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Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of prayer for Vocations


From Pope Francis' message for today.


Hearing the divine call.... is the surest way for us to fulfil our deepest desire for happiness. Our life finds fulfilment when we discover who we are, what our gifts are, where we can make them bear fruit, and what path we can follow in order to become signs and instruments of love, generous acceptance, beauty and peace, wherever we find ourselves.


May these words encourage us today and throughout the coming week in our unique vocations.


The image of Christ as the Good Shepherd has a wide appeal even with those who may not have had a lot of experience with sheep and shepherds. It captures his love, compassion, and concern, especially for the lost sheep he holds against his breast. Christ’ heart is so big that there is a place for each one of us because we are all lost in one way or another and need the Good Shepherd to lead, guide and save us. When we experience peace, healing, forgiveness and reconciliation in our lives we know we are listening to his voice and that Christ is with us.


My nephew was ordained over a year ago now and he used the above image on his ordination card. Christ is seen stretching out his hand and in fact his whole body to save the sheep. It is a powerful image for us to ponder. This is the Christ that shepherds us and desires to shepherd those we know who are the most vulnerable.


The Good Shepherd has us all in view. He knows our hearts, our fears and doubts, our weakness, and limitations. His desire is to search us out, find us, include us, and include those who we may find difficult to include. Even for the early Church there was tension among those who came from the Jewish tradition and those from the Greek World, but we hear his voice loud and clear, ‘and there are other sheep I have that are not of this fold, and these I have to lead as well. They too will listen to my voice.’  Are we people who include or exclude? We all have a place in the heart of Christ.


You may like to listen to, 'A Place for me', from 'A Noble Work'.


Blessings on your week.

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