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A Word From Fr Jaybee 1/5/2020

Vocation and Relationship Greetings of peace brothers and sisters...... The basic thing we learn in school before we start reading, writing and accessing information is the ABC. Without knowing the basic ABC, we cannot proceed to the next step in learning. In the same manner, we cannot proceed to the next step in life without knowing the basics of LIFE. What are the basics of life? When God created man, he finds the man alone and lonely. For this reason, God then created another creature with the same nature as the man – the woman. As we all know, the basic thing between these two creations is relationship. Jesus claims himself as the Good Shepherd. What does it mean? A shepherd tends his flock. He gathers the sheep to pastures by day and into a sheepfold at night for protection. As a good shepherd, he loves his sheep and develops a strong bond, and intimate relationship with them. Here, the message is clear that shepherding entails relationship. Jesus is the good shepherd to His believers. Jesus too is desirous of having an intimate and close relationship with his flock. He shows his dedication and love to the people of God with the image of the Good Shepherd. Pope Francis said: “Every vocation is born of that gaze of love with which the Lord came to meet us, perhaps even at a time when our boat was being battered by the storm. We will succeed in discovering and embracing our vocation once we open our hearts in gratitude and perceive the passage of God in our lives.” (Message for World Day of Prayer for Vocations, 2020). In this challenging time, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, we witness people coming to the fore with patience and courage, such as medical practitioners, health workers, essential service workers etc. All are trying to do what is good for God’s flock. Priests here in our Diocese and the whole world are trying to connect the parishioners to the Church in this time of personal separation from the sacraments like having no weekday and weekend celebrations of the Mass. When we talk about shepherds, it doesn’t only mean for priests though this theme points directly to them; but it also addresses parents as shepherds to their children, employers to their employees, leaders to their members, and others. In this time of isolation, we can still do our part by talking to them over the phone, asking what assistance/support we can give, and most importantly praying for their protection. The essential thing that each of us can do is to pray regularly and earnestly to strengthen our bond with Jesus and with each other and to nourish our calling as shepherds. I always remember what my spiritual director told me, “Your priesthood is not all about planning and doing something for the Parish, but first and foremost is your deep and intimate relationship with the owner of the mission who called you – a deep and strong union with Jesus. Your success in doing his mission lies in his hand. It is his grace that gives you strength and courage to endure in doing his mission. Without his grace, everything you do is futile.” In our prayers, we also include our young people that they find their vocation and strengthen their bond among their family members and God. Happy Good Shepherd Sunday.......God bless us all ......


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