We the people of St MacCullins Parish, Lusk, will identify the pastoral and spiritual needs of our parishioners. With the guidance of the Holy Spirit, we will encourage and support our community to use their gifts and talents to meet these needs. We will be faithful in serving the Word of God by reaching out and welcoming all in the spirit of all caring for all.
We the people of St MacCullin's Parish, Lusk, will serve God by gathering regularly to celebrate the Sacraments and by listening to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We will always be guided by our concern and care for the spiritual well-being of our community. We will welcome newcomers and visitors to our Christian community. We will respect the individual faith of others by our Christian belief in justice, equality and peace. We will ask the Holy Spirit to give us the courage to accept and embrace change in our Catholic Church. We will constantly pray to Jesus Christ for guidance in encouraging more of our community to help in carrying out the mission of God in our parish.
30 April 2023
Today’s reading falls between the stories of Jesus’ healing of the man born blind and the raising of Lazarus. Both of these stories were proclaimed in the Gospels found in this year’s season of Lent. Following the controversy that ensued when Jesus healed the man born blind, Jesus directs his allegory about the sheep and the shepherd toward the Jewish religious leaders of his time, the Pharisees.
Throughout John’s Gospel the Pharisees fail to accept Jesus’ ministry and teaching. They show themselves to be “robbers and thieves” because they try to lead the sheep without entering through the gate, Jesus. Through these metaphors, Jesus is telling his listeners that those who follow him and his way will find abundant life. He identifies himself both as the shepherd and the gate. The shepherds who are faithful to him are the ones whom the sheep (Jesus’ disciples) should follow.
The relationship between the sheep and their shepherd is based on familiarity. Sheep recognize their shepherd and will not follow a stranger. At the end of the day, shepherds lead their sheep from pastures to a common gated area called a sheepfold. There, one shepherd protects all of the sheep until the next day when each shepherd returns to lead his own sheep to pasture. As shepherds move among the sheep, the sheep follow only their shepherd.
Today’s Gospel also gives us the opportunity to reflect on Christian leadership. Jesus’ words suggest to us that those who will lead the Christian community will be known by their faithfulness to Jesus. The leaders will recognize that Jesus is the gate for all of the sheep and that having a good relationship with Jesus is the primary characteristic of a Christian leader. Jesus’ allegory also suggests that faithful Christian leadership requires a good relationship with the community: the shepherd knows his sheep, and they know him. Christian leaders follow the example of Jesus, the Good Shepherd, by being faithful to him and by being a good shepherd.
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Chapel Rd, Causestown, Lusk, Co. Dublin