The 4th Sunday of Easter
THE RISEN ONE, GOOD SHEPHERD AND GATE
Since many years now, the 4th Sunday of Easter has also been the World Day of Prayer for Vocations and the image of the Good Shepherd is always evoked. The shepherd knows his sheep and can distinguish them from those of another flock. This shepherd loves each of them, and seeks the lost one. We are invited this Sunday to pray for vocations. I would say that we also need to be communities conscious of our role of awakening the vocations we need. We have to understand that each and every one of us shares the same responsibility of seeking out the ministers who will participate with us in our mission.
That is why I like the image of Jesus as the Gate in the Gospel. A gate can be closed, protecting us from the danger outside. It can also be opened to allow people in, letting the life of the world touch us, come to meet us. The gate can be opened to the world inviting us to go and discover what is on the other side. It can be opened to facilitate encounters with those who live near us, but above all, to allow us to go out into the sunshine and discover that Christ is there, among all those people who seek happiness. And most importantly, we have to be present there with him.
The Church of Quebec wants the Christian Communities to embark on a missionary shift; to go where misery and injustice wreak havoc; to be radiant faces of the love of the Father for all his children, even for those who do not know him, especially for them. We need men and women with a more specific vocation. But there must already be believers who open the doors to the world today, witnesses in words and deeds of that faith that drives them. Then the soil will be more fertile and the fruits more numerous.
Let us not forget that the mission of the Church depends on the commitment of all its members. Our baptism makes us priests, prophets and kings. We are responsible for the life of the Church together, whether we are ministers or not. The Good Shepherd invites us to walk with him and follow him on the roads of the world. What are we waiting for?
Adjointe à la coordination pastorale