Pastors Desk: Fourth Sunday of Easter / B

Posted 21st April 2018 in Pastor's Desk

Pastor’s Desk 22nd April 2018 - Fourth Sunday of Easter /B

4th-sunday-of-easterToday the Fourth Sunday of Easter we continue to reflect on the meaning of the Resurrection. It is Vocations or Good Shepherd Sunday. The worldwide church is asked to foster and pray for vocations to the Priesthood, Diaconate and religious life.

The Gospel today uses the image of the shepherd. But, everyone who is entrusted with the care of others is a shepherd. So not just priests or religious but also parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, community leaders, politicians etc. are all shepherds trying to lead or direct others in a context or setting.

It’s an increasing fact that the fall off in vocations to priesthood and religious life has begun to show an impact not just on parish life here in Dublin but throughout the country. Many parishes in rural towns and cities have had to consolidate mass times and priests have begun to travel from one church to another some distance away for the next mass. It would be easy to become disheartened or disillusioned for the future life of the church. We should never underestimate the power of prayer and how we all have a responsibility to foster vocations in our own families and communities. Pope John Paul II’s visit to Ireland in 1979 resulted in a marked increase in vocations. We can only pray that Pope Francis’ visit in August for the World Meeting of Families will have a similar effect.

So, we continue to pray for vocations. That women and men will be inspired to respond to the Lord’s call to priesthood or religious life and choose to devote their lives in his service.

Fr Gerry