Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep…I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep.
On this Good Shepherd Sunday, Jesus reveals beautifully who He is: a shepherd who will lay down His life for the sheep. Indeed, Jesus laid down it all for us so that we can live and have life abundantly in this life and the next.
When I think about a shepherd who lays down his life for his sheep, I think of priesthood. At every ordination, those to be ordained priests and deacons in the Church literally lay down their lives on the floor of the cathedral while the church proclaims the Litany of the Saints. At that moment, priests and deacons realize what their vocation is all about: laying down their lives for others so that they can have the joy, hope, love, peace and life that God wants for them. It is no longer about selfish desires; but, rather vocation is all about serving the other in love. No matter what vocation one is called to—marriage, holy orders, religious life, single life, etc.—laying down one’s life so that one can be loved is what it is all about.
In light of this, please continue to pray for Deacon Alex Clark, who just last week was called to the priesthood by Bishop Malesic. Congratulations Deacon Alex! What a gift and blessing it will be to celebrate your ordination to the priesthood, to becoming a shepherd who will lay down your life for others in love. Thank you for responding to the call of THE SHEPHERD in your life.
And for all those who are discerning the voice of THE SHEPHERD in your life, especially to priesthood, I want to make you aware of an event that will help you in this discernment. On Sunday, May 2, at 10:15 am, we will gather with Fr. Mike McCandless, our Diocesan Vocation Director, who will help those thinking about priesthood to better hear the voice of the shepherd in their lives. He will be preaching at all the Masses that weekend. Thank you Fr. McCandless for your time and generosity. Please email Frmerzweiler@stfparish.com to RSVP.
Lastly, congratulations to our 8th Graders who received the sacrament of Confirmation on Tuesday, April 20th. Thanks to Kathy Ott and all the Confirmation team who helped them along the way. It was a beautiful evening where Bishop Gries celebrated well who the Holy Spirit is in our lives. It was a privilege to pray with these confirmandi on Monday as they prepared for the sacrament. They truly are a great class with good, sincere hearts! Blessings to you all!
May God’s peace and joy be with you,