into the choir loft and there is my image of the Good Shepherd. For the last 23 years it has become all the more meaningful to me as the Good Shepherd totally loves me and totally loves you. He will do anything possible to have you in union with Him. Sometimes He is saddened by our free will going in other directions, not giving Him the priority of presence and total commitment. Alleluia!
I had a couple of Resurrection Moments that happened last Tuesday. What about your Resurrection Moments? Don’t be tired of hearing me talk about it because I’m encouraging you to see how God is so good and so loving that He comes to you in little ways each and every day. If you are still, prayerful and use that soulfulness that you have deep within your being, then you are all the more being enriched within your spirituality and the Lord is all the more becoming the center of your very existence. Keep that wonderful spiritual way up in your living and loving.
I know the Holy Spirit guides me sometimes to do my ordinary ministry with a little extra flair. I was the celebrant of the sacred liturgy for the children at St. Louis Catholic Academy last week. I became aware that it would be the last time that I would speak to the 8th grade children. So I placed them in front of the altar looking at me and the congregation. Then I gave them a message on how can they go wrong in their life as long as they remember that all of their grade-school life they have been in an atmosphere where Jesus was the center and they were in an atmosphere of prayer, worship, and sacrament? We also know we are grounded in the love of the Lord. They are motivated to love other people and do good deeds. They are also motivated to make best use of their talents as they go into high school. Even with all the troubles of life and the confusions you can always rely on Jesus being there and loving you as a Good Shepherd. The inspiration of the Resurrection Moment to me was that I asked their teachers, the pastor, Fr. Steve, and Deacon Charlie Allen to say a word. The kindergarten teacher, who has had a few Resurrection Moments, also said a few words. She told how she has loved them all this time and she just wanted the best for them for these nine years. What a beautiful witness from these teachers with each telling the young people something that they wished for them in their future living. Alleluia!
The second Resurrection Moment was when I went to the nursing home way out in the county to anoint Teresa Lee. She is one of our church family members who is transitioning over to the Kingdom. After the anointing and prayers I decided to anoint each of the eight children that were present and was able to get one on the phone. I asked each of them to, “Say a prayer to your mother as you are looking at her and she is probably able to hear you.” I was so impressed with the power, emotion and the total dedication of love to their mother in prayer. Jesus was the center of these prayers. Why did I decided to anoint them and then get them to say a pray of love to your mother? The Lord is leading me again in this Resurrection Moment.
Finally, claiming your soulfulness reflect on Psalm 23. Why is it so special to you and who taught you Psalm 23? One of my friends in scripture study said the other day, “When I think of Psalm 23 I think of my grandmother. I, on her lap and she reading the Bible to me, I will never forget it.” What a blessing this man had in his grandmother. All of you who are parents, grandparents, great grandparents, aunts, or uncles put those children on your lap and read the Bible to them and tell them why it’s so important to you. Maybe they will never forget it or maybe they will have that enter into their soulful response of love to the Lord. Imagine yourself doing that and you will be creating Resurrection Moments that may be remembered by these that you have nurtured in many ways but also spiritually nurtured through the years. Alleluia! Good Shepherd, have mercy on us. Alleluia!
Love, Fr. Bob