From the Deacon’s Desk: Prayer and Inspirational Thoughts
May 8 – Fourth Sunday of Easter
This week we hear about a voice that is truer and sweeter, more powerful and strong, steadier than any other voice – the voice of the Good Shepherd – the voice of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Good Shepherd. Our shepherd into eternity! From our very birth He begins to call to us. He is our shepherd leading us, teaching us, and protecting us through life. He calls to us, if we but listen. He guides us and encourages us. Most importantly, he walks beside us, leading by his humility and example, and as we are reminded every Easter season, he sacrificed his life that we might live. As our Psalm says, “we are his people, the sheep of his flock.”
Jesus tells us “My sheep hear my voice…and they follow me.” We are called to follow in his footsteps boldly proclaiming the Good News as Paul and Barnabas do in our first reading. He calls each of us to be a light to all we encounter that we might be an instrument of salvation. The challenges of the past few years have reminded us of our total reliance on our Good Shepherd. It has humbled us as we have recognized that we are nothing without Him and everything with Him. We are each called to care for one another, but all we do is because of, and through Jesus the one true shepherd. The shepherd has ‘our back’ and is always there for each of us. This is how Jesus leads us. We are the ministers working for the true Shepherd. We need to let His voice ring out through the work we do in His name! Our joy must be our witness to his name!
As Vincentians, we are called to be the presence of Jesus to our neighbors AND ONE ANOTHER. Patience, compassion and trust in God must be our steadying influences. As Jesus walks with us, we are called to walk with others listening to their stories and offering them the calm and the hope of our Lord Jesus. We listen for the guidance of our Shepherd that we might help others find their way in life. We help them to come to know the Good Shepherd and to trust in His will for them. How do I truly look for His guidance in the decisions I make daily for myself and my neighbors? How do I bring comfort to those I minister to? How have I made my ministry even more grounded in prayer as I have been forced to find new pathways? How do those around me come to see the Good Shepherd through my presence?
Lord Jesus, you are the Good Shepherd in whom I trust. Help me to overcome my fears during this time. Let me draw ever closer to you in prayer. Open my ears that I may hear your will for me in all decisions I make. Give me the courage to hear and share the truth of your words. Allow me to submit humbly to all you call me to, and all you ask of me. Allow me to take the time to seek your wisdom, listening constantly that I may not go astray. Give me the grace to spread your calm and your hope to all I encounter. Give me the courage to now step out in renewed faith, engaging with others that we might bring glory and honor to your name. Make my heart burn with the desire to do your will always. We pray all of this in your name. Amen