Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross in Green Bay, WI
Reflection for April 30, 2023

Reflection for April 30, 2023

Following the Good Shepherd

Jesus calls us to  one mission through many ministries 

by Sister Laura Zelten

The Church dedicates the Fourth Sunday of Easter to  the Feast of the Good Shepherd, a day of worldwide prayer for vocations. Jesus is the Good Shepherd who knows us and is willing to lay down his life for us. Through Jesus, God lavishes us with love and calls us to follow. The Church now encourages us, as Jesus’ followers, to serve the flock by living to the fullest our chosen vocation, whether  as religious, married or single persons.

More than ever, our world needs to know the love of the Good Shepherd, to hear his voice, and to be led in his ways. Are we willing to carry on the mission of Jesus and give our lives for others? This call to service is for every baptized Christian. On Sunday, we will pray with the whole Church in asking God to bless us in our chosen vocation. The Universal Church continues to pray for men and women discerning a vocation to the priesthood, consecrated life and the diaconate. May they hear the voice of Jesus and respond generously by freely giving their lives in service to the Church. May we continue the work of the Good Shepherd with our lives. Let us open our hearts to the call of discipleship through which we serve one another.


04/28/2023 7:18 am

"More than ever, our world needs to know the love of the Good Shepherd, to HEAR HIS VOICE and to be led in his ways ... May [we] HEAR THE VOICE of Jesus ..." [Sister Laura]

In last week's gospel, Sister Mary helped us SEE how often "SIGHT" and "SEEING" [Christ-With-Us] were pronounced in the gospel. This week it seems to be OUR HEARING [the Voice of JESUS] that is pronounced for us.

"... the sheep HEAR HIS VOICE, as the shepherd CALLS his own sheep by name ... the sheep follow him, because they RECOGNIZE HIS VOICE."

What a gift we have in each one of our SENSES! This time of year, as weather warms, hopefully, on a more consistent basis, our SENSES come alive along with the SIGHT of budding trees and blooming flowers, the FRAGRANCE of lilacs and lilies-of-the-valley wafting in the air, like HOLY SPIRIT-With-Us.

It strikes me that JESUS, in this gospel, points out to us, not only how we come to know the VOICE of the Good Shepherd, but we also DISCERN the voice of the 'culprit,' the 'deceiver,' the one who does not care about wellbeing, and may even be out to destroy us.

JESUS concludes this particular gospel with a clear revelation for each of us to discern whose VOICE and whose WAYS are of Good, Goodness, and God. Like JESUS' first proclamation in the Temple as he began his public Ministry of Healing and Life-Giving Acts,

“The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon Me, because the LORD has anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor; God has sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound .." [Isaiah 61:1]

JESUS reassures us once again that he is FOR us in every aspect and dimension of our lives - spiritually and emotionally, socially and relationally, mentally and intellectually, as well as all physical needs of food, shelter, clothing, and health care.

"I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly." [John 10:10]

Ellen Kane
04/28/2023 9:51 am

Yes, say yes, to caring and shepherding our souls that are nourished with Jesus' love. Say yes to each moment, each breath, with gratefulness for the opportunity to serve one another with joy. Answer the call. Thank you, Sr. Laura, for your gentle guidance in helping us remember we are all called.

John Hansen
04/28/2023 12:55 pm

Very thoughtful reflection.

Thank you for sharing!

Blessings to you and your family as well!

04/28/2023 2:48 pm

Thanks, Laura, for reminding us to be willing to "lay down" our lives for others. There are so many opportunities to do that through our regular contacts.

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