Happy “Good Shepherd Sunday.” It is a beautiful day outside, with a cool breeze, light rain, and the birds singing. Today is also the “World Day for Vocations.” And finally, we are exactly 1/3 of the way to Christmas. Woo-Woo and Ho-Ho.
Today in Catholic History:
† 32 – Marcus Salvius Otho, Roman Emperor (d. 69)
† 1214 – Birth of King Louis IX of France, Third Order Franciscan (d. 1270)
† 1265 – Death of Roger de Quincy, 2nd Earl of Winchester, English crusader
† 1982 – Death of John Cardinal Cody, American cardinal (b. 1907)
† 2007 – Boris Yeltsin’s funeral – the first to be sanctioned by the Russian Orthodox Church for a head of state since the funeral of Emperor Alexander III in 1894.
Today’s reflection is about Jesus is God!
Quote or Joke of the Day:
For us Trinitarians (if I may say it with reverence) – to us God Himself is a society – G. K. Chesterton
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” (NAB John 10:27-30)
What does a shepherd do: it is much more than just forcing animals around a field? A shepherd lives with his charges 24 hours daily. He gives the sheep their food, and attends to any needs they may need. The shepherd teaches his sheep to follow the one chosen to be in charge of the flock. The shepherd watches the flock, and protects his flock, even with his own life. The shepherd will place himself in danger to rescue one little sheep out of thousands. The shepherd is the sheep’s life-giver and protector, as well as their teacher and leader.
Jesus, our heavenly and good shepherd, is truly a “shepherd” for us. He lives with us, and through us. He feeds us and tends to our needs. Jesus teaches and leads us. He watches over us, protects us, and rescues us.
So when He calls us “His sheep,” we should take that as an honor of a true love from Him. Jesus wants us to hear, know, and follow Him. For simply allowing Jesus into our lives and following Him, we will not only never die, but He also promises that He will never let anyone go.
The third sentence of this gospel reading is a two part sentence. I find it easier to read this sentence as, “As for the Father, what he has given me is greater than all,” or “My Father is greater than all, in what he has given me.”
Jesus is asserting His unity of power with God, and reveals that the words and deeds of His ARE the words and deeds of God.
“Lord, you are my shepherd, and I fear no evil in any valley or place, as I know you are always with me. For that I am thankful. Amen.”
Pax et Bonum
Dan Halley, SFO
Franciscan Saint of the Day: Bl. Pedro de San Jose Betancur
Blessed Pedro de San Jose Betancur, was born a poor shepherd. He prayed much as he tended his flocks. At 31 he travelled to Guatamala City to try find a job away from sheep. Here he became friends with the Franciscans and Jesuits and enrolled in the Jesuit College of San Borgia to become a priest. Due to lack of education he had to withdraw and became a member of the Third Order of St. Francis, where he took the name Peter of Saint Joseph. He is the first canonized Guatemalan native. He and other men founded the Bethlehemite Congregation or Hospitalers Bethlehemite who attended to the sick. He was born in 1619 at Villaflores, Tenerife Island, Canary Islands, and died in 1667 at Guatamala City, Guatamala.
(From http://www.franciscan-sfo.org website)
Secular Franciscan Order (SFO) Rule #25 :
Regarding expenses necessary for the life of the fraternity and the needs of worship, of the apostolate, and of charity, all the brothers and sisters should offer a contribution according to their means. Local fraternities should contribute toward the expenses of the higher fraternity councils.