Happy Mother’s Day to all of our moms, grandmothers, mother figures! Maybe we take for granted all that our moms and motherly figures do for us, especially when we were/are young, and there probably should be more than a day for mothers. Usually a house is not a home unless mom is there to make it a home. Moms spend many sleepless nights for many different reasons. Often they are professional jugglers, even if they don’t juggle balls, bowling pins, chainsaws, or flaming swords; they juggle kids and their schedules, work, keeping a home, and more. They have a taxi service without being paid. They worry about the wellbeing, character, and future of their children. Most importantly, they pray without ceasing for their children and help hand on the Faith to their children. Mary, Mother of God, pray for us and pray for all mothers!
Within the Church, we celebrate today the 4th Sunday of Easter. It’s hard to believe how quickly we journey through this Easter season. In the Gospel reading this Sunday, we hear from Chapter 10 of the Gospel of St. John, which centers around Jesus calling Himself the Good Shepherd, and therefore, this Sunday is often referred to as “Good Shepherd Sunday.” Last week’s Gospel reading revealed to us the Resurrection episode of Peter and company catching an incredible haul of fish, having breakfast with Jesus, and then Jesus asking Peter three times, “Do you love me?” Peter answers that he does, and Jesus tells him, “Feed my lambs...tend my sheep...feed my sheep.” Jesus is clearly using “shepherd” language. Peter goes from fishing to shepherding. In the Church, we need both: we need those willing to be “fishers of men” and those willing to feed and tend the lambs of Jesus Christ. In fact, all of us are called to be both fishermen and shepherds.
Pray for our shepherds: Pope Francis, Bishop Thomas, me, and all priests and bishops. In a certain sense, parents are shepherds of their families, their domestic churches, so pray especially for fathers and mothers. The enemy, Satan, attacks shepherds especially because a bad shepherd has deleterious and devastating effects on the flock. I know I mention this frequently, but it’s something worth repeating: pray and fast for an increase in vocations to the priesthood, pray for more shepherds. Encourage young men to consider God’s will and plan for their lives, and when discussing future careers, include priesthood in the conversation (even though it is far more than a career). Here is the prayer from our diocesan Office of Vocations: Lord God, in your plan for our salvation you provide shepherds for your people. Fill the hearts of young people in the Diocese of Toledo with courage and love. Raise up worthy ministers for your altars and make them ardent yet gentle servants of the Gospel. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Speaking of vocations to the priesthood, Deacon Tom Hunyor, who served here last summer, will be ordained a priest at Our Lady, Queen of the Most Holy Rosary Cathedral in Toledo on Saturday, May 28 at 10am. Sacraments are public events, and therefore, Deacon Hunyor’s ordination is open to the public. I invite and encourage you to attend and pray at the ordination. It is worthwhile going to see our magnificent cathedral, to witness a priestly ordination, and to support and pray for Deacon (soon to be Father) Hunyor. Also, you may have noticed during the Paschal Triduum and Easter Masses someone wearing a cassock and surplice and guiding the servers. That was another seminarian for our diocese: Fred Del Guidice. Fred is often seen here for Mass during time off from the seminary, and his family is regularly seen at St. Mary of the Snows for Mass. Please pray for Deacon Hunyor, for Fred, and for all of our seminarians (including Jay Livecchi, who was with us two summers ago)!
We are saints under construction, grateful for our mothers and following the voice of Jesus Christ, our Good Shepherd. Have a great week!