This 4th Sunday of the Easter season the Scriptures present us with a resurrection-powered challenge. In the first reading from Acts, from St. Peter’s sermon we hear that in Jesus Christ..”There is no salvation through anyone else, nor is there any other name under heaven..by which we are saved” Further readings from God’s Word proclaim that we are called to be and become God’s children, through the leading of Jesus, the good shepherd. These truths are enhanced in our parish this weekend by two other facts. This weekend has been set aside by our Pope to be a World Day of Prayer for Vocations. We also are blessed to celebrate at our 10:30 Mass First Communion for our young ones. All these things present to us this vital resurrection challenge: Are we bridges or barriers for Christ our Shepherd?
Living our Holy Communion:
As we receive our Lord, present in the Holy Eucharist we are each called to enter into His holy wounds. In coming to Him in our brokenness, our woundedness, we can enter into and know His wholeness and holiness. As we allow His sacred Body to heal, as we allow His Holy Blood to nourish us in His redeeming love we then can know His Body being made whole. We can be and become His children, reaching out to others, wounded, hungering and in need of…Him. In the Presence of His love the walls of fear can be conquered, bridges of truth and mercy can be built.
Following our Vocation:
This Sunday we pray for vocations, especially to the priesthood and religious life. The callings of God are clear and plentiful. We need to pray for men and women , for ourselves to heed their vocation, to follow Christ our Shepherd. Now more than ever we need those who will faithfully heed the call to follow and proclaim Christ’s Presence and Truth in their lives and words. The importance is not in the specific role. The importance is in our being faithful in our relationship with Him allowing Him to reach out to those He brings into our lives building bridges of His redeeming love.
Sharing the Shepherd
In living our communion with Christ, in following our vocations, we are called to follow and share our Shpeherd. This brings us to recognize and experience that there will be those who don’t tread the same path we trod. There may well be those whose beliefs we may not agree with or understand, whose lives and actions may not adhere to our convictions. Does it matter? Is the answer in blind tolerance? or angry fear? The answer is in Christ. As we remember there are sheep of other folds we can then learn to share our Shepherd. We can know that while Christ is the only way to the Father, there are many paths to Christ. Paths that need bridges not walls built for the Savior.
Are we bridges or barriers for Christ? The answer will be found as we each seek, together, to live, in faith-filled love our communion with Christ and each other. It will be known as we seek to heed and follow in loving courage, the Shepherd of our lives in His vocation for our life.