Fourth Sunday of Easter
On this Fourth Sunday of Easter we celebrate the World Day of Prayer for Vocations. The Church, in her wisdom, asks us to focus on the image of Jesus the Good Shepherd. In the Gospel of this Sunday (John 10:1-10), he states that the shepherd knows the sheep; they hear his voice and follow him. The image of the Good Shepherd is very significant to me. As your bishop, I am called to model my life on the Good Shepherd. As shepherd, I cannot be a stranger or “hired hand” who runs from danger.
I should know the sheep and they should know me. The Good Shepherd is willing to lay down his life for the sheep because he loves them and wants to protect them from all harm. The Good Shepherd works at building unity and is willing to seek the lost.
My episcopal ring has an image of the Good Shepherd with the lamb on His shoulders. It serves as a constant reminder of what I am called to be as your bishop. Please pray for me that I will have the grace to fulfill my calling despite my sin and human weakness. I also pray for you daily, that in your parishes you will also be that Good Shepherd who serves, loves, protects, heals, and unifies the flock under your care.
On this World Day of Prayer for Vocations, let us pray that the Father who loves us all will call many to be shepherds in the Church. May God bless you for all the good that you do for others and for being a faithful witness to Jesus our Good Shepherd.