A Reflection for the Fourth Sunday of Easter / Good Shepherd Sunday (8th May) 2022

Image: Pixabay/Quangpraha

This week’s soul food reflection is written by Fr Pat Doody. HE ministered in the USA, including as Provincial Delegate, and Kenya. In Ireland, he served in Greenhills parish for over a decade and as parish priest in Kimmage. Now actively retired, he coordinates Spiritan pastoral ministry in Dublin nursing homes & retirement communities.

Today we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday, which is also Vocation Sunday. In the Gospel, Jesus shows himself as the faithful shepherd who knows his flock. He is with them, giving them protection but also leading them. He is not driving them; they follow him. He is gently leading them to new pastures. How do we live out this call in today’s very different world? What kind of shepherd is required to meet the needs of the flock on the journey ahead? When we pray for vocations this Sunday what are we asking for? Is it only for priests to continue ministering to the same model of Church that we have had for the past hundred years or more? Or do we need to cast our net wider? 

We see Paul and Barnabas in the Acts of the Apostles embracing followers from all parts of the world. “I have made you a light for all nations”.

We feel helpless witnessing the tragedy, devastation and loss of life unfold in Ukraine in an immoral and evil war where millions have had to flee their homes and country. Thank God for the incredible response people throughout the world are giving to the call to be good shepherds, by offering their homes, their facilities and financial assistance to the millions of refugees.

May our hearts continue to be open to new horizons as the Good Shepherd continues to tap on the window of our soul whispering “come follow me” 

A poem by Angela Coleman

God calls … Leads 
We hear … Follow 
In the paths of peace
And along the ways of stone 
In the places of security
And spaces of challenge 
In the sanctuaries of silence
And the world of noise 
In the days of song
And the nights of tears 
Where the path is clear
And where it is hidden 
God calls … Leads 

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