FORTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

Saying what needs to be said

I really like this time during the Easter season, between Easter Sunday and
Pentecost. Many of the Readings bring me back to the joy of Easter, and the
sacrifice that God/Jesus made for us. This week’s Gospel reading is no different
as Jesus speaks of sheep and says “I am the Good Shepherd, A good
shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. It never ceases to amaze me when I
think about God creating us completely out of love, for no other reason than to
be in relationship with Him. Then, when we turned away from that relationship,
He came to us and lived with us, and became us, and then ultimately
sacrificing Himself in order to reconcile ourselves with Him thus giving us the
opportunity to spend eternity with Him, and to live in Him. So, in order to be a good shepherd, we must be
willing to sacrifice as well. Sometimes, we end up in situations where we must stand up for God, and also, I believe
sacrifice is at the core of evangelization as well.
There are two examples that come to mind that might illustrate my point a bit better. The first is by St. John Paul II, and
the other was by a friend of mine.
In 1998, St. John Paul II visited Cuba. He was the first ever Pope to visit Cuba. On one occasion, I recall, he was giving
a speech and as part of the speech I remember him saying “Things have to change here”. What was remarkable about it
was the fact that Fidel Castro was sitting a few feet away from the pontiff, and clearly was not happy with what was happening.
What I liked about John Paul II’s speech was that he could have faced real ramifications for his speech, but that
did not stop him. He spoke the truth and said what needed to be said. He truly laid down his life for us, the sheep of his
flock.
Another example for me was one time, we were doing a live broadcast of a music awards show. It was about to go live
all across Saskatchewan. We had a production meeting before hand when one of the crew sarcastically said “Maybe we
should pray.” So one of my friends who was on the crew said “good idea”, and she did. It created a somewhat awkward
moment which she truly could have been ridiculed for, but ultimately she stood up for what she believed and proposed
Jesus to the outside world. Afterwards, I walked over and told her that that was the best thing I had ever seen, and it
really was. Both of these examples are what God is calling us to do, to bring and share his love with all. We may all
face different circumstances, but it is the same call.
God bless you all, Deacon Danny

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