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Liturgy

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter (I)

Acts 11:1-18
 Psalm 42: 2- 3, 43:3, 4
John 10:1-10

“I am the gate.” And to emphasize it even more Jesus says it a second time – “I am the gate.” So what was so important that Jesus had to say it twice? Jesus was speaking to the Pharisees after they refused to allow a man he just healed from blindness to enter a synagogue. Jesus admonishes them as not being true shepherds of the flock. Instead, it is he who is the true shepherd. So, to explain he uses a “figure of speech” or parable involving a shepherd and his sheep. In Jesus’ time, shepherds spent day and night tending to the needs of their sheep. They assured their access to food and water, and just as importantly, they protected them from the dangers of predators and thieves. Sheep were valuable commodities and the shepherds treated them so. In protecting them, shepherds would place their flock into a sheepfold at night. A sheepfold was a circular enclosure constructed of a low stone wall possibly with thorns on top to not only keep the sheep within, but to keep danger out. The only legitimate way for the sheep to enter or exit was through “the gate,” a small opening in the sheepfold where the shepherd would sit or lie and sleep.

In referring to himself as “the gate,” Jesus not only shows his commitment to protecting and caring for us, but more importantly Jesus is saying that he is our access to a rich and verdant life. As the Good Shepherd, Jesus shows us the way to heaven through his words and actions. But, we have to be willing to listen for and to his voice. As hectic as life may sometimes get, we need to remember to set aside time to pray and to truly listen to Jesus and his message. As Jesus said, he is “the gate.” He is our salvation and our way to God. If we listen to him, we are not only protected from harm, but we are given access to verdant pastures and an abundant life – life everlasting.

So, as we go about our daily lives, let us remember the importance of listening to our Divine Shepherd. Be open to his message and be comforted by a voice that is familiar, genuine, honest, and gives us life!

By Michael Kavan

Pope Francis Twitter Feed

* Our Way of Life *

 

"Our diverse talents and abilities, our differences in culture, nationality and age are assets for the richness of the community. Although we may be engaged in a variety of ministries, we all share the common call to apostolic discipleship in a community of the Catholic Apostolate of St. Vincent Pallotti."(OWL, 91)

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"Christ, the Apostle of the Eternal Father, and his mission are central to our personal and community life, giving meaning and direction to our thinking, our spirituality, our prayer, action and suffering." (OWL, 19)

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"As a community of disciples we are gathered around Jesus, the Apostle of the Eternal Father. Like the first disciples, we want to be with Jesus, be sent out by him and return to him to evaluate our service in the light of his presence." (OWL, 88)

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"As Pallottines, it is our special charism to foster growth in faith and love among the laity, to awaken them to awareness of their apostolic call, and to cooperate with them in furthering the apostolic mission." (OWL, 21)

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"Our relationships with one another should be marked by a love that bears all, believes all and hopes for all, a love that is neither conceited nor jealous, which hurts no one, nor is embittered or resentful. It is never discouraged but remains patient and kind. It rejoices with others and shares their suffering. It is with this kind of love that we should help and support one another." (OWL, 90)