Answering the Call: The Joy and Blessings of Following the Good Shepherd
As we delve into this Sunday’s Gospel reading, we are transported into the world of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. In this profound passage, we witness the divine care and protection of the Good Shepherd for His sheep. Jesus calls out to His sheep, and they hear His voice and follow Him, knowing that He will lead them to the green pastures where they will find rest and peace.
Today also marks a special day for the Church, as we celebrate the 60th World Day of Prayer for Vocations. On this day, we celebrate those who have been called to the priesthood and religious life, and we pray that more men and women will be inspired to follow in their footsteps.
During his homily, Fr Dom shared with us some of the incredible joys that he has experienced by answering the call to the priesthood.
- As a priest, he has the immense privilege of celebrating the sacraments, including the Eucharist, which is the source and summit of our faith. This is a sacred and humbling responsibility, and it brings great joy to be able to share in these moments of grace with the people of God.
- As a shepherd of his flock, Father Dom can make a real and tangible difference in the lives of his parishioners. He can lead various ministries and outreach programs that serve the needs of the community. And with the guidance and strength of the Good Shepherd, he can achieve remarkable things for the kingdom of God.
- In answering his call to the priesthood, Father Dom has experienced a deepening of his relationship with Jesus Christ. He knows that he is not alone on this journey, but rather that Jesus is with him every step of the way, offering guidance, strength, and encouragement. And through the people he meets along the way – his fellow priests, his parishioners, and those he serves in ministry – he has found a community of support and encouragement that helps him to continue growing in his faith and ministry.
The Gospel passage also reminds us that Jesus knows us intimately. As it says in John 10:14, “I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and my own know me.” Jesus knows us better than we know ourselves, and He desires for us to know Him too. As we reflect on this passage, let us ask ourselves: Do we know Jesus?
In the first reading, the apostles boldly proclaimed the Gospel message to the crowd in Jerusalem, calling on them to repent and be baptised. The crowd’s response was one of genuine inquiry, asking the apostles what they must do in response to the message. Reflecting on our own lives: What changes can we make to actively live out our faith and become more faithful disciples of Christ?
Let us trust in the Good Shepherd to guide us along the path He has chosen for us. Let us also pray for those who have been called to the priesthood and religious life, that they may continue to find joy and fulfilment in answering their call, and that more may be inspired to join them on this journey.