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.
Today’s first reading describes how Paul and Barnabas opted to listen to the voice of Jesus the Good Shepherd and follow him, and how, like their Master, they were rebuffed and rejected when they tried to share the good news of salvation. It also suggests that the sympathy of the early Christians for the Gentiles caused a rupture with Judaism.
The second reading, taken from the book of Revelation, depicts Jesus as both the glorified Lamb and the Shepherd. John’s vision encourages his readers with the assurance that every person who has ever followed Christ and led others to him will share everlasting life with him.
The Gospel text offers us both comfort and great challenge. The comforting message is that no one can snatch the sheep out of his Father’s hands. The challenge is that pastors and lay people alike should be good shepherds to those entrusted to their care.
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 d) cooperate in the activities of various councils, ministries and parish associations.
(3) Let us pray for vocations to priestly and religious life so that we may have more good shepherds to lead, feed and protect the Catholic community.
Acts 5:12-16, Rev 1:9-11A, 12-13, 17-19 Jn 20: 19-31 We are an Easter People! We live in the age of the Resurrected Christ and we are baptized into a faith that calls us into stewardship and evangelization. In today’s reading from the Acts of the Apostles, we see the earliest “Easter People” in action. They continued to spread the good news. They cared for one another; they cured the sick; they cast out unclean spirits. In short, they continued the work begun by Jesus. You and I are called into the same mission, but we would be wise to remember another story…the story of the boy with the evil spirit in Mk 9: 14-29. In this passage, which actually took place before the resurrection, the disciples were unable to cast out the boy’s demons, and they had to call on the help of Jesus. When the disciples asked why they were unsuccessful, Jesus explained that this kind of demon can only come out by prayer. As missionary disciples, we MUST remember that we do not act of our own accord; we act in accordance with the will of God. We cooperate with His plans and we must include prayer and fasting as we do so. If we are to continue living as an Easter People, then we must always work in conjunction with the one who commissioned us to do so!
Message From Our Pastor
Aloha Sisters and Brothers,
Easter lilies bring out the new season and new life because Easter is all about new Life, Victory over sufferings and death.
Easter is the most important Feast for us Christians as St: Paul says, “And if Christ has not been risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain” (1 Corinthians 15:14)
Easter celebration remind us our Baptism and our baptismal commitment to renounce all evils and believe in Jesus Christ and all his teachings.
By our Baptism we share the responsibility in the church we come to worship every Sunday. We all have a part that we can do for the growth of the Church and our Faith. In our stewardship way of Life; there are four pillars that we must develop:
1) Hospitality: Which means welcoming everyone not chasing away people coming to worship the Lord.
2) Prayer: We must pray every day, join the prayers in the church. Not only for Masses on Sunday if possible daily masses. First Friday adoration and Novenas.
3) Formation: Learn more about our faith. Read Bible more often. Attend retreats and other classes about our Faith.
4) Service: we all must give back to God. Everyone is blessed with so much and we are expected to share with others what we are given by the Lord.
Soon we will have a Ministry Fair in our Parish, where you will be able to sign up in any Parish ministries or organizations that you can share your time and talents for the Lord. Please come and share your responsibility for the Church you have embraced by your Baptism.
Thank you everyone and May you all have blessed Easter season