Sunday, April 25, 2021

Fourth Sunday of Easter: Good Shepherd/Vocation Sunday


Jesus said: “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.”  (John 1: 1-10)

Today is the Fourth Sunday of Easter.  It is also known as Good Shepherd Sunday and Vocation Sunday.  We recognize that God calls every person to holiness; to love and care for each other. God accompanies us all with tenderness and compassion like a good shepherd in our journey through life.  Jesus is telling his listeners that those who follow him, and his way will find abundant life. He identifies himself both as the shepherd and the gate. The shepherds who are faithful to him are the ones whom the sheep (Jesus’ disciples) should follow.

The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd is based on familiarity. Sheep recognize their shepherd and will not follow a stranger. One time when I was visiting Ireland as we drove through the countryside there were several sheep on the mountainside each one with a distinctive marking.  These markings identified which shepherd they belonged to.  It was so interesting to watch as the shepherds came to collect their sheep.  The sheep knew who to follow and only went with their shepherd.  Let us always follow our true shepherd.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

Resurrection Prayer


Our sisters from the Province of Ireland posted this prayer the other day on social media.  As I prayed and reflected with it these days, I thought it would be good to share it on our blog.  May we always seek the light of the resurrection and choose life.

Resurrection Prayer by Kathy Galloway

Christ our life, you are alive

in the beauty of the earth

in the rhythm of the seasons

in the mystery of time and space


Christ our life, you are alive

in the creative possibility

of the dullest conversation

of the dreariest task

the most threatening event


Christ our life, you are alive

to offer re-creation

to every unhealed hurt

to every deadened place

to every damaged heart


You set before us a great choice.

Therefore we choose life.

The dance of resurrection soars and surges through the whole creation.

It sets gifts of bread and wine upon our table

This is grace, dying we live.

So let us live.


Sunday, April 11, 2021

Divine Mercy Sunday


Today we celebrate the Second Sunday of Easter also known as Divine Mercy Sunday. Some twenty-one years ago, Pope John Paul II proclaimed that the Second Sunday of Easter would be celebrated as Divine Mercy Sunday. This was proclaimed at the Canonization Mass of St. Faustina Kawalska, who worked throughout her life to make all aware of the merciful love of God.

In today’s Gospel, we hear the familiar story of Jesus’ appearance to the disciples while Thomas was not present and his reaction.  Thomas refused to believe without seeing – he needed proof that Jesus had indeed appeared to the others. Like Thomas, we too, are called to believe without seeing.  Thomas’ lack of belief should not surprise us.  He was reacting out of fear and grief. He wanted hard evidence that the Jesus who appeared to the other disciples was indeed the same Jesus who he saw crucified.  Thomas needed to see and feel his Lord.  A week later he would get his wish when Jesus would come again to the disciples gathered in the upper room.  Each time Jesus came, He greeted them with a greeting of peace.   “Now a week later his disciples were again inside and Thomas was with them. Jesus came, although the doors were locked, and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”  (John 26)

With Thomas as our model, we can have great hope.  Even when our fears overcome us Jesus is still there for us.  We are blessed as we believe without having seen.  As we continue the Easter journey let us always remember that Jesus is always there for us and we are called to show mercy to all those we encounter.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

Easter Sunday


He has Risen Alleluia!  Alleluia!

Easter Blessing by David Whyte (in memoriam for John O’Donohue) 

The blessing of the morning light to you, may it find you even in your invisible appearances, may you be seen to have risen from some other place you know and have known in the darkness and that carries all you need. May you see what is hidden in you as a place of hospitality and shadowed shelter, may that hidden darkness be your gift to give, may you hold that shadow to the light and the silence of that shelter to the word of the light, may you join all of your previous disappearances with this new appearance, this new morning, this being seen again, new and newly alive. (From The Bell and the Blackbird)


May you have

 The gladness of Easter

which is Hope

 The promise of Easter

which is Peace

The spirit of Easter

which is Love