Rev. Robert Zilliox Sunday Reflection – May 3, 2020

Jesus Christ the Good Shepherd:

Let Us Follow Him

Two ladies from New York had always lived a pretty sheltered life.  One day they decided to take a trip to England.  While they were touring the countryside, the one said to the other, “Look at those white cows. I’ve never seen cows like that before.”  The other replied, “Maybe they are albino cows. Or perhaps a special British type of cow.”  The guy sitting behind them said, “Those cows are sheep.”

On Easter Sunday we read about Mary Magdalene’s encounter with the Resurrected Jesus. On the Second Sunday after Easter, we heard the story of Jesus making two appearances to his disciples at two different times. Last Sunday we read about the two disciples, who after having encountered Jesus Christ on their way home to Emmaus, returned to Jerusalem to affirm the fact that the Lord had truly risen. As they were speaking Jesus appeared again in their midst. He imparted peace to them as a sign of his love and forgiveness, stretched out his hands and invited them to touch his wounds and even ate some fish to prove that he was real and alive. Later he opened their minds to understand everything written about him in the scriptures, and finally called on them to preach his Gospel and to be his witnesses to the whole world.

Today in the first reading from the book of the Acts of the Apostles we read how Peter and John, who had just a few days ago, locked themselves up in a room in fear of the people, stood before the same people unafraid and courageously testified to all that Jesus had said and done.

Today, what Jesus said in the gospel about shepherds we would understand better by making comparisons with dedicated parents.  One thing that will help us understand Jesus’ parable of the good shepherd is to look back in the Old Testament to the book of Ezekiel.  God condemned the kings and priests at the time of the prophet Ezekiel, because they were leading people away from God and not closer to him-which they should have done. Ezekiel compared the Jewish leaders to shepherds who had concern for the sheep, the people, but they used the people only to enrich themselves.  Ezekiel tells these wicked leaders, “Thus says the Lord God: I myself will look after and tend my sheep.  I good pastures will I pasture them.  I will give them rest, the lost sheep I will seek out, they strayed I will bring back, the injured I will bind up and the sick I will heal shepherding them rightly.”  Jesus is the fulfillment of Ezekiel’s prophecy.  He continues to guide us to eternal life, if we follow him.  We have all gone through those times when we don’t know where he is taking us, perhaps many times.

We need to call on him for hope and courage. Even if your life has been filled with hardships and tragedies do not fear because Jesus is with you, just live your life in his name. No matter what happens, face it and place your hope in Him, Christ the Risen Lord, the Savior and the Cornerstone, in whom you are blessed. Remember that Jesus shepherds you, and always directs you as his sheep and lambs, feeds you with his promises and strengthens you to resist temptations. Yes. With Jesus we can not only hope but also can have courage to move forward. Let us keep always Jesus and his teachings in our mind as we make our plans. As Saint Paul says, “Whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him”, Colossians (3:17).

I pray and wish that the peace of God that surpasses all understanding may keep your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus……..JMJ…..Fr. Bob!!!!