4th Sunday of Easter Musings

I went to Mass yesterday at 4 PM for those of you who may not have gotten that last week. Our son assists with our AV equipment. Our church has these big screens where we display the words to songs and make sure that everyone can see the lectors, cantor, and priests. Some really like this, some don’t. Technology in the church…different topic for a different time.

Our assistant pastor, Fr. J.P. Morgan (yes he’s Irish) had the honors of giving the sermon. He began talking about the old western films and how there were always pioneers and settlers.

At first I didn’t follow his line of thinking, but I think I have it now. Paul and Barnabas were pioneers bringing their brand of faith to the settlers. Some of the pioneers could be a rowdy, misbehaving lot and not necessarily welcome in the town. Paul and Barnabas appeared to be trouble makers, stirring things up at the local temple. In stepped the sheriff, the Jewish Sandhedrin, and chased them out of town. Paul and Barnabas shook the dust from their sandals and headed out for more welcoming territories which they found among the Gentiles (that would be us!). The really awesome part is that they were filled with joy and the Holy Spirit as they went along.

As we get into the second reading and the gospel we see that Jesus was also a pioneer, but not just any pioneer, he was a shepherd. I think that perhaps I’ve heard this before, but Fr. J.P. pointed out that shepherds were not your high class citizens of the day. A shepherd had no home, they wandered from place to place always looking for grazing land. This also makes me think about those westerns and how much trouble there always was between the cattle and the sheep ranchers. Real men didn’t eat mutton! Once again, Jesus aligns himself with the lowest of the low by calling himself our Good Shepherd.

A shepherd’s life was not an easy one. He was often rejected, misunderstood, lonely, and homeless. He was surrounded by defenseless, dependent, and whiny (baa-baa-baa!) charges. Many times the shepherds would travel in groups together ,but those sheep knew their shepherd, they recognized his voice among all the other shepherds. Now that’s amazing!

So I have to ask myself, do I know the voice of my shepherd? Can I recognize his voice above all the noise of this world? Am I willing to follow him wherever he leads me? For me, it’s a battle with self-pride, I just know so much better than anyone what I need and want! I make myself a mini-god in my own little world-Marci knows best! I struggle to stay humble, to focus on others first, and to listen to that small voice within. I have to be willing to spend quality time in the arms of my Shepherd.

May you have a blessed week and be filled with joy and the Holy Spirit- Marci

“…For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” Rev 7:17


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