Saturday, June 17, 2023

From Fr. Frank

I visited Robert a few days ago and he reminded me of a person who really had no one in his life to lead him and guide him. Jesus was filled with compassion in today’s gospel as he looked upon the people who were “troubled and abandoned, like sheep without a shepherd.” Robert was certainly abandoned,  in that he lacked a consistent presence of love and structure as he grew up. Jesus sends the apostles, He sends us, He sends you to reach out to the lonely, the abandoned, the sick, those possessed by demons of addiction.

Jesus prays that we call new people to shepherd people who are lost, laborers in the vineyard to do the work of the Gospel. If you are baptized, you share in the priesthood Christ which compels you to do something about and with your Baptism. If you are called to parent, be a good shepherd for the gift of the child entrusted to your care. Love them, guide them, lay down your life for them so they grow into human beings with purpose and direction.

If you are called to be single, use your time to shepherd the people in the various areas of your life, including those you encounter when you are volunteering. How we “spend” our time speaks volumes as to how giving we are. If one’s whole life is career and getting ahead, the loneliness will most certainly settle in at some point down the line of aging.

Being a disciple of Christ means living a life if service and sacrifice. It’s all about giving back when much had been given. For the vast majority of us, we have been given much in our families, imperfect as they are, in our education, in the very circumstances of our birth. Jesus is calling each one of us to give back by reaching out to those who aren’t as fortunate as we have been, the many individuals whose circumstances of birth and upbringing gave them few of the benefits we received.

Robert now has shepherds, our parishioners, who are doing the best they can to fill a void with love.