Our Lady Queen of Heaven
Catholic Church, Harwich, Essex

Fourth Sunday of Easter (Year B) World Day of Prayer for Vocations 22 April 2018

Fr Frank writes:          


My Dear Friends,


The Good Shepherd is one who ‘lays down his life for the sheep’. How can we fail to see in these words an implicit reference to the mystery of the Lord’s Death and Resurrection? For this reason the Church gives us this Gospel reading during the Easter Season.


It is Jesus who is the real Good Shepherd, in contrast to all those who solemnly claim to be leaders and guides of the people but actually are only in search of power and self-interest.


The only Good Shepherd is Jesus. The interest and care of this ‘Shepherd’ is not limited: there are many ‘sheep’ dispersed and far, which he wants to gather so that the Shepherd can be united to all his sheep. We are a world-wide Catholic Church made up of many peoples and nations, but made one through the saving love of Christ. This oneness needs to find its reality in each one of us through the love we have for one another – after all, every person on the face of the earth is God’s child (cf: 1 John 3:1-2).


The allegory of the Shepherd reflects directly the person and the mission of Christ. His voluntary offering of life for his sheep is the reason for which the Father loves him. The sheep definitively belong to the Father; he who gives his life for the sheep is loved by the Father. The principle of belonging to the sheepfold (a world-wide love-filled Church) is that of mutual belonging and true communion between the shepherd and the sheep. It should be a communion as deep and indissoluble as the communion between the Father and the Son.


May Christ the Good Shepherd lavish you with his care.


Frank ofs


Sunday Smile: Driving too fast, the Rev Douglas barely missed a cyclist, and caused him to fall off his bicycle into the ditch. He stopped car, and apologised profusely. Then telling the man that if he could ever help him in any way, all he had to do was ask, he gave him his calling card. On the back was printed, “The Reverend Douglas Johnson is sorry he missed you today. He will try again another time.”