5/14/2017 - SEE HOW MUCH I LOVE YOU!

This past Sunday, Jesus, through His Holy Gospel, revealed one of His Heart’s greatest desires for us! He wants us to both hear and recognize His sweet and powerful Voice! He is alive! He has trampled upon death! You can know Him and love Him in a deep and personal way! You can experience a compassionate and merciful love that is more powerful than sin, sickness and even death! As you hear the voice of Jesus, He wants you to hear Him calling you by name. As we have seen, this being engaged by the living God elicits a response in our own hearts. Jesus wants us to respond to His presence and voice! He wants to hear our  voices!  He  wants  us  to  call  Him  by  name! Ultimately, this communion and encounter with the living God, with a love that is more powerful than sin, sickness and death is what we are all searching for in our life.
   As we draw near to Jesus to listen to all that He is saying to us through the Gospel of the Good Shepherd, let us ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes, ears, and hearts that we might both hear and recognize the voice of our Savior.
   I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: MY PASSION AND DEATH
   When you hear my voice, do you recognize Me? Do you understand Who it is that is speaking to you? See how much I love you! I am the Good Shepherd! I laid down my life for you on the Cross. I bore your sins on the Cross and was wounded for love of you! Look at the wounds in my hands and feet! Look at the wound on my side! Look at the crown of thorns on my head! Look at how much I love you! Look with faith upon my wounds and all your wounds will be healed!
   I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: MY WHOLE LIFE
   I didn’t just reveal my love to you by dying and rising for you! My whole life is a testimony of how much you matter to Me, of how much I care about you! I was always in the midst of my people. I taught them. I fed them. I forgave their sins. I raised their dead. I supped in their homes. I healed their sick and wounded. I set them free from the influence of the devil. I wept with them. I rejoiced with them. My delight was to be in the midst of my people!
   I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD: EVEN NOW!
   Even now, I see you! I see your burdens and trials. I see your fears and doubts. My heart moves with compassion for you! Turn to Me! Speak to Me! Come to Me! Call upon My Holy Name!
   YOUR ONE TRUE ENEMY
   Don’t be angry at My Father! Don’t despair! Don’t give  up!  Let  me  show  you  how  your  anger  is misplaced! My Father didn’t create death. He didn’t reate illness or disease. He created you that you might share His abundant and eternal life. Your only true enemy is the evil one, the liar. The devil is a thief. He comes only to steal, kill and destroy. Don’t blame My Father for the works of the evil one. It was your unwillingness to trust My Father’s Goodness that brought sin into the world. It was your disobedience that brought death into the world. My Father and I are not neutral bystanders in the midst of your trials and tragedies. We are with you! Call out to us! Run into our loving embrace!
   THE GOSPEL IS ALIVE IN THE EUCHARIST
   Our Father offers us the very same graces He offered to Mother Mary. Mother Mary held the infant Jesus in her tender embrace. She saw a small, fragile, and helpless baby in her arms; yet, by faith, she saw God! She saw the Son of God! And she responded to the gift of the Father in a most perfect way: she surrendered her entire life to Jesus! She did everything for Him! All of her chores, all of her daily duties, everything she did, she did for the glory and praise of her Son!
   At every Holy Mass, Jesus is offered to us in a very humble way. He comes to us under the appearance of bread and wine. Yet, by faith, by a gift of the Holy Spirit, we begin to recognize more and more that when the priest lifts Jesus high in the Blessed Sacrament, that it is Jesus! That is God! And oh what love we experience when we receive Him into our hearts and lives! Let us imitate the example of Mother Mary! Let us respond to the gift of Jesus by surrendering our lives to Him, by doing everything out of love for Him and for His glory and praise!
   I want to wish all the mothers in our parish family a blessed Mother’s Day. I sincerely hope we all show them how much we love and appreciate them today and every day. For all of us whose mothers are in Heaven, may we feel their closeness today.
   Let’s remember to keep each other in prayer this week.