Our Lady of Angels | 656 24th Street San Diego CA 92102 us | (619) 239-1231
Our Lady of Angels
Greetings in the Lord!
The Fourth Sunday of Easter is Good Shepherd Sunday. The image of the Good Shepherd is perfect for Jesus because he laid down his life for us. Likewise, it also fits in with his Resurrection, because he has the power to lay his life down, and also the “power to take it up again.” The image of the shepherd can be traced back to Moses and reaches onward to our present day bishops.
Jesus’ pronouncement is immersed in the vast Old Testament context of God’s relationship with shepherds. The first was with Moses at the burning bush while he was shepherding (Ex 3:1). The second was with David, a shepherd boy, who was chosen as king (1 Sam. 16). And, finally during the Exile, after hinting that He Himself would shepherd His flock (Ez. 34:11-16), he promised another servant like David: “I will set up over them one shepherd, my servant David, and he shall feed them…and be their shepherd” (Ez. 34:23). Jesus draws on this rich Old Covenant preparation to identify himself as “the Good Shepherd.” From the lineage of David, he came to care for God’s flock; not only to lead them, but also to willingly die for them - the true test of a shepherd’s love. The “hired man” flees from this commitment, as he is not willing to die for the sheep. Jesus, however, says, “I lay down my life. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own in order to take it up again.”
On this Sunday may I request that we offer prayers for our shepherds: Pope Francis, Bishop McElroy, Bishop Dolan, all the bishops in the world both active and retired, all the pastors in our Catholic Church, that they remain faithful to Jesus and courageous to proclaim the Gospel in season and out of season, convinced that only in Jesus can there be true salvation.
For the week of April 22nd , 2018
Fr. Agustin T. Opalalic