Holy Cross Catholic Church

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4th Sunday in Easter - April 25, 2021

Dear Friends,

Today we celebrate what is called “Good Shepherd Sunday.” After telling us that He is the Bread that came from heaven and inviting us to believe in Him, Christ takes one step further to introduce himself as the Good Shepherd, which he truly is. Because as he says, the Good Shepherd gives his life for his sheep. This statement is fulfilled as we gather here, celebrating the sacrifice by and through which the Son of God, the Good Shepherd, our Shepherd, laid his life for us who went astray by our transgressions, denials and compromises.

The challenging side of today’s celebration is that we are not invited to just be the sheep. After accepting him as our Shepherd, Christ invites us to be transformed to shepherds of one another. By and through our baptism we have accepted to be one like Christ, Priest, King, and Prophet. This foundational aspect of our baptism is almost always overlooked. Dying with Christ is accepting  to become “keepers of one another,” in such a way that to live for us becomes ongoing struggle to lay our own life for the sake of our brothers and sisters. For, for us Christians, there is not such thing as “it is not my business.” In today’s world characterized by indifference and self-centeredness, to be a shepherd is an ongoing challenge we are invited to face. This is exactly where Christ is waiting for us; to demonstrate our availability to follow him as we let him transform us into shepherds for one another.

Shepherds and keepers of one another, we are challenged and invited to rethink our own understanding of the ways we are called to be shepherds. Christ wants us to be shepherds after his own heart. It is at this joint that I, as your pastor, am coming to you today to ask for your prayers. May the Lord who entrusted to me this responsibility of leading you to him give me the strength to always strive to shepherd this parish family after his own heart. For I know as he said, it is not I who chose Him but He chose me and commissioned me to proclaim his mercy and to be the sacrament of his compassionate heart amidst you, my brothers and sisters. I cannot thank you enough  for the blessing of each and all of you in this parish family.

I pray for everyone of you and your loved ones, that following in the footsteps of Christ, the Good Shepherd, we may all be transformed to keepers of one another. Let us look up to Him, who draws us to Him as we struggle in the ashes and mud of our nothingness, so that we may remain these vessels He uses, though broken, to spread His mercy and to bring all the sheep to one sheepfold. And let us continue to pray for one another and for our parish family.

Fr. Emery


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