as of: 05 May 2020:
I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. The hired hand is not the shepherd and does not own the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it. The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
“I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me— just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep”. (John 10:11-18)”
My beloved sisters and brothers in Christ,
May our Lord Jesus Christ be praised both now and forever. Amen.
We have just celebrated the Good Shepherd Sunday and I wish to express my sincere gratitude to God that we were able to worship together as a family in our community once again. Although some of us were unable to come for different reasons, we have everyone in our thoughts and prayers. May Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd continue to meet us especially in our moments of needs. The pandemic situation still places the challenge for us to live responsibly. We will continue to adhere to the strict recommendations and guidelines for safety and good health.
Jesus Christ our Good Shepherd is asking us to listen to his voice. He is telling us to follow him. He is asking us never to lose hope in spite of whatever is happening at the moment. Do you know why? It is because he knows us and he laid down his life for us. It is because we belong to his flock. Jesus Christ our Shepherd is saying to us, I am the gate. If you enter through the gate, you will be saved. As Peter would say, God has made both Lord and Christ, this Jesus whom you crucified. Peter wants us to receive forgiveness of sin through Jesus Christ. He wants us to receive the gift of Holy Spirit through him. Above all he calls upon us to save ourselves from this corrupt and wicked generation. (Acts 2:36-40) It is therefore, a call to follow the right path no matter how difficult or challenging it is. We must avoid cutting corners and following short cuts simply because it is most pleasurable or most convenient for us. Peter calls upon us to be patient in suffering especially when we insist on the good order of doing things. He calls upon us to follow the footsteps of Jesus Christ and insists that we will always receive our healing by his wound. (1 Peter 2:20-24)
My beloved in Christ, we are called upon to be good shepherds in our families, places of work and areas of business. We should be good shepherds wherever we find ourselves. This role demands sacrifices, for a good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. We should be prepared to lay down our own lives in our own little ways and different circumstances. We must make sacrifices for our families, for our Church communities and for our society in general. We must contribute positively in making our world a better place. We must also acknowledge the good efforts of those who are working day and night for the wellbeing of our human society. This is what it means to hear the voice of Jesus our good shepherd. This is what it means to enter through the gate.
As we heed the divine call of Jesus Christ our good shepherd and make sincere efforts to put it into actions, may Jesus our Lord and Messiah continue to be a banner of blessings and protection for each and every one of us. Amen
Peace be with you.
Father Stephen Oranuba