Congratulations to our children who make their First Communion today and thank you to their families for supporting their faith formation. Our prayers accompany you. Hopefully, regular participation in our communal celebration of the Eucharist is a central part of your family life.
Kevin Festerling, the representative of Kingdom Prep, the Wisconsin Lutheran Synod startup high school that wants to rent our building, made a very clear presentation last week to those who attended our open parish meeting about the faith-based values and goals of the school. The presentation to the Wauwatosa Plan Commission for a Conditional Use Permit is Monday evening, May 8. Please keep the success of this endeavor in your prayers.
Today is what is traditionally called “Good Shepherd” Sunday. Most of us don’t have a lot of personal experience with sheep. In our Gospel we heard, …the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
The practice that Jesus refers to is this: as it got dark, all the shepherds in the area would bring their sheep to a central place and they would be put in a big corral, mixing together. In the morning, the shepherd would come and call his sheep: they would separate themselves out and follow him, because they knew and recognized his voice. They knew they were safe with him!
Do we recognize our Shepherd’s voice? We can’t follow Him if we don’t hear His voice! This is yet another scripture passage that invites us to listen to Jesus, to let him walk with us. That is why the habit of taking time to be quiet and listen for the voice of the Shepherd is so important, the habit we cultivated with the One Percent Challenge. I encourage each of you to spend time daily in quiet with the Lord.
Good Shepherd Sunday is also a day we are asked to pray in a special way for vocations to leadership in our Church. This parish has been served from the beginning by members of the Salvatorian Family. I ask you to pray that God will send vocations, maybe some from this parish, to our Salvatorian Family: the sisters, the priests/brothers, and our lay community. If you would like more information about our family, please ask me.
-- Paul James Portland, SDS