Skip to main content
Bulletin PostsFr. Jay LettersServeThe 23rd Times

Apr 21st, 2024 | The 23rd Times

By April 17, 2024April 29th, 2024No Comments

A Message from Fr. Jay

Dear Friends,

In one of my worrisome chitchats with a few friends about Vocation to Priesthood – on how and why it has been in a declining mode, one of my friends said that perhaps God wants more vocations to the family life to genuinely counteract the chaotic and disordered ideologies that affect the institution of family. He rightly indicated how our spirituality has to permeate deep-down to the family rather than remaining at the periphery of ‘Priesthood’ and how the Priesthood has to reach deep down to the families. This Sunday is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Vocation to the Priesthood, Permanent Diaconate and Consecrated Religious Life are especially considered in our prayers. Yet let us remember that Vocation to family life is the most important need.

This Sunday is also called Good Shepherd Sunday. Interestingly there are many similes used in explaining the relationship between God and man like Potter/Clay, Vine/ Branches, Bridegroom/Bride, Deer/ Live streams of water and Good Shepherd and Sheep. Shepherd and Sheep is not simply a simile but an icon of leadership in our relationship between God and man. The sheep are raised to be slaughtered one day and yet the (Good) Shepherd pays so much attention and cares for the sheep and is even ready to lay down his life for them.

I read a story about Fr. Thomas Byles who was a Catholic Priest on board the sinking Titanic. Declining to escape with a lifeboat when offered to him, he helped save the lives of so many passengers from second- and third-class decks. Then he started saving the souls of the rest who were left behind without lifeboats by hearing confessions and giving absolution to hundreds. He died along with them but saved himself by being a good shepherd even at the danger of his own death. This is the type of leadership we all need for our country, Church and families.

In the first reading, Peter asks the leaders of people and elders to consider the resurrected Jesus as the corner stone. In the second reading, John reminds us that we are children of God. Keeping Jesus as our corner stone and realizing that we are children of God, will make us listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and thus help ourselves to become good shepherds to our sheep.

Let us be good (listening) sheep to the Lord and become good shepherds to our country, our church and our family.

God Bless,
Fr. Jay

  • Reading 1: Acts 4:8-12
  • Reading 11: 1 John 3:1-2
  • Gospel: John 10:11-18