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Trust, listen and follow!

 

Today’s liturgy challenges us in three ways. Firstly, it challenges us to trust in God and never to be despaired, no matter how difficult events in our lives can be, because Christ the good shepherd, is always there to lead us to greener pastures, and make our cups overflow with good wine.

That is why the responsorial psalm reminds us that “We are his people, the sheep of his flock”. That means, as a shepherd never departs from his flock, or allows them to be endangered, Jesus will never depart from us, or allow us to be endangered. As a shepherd leads his flock to greener pastures, Jesus is leading us to a better life here on earth, and to an eternal life in heaven. Secondly, today’s liturgy challenges us to be “listening sheep”. Jesus emphasised the qualities of his sheep when he said: “My sheep hear my voice… and they follow me”. As the sheep of Christ’s flock, do we listen to his voice in the words of the Sacred Scripture and in the teachings of the Church? How do we follow Christ our shepherd? Do we have compassion on the poor as he did? Do we pray as he prayed, and do we have passion for the things of God as he had? In our world today, priests are always there to help us hear the voice of Jesus, and follow him through the celebration of the Word and Sacraments. How do we respond to their ministry as representatives of Christ, who act in the person of Christ the head of the Church? Do we take advantage of their ministry to listen to the Word of God, and receive the Sacraments frequently? Thirdly, today is otherwise known as Vocations Sunday, and we are challenged to pray for and support more vocations to the priesthood, diaconate, and religious life, in other to assist more people to hear the voice of Christ the good shepherd, and then, to follow him. Our world needs an increase in vocations to attend to the spiritual needs of our increasing population, and we are challenged to make this possible with our prayers and support. Our prayers will inspire and motivate more people to respond positively to their divine call, and our support will enable them to perform their tasks well. It is extremely important that we pray for ourselves and for each other too. We all have a vocation, and have been called by God in some way, to use the gifts he has given us in the service of others. We are all called to be shepherds to each other, to help others hear the Lord’s call – to follow him!

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