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posted 11 May 2019, 13:33 by Our Lady of Fatima Church - White City London

The Voice of the Good Shepherd

In our very short Gospel today we hear Jesus as the Good Shepherd: “The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice; I know them and they follow me.” So, as the Good Shepherd, Jesus protects and cares for his people, for his Church. He knows and loves every sheep individually. The sheep for their part also need to recognise the shepherd’s voice and stay close to him as he will protect them from danger and lead them to good pasture. This is an image of the relationship which we are each called to have with God, within the “sheep-fold” of the Church.

A shepherd communicates with his flock through the different calls of his voice. We could say that the story of the Bible is of God’s call and our response. Abraham. Moses, David, all the prophets, Mary, Joseph – they all hear God’s call and respond. Jesus himself heard an inner call to come to the waters of the Jordan to receive baptism and the Spirit poured out upon him – after which he began his public ministry. He in turn called the disciples and many others – in the first reading we hear how Paul and Barnabas call others to believe in the Risen Christ. So to be a follower of Christ means to be one who listens and responds to his call. This means living in intimate relationship with him. So a good question to ask ourselves is simply, “How well, how deeply am I listening to God in my life at the moment? How can I listen better?”

On this “Good Shepherd Sunday” the Church also asks us to pray for those whom he is calling in a particular way at this time to serve the Church as priests, deacons and religious. We currently have 27 seminarians in training for Westminster diocese and we give thanks to God for each and every one of them. We also pray that many others will hear and respond to that same call – maybe even someone from our parish here in White City! What a blessing that would be for us all!

With Easter wishes & prayers from Fr Richard, Fr Ephrem & the parish team.