Today's Scriptural Meditation Readings:
May 3 A..D. 2009
Scripture from today's Liturgy of the Word:
Psalm 118:1, 8-9, 21-23, 26, 28, 29
1 John 3:1-2
A reflection on today's Scripture:
All of us love to acquire a new car or a new computer, but many of us are quite unaware of the power and possibilities in them. It can be dangerous to push the wrong button! It's just as foolish to let fear prevent us from pushing the right button. A famous sewing machine company has as its motto: "To know your machine is to love your machine."
The first two readings on this Good Shepherd Sunday are all about the incredible possibilities in connecting with the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. In the first reading, Peter stands before the religious leaders to speak of the power of Jesus' Name. In that sacred Name, he has just healed a crippled man in the Temple. He accuses the Jewish leaders of rejecting the power in that Name.
Even the apostles are just discovering that power. The early Church was in the process of expanding beyond the control of either the Temple or its conquerors. Indeed, the Roman Empire was itself an unwilling channel of its expansion. Despite persecution or imprisonment or death, the blood of martyrs would be the fertile seed of growth, as Tertullian prophesied.
In the second reading, John writes: "See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are." Even today, we are slow to realize the power and the possibilities in that fact. John further tells us that our destiny is to be like Him, and to "see Him as He is."
Jesus has told us what He is really like through many different metaphors, but the favorite one by far is that of the Good Shepherd. His loving sacrifice of Himself for our sins, His mercy, His caring, and His kindness are all sources of consolation to billions of people through the centuries. The favorite subject of artists is that of Jesus, staff in hand, carrying a lamb in his arms. Above all, a true shepherd has the power to defend the sheep.
In these days, the shepherds of our Church, from our Holy Father, Pope Benedict XVI, down to our own local bishops are determined to defend the truth that Jesus preached, whether it be the dignity of each human life, or the nature of marriage, or justice to the poor and downtrodden. We as Christ's disciples are called on more and more to follow the voices of our shepherds as they speak out.
It is a question of the obligation we have as children of God and followers of the Good Shepherd, to let our voices be heard both in our homes and in the public square.
- Msgr. Paul Whitmore
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Sunday, May 3, 2009
Fourth Sunday of Easter
Lives of the saints:
Full Scripture text from today's Liturgy of the Word:
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