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Good Shepherd

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrated “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This is always the case with the 4th Sunday because there is always a Gospel with imagery about Jesus as Shepherd. It is interesting to me that the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd has remained so popular and appealing to people down through the centuries. Most of us have no direct contact with sheep or shepherds, and yet there seems to be some sort of comfort or assurance that people feel with this kind of imagery.

There is of course the famous 23rd Psalm which is a favorite prayer of many people. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” It is a prayer of confidence, especially in difficult times.

In the Sunday Gospel we hear Jesus saying that his sheep hear his voice. They follow him and he gives them eternal life. Who are these sheep? Ourselves, of course. Do you and I hear his voice? The voice, the message, indeed comes to us in many different ways. First of all it comes through the scriptures and then through the traditions of the Church.

But the voice of the Shepherd also comes to us in many ways in our life experiences. It starts with our parents and what they try to teach us as little children and as we grow up. The voice comes to us through other teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors all through life. The voice comes to us whenever anyone tries to do good for us and to help us along the way.

We, in turn, become that voice, as we also reach out in any manner of love, compassion, instruction to other people.  And so, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.”  The voice, the message is always there in one way or another. We need to keep listening.

In these days of warfare and news of violence and civil strife, can we hear a voice of sanity, of peace, of justice coming through all the noise? Let us indeed keep listening for that voice of our Shepherd.

Life and Peace

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrated “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This is always the case with the 4th Sunday because there is always a Gospel with imagery about Jesus as Shepherd. It is interesting to me that the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd has remained so popular and appealing to people down through the centuries. Most of us have no direct contact with sheep or shepherds, and yet there seems to be some sort of comfort or assurance that people feel with this kind of imagery.

There is of course the famous 23rd Psalm which is a favorite prayer of many people. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” It is a prayer of confidence, especially in difficult times.

In the Sunday Gospel we hear Jesus saying that his sheep hear his voice. They follow him and he gives them eternal life. Who are these sheep? Ourselves, of course. Do you and I hear his voice? The voice, the message, indeed comes to us in many different ways. First of all it comes through the scriptures and then through the traditions of the Church.

But the voice of the Shepherd also comes to us in many ways in our life experiences. It starts with our parents and what they try to teach us as little children and as we grow up. The voice comes to us through other teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors all through life. The voice comes to us whenever anyone tries to do good for us and to help us along the way.

We, in turn, become that voice, as we also reach out in any manner of love, compassion, instruction to other people.  And so, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.”  The voice, the message is always there in one way or another. We need to keep listening.

In these days of warfare and news of violence and civil strife, can we hear a voice of sanity, of peace, of justice coming through all the noise? Let us indeed keep listening for that voice of our Shepherd.

The Paschal Mystery

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrated “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This is always the case with the 4th Sunday because there is always a Gospel with imagery about Jesus as Shepherd. It is interesting to me that the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd has remained so popular and appealing to people down through the centuries. Most of us have no direct contact with sheep or shepherds, and yet there seems to be some sort of comfort or assurance that people feel with this kind of imagery.

There is of course the famous 23rd Psalm which is a favorite prayer of many people. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” It is a prayer of confidence, especially in difficult times.

In the Sunday Gospel we hear Jesus saying that his sheep hear his voice. They follow him and he gives them eternal life. Who are these sheep? Ourselves, of course. Do you and I hear his voice? The voice, the message, indeed comes to us in many different ways. First of all it comes through the scriptures and then through the traditions of the Church.

But the voice of the Shepherd also comes to us in many ways in our life experiences. It starts with our parents and what they try to teach us as little children and as we grow up. The voice comes to us through other teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors all through life. The voice comes to us whenever anyone tries to do good for us and to help us along the way.

We, in turn, become that voice, as we also reach out in any manner of love, compassion, instruction to other people.  And so, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.”  The voice, the message is always there in one way or another. We need to keep listening.

In these days of warfare and news of violence and civil strife, can we hear a voice of sanity, of peace, of justice coming through all the noise? Let us indeed keep listening for that voice of our Shepherd.

A Lonely Figure

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrated “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This is always the case with the 4th Sunday because there is always a Gospel with imagery about Jesus as Shepherd. It is interesting to me that the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd has remained so popular and appealing to people down through the centuries. Most of us have no direct contact with sheep or shepherds, and yet there seems to be some sort of comfort or assurance that people feel with this kind of imagery.

There is of course the famous 23rd Psalm which is a favorite prayer of many people. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” It is a prayer of confidence, especially in difficult times.

In the Sunday Gospel we hear Jesus saying that his sheep hear his voice. They follow him and he gives them eternal life. Who are these sheep? Ourselves, of course. Do you and I hear his voice? The voice, the message, indeed comes to us in many different ways. First of all it comes through the scriptures and then through the traditions of the Church.

But the voice of the Shepherd also comes to us in many ways in our life experiences. It starts with our parents and what they try to teach us as little children and as we grow up. The voice comes to us through other teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors all through life. The voice comes to us whenever anyone tries to do good for us and to help us along the way.

We, in turn, become that voice, as we also reach out in any manner of love, compassion, instruction to other people.  And so, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.”  The voice, the message is always there in one way or another. We need to keep listening.

In these days of warfare and news of violence and civil strife, can we hear a voice of sanity, of peace, of justice coming through all the noise? Let us indeed keep listening for that voice of our Shepherd.

Praying

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

This past Sunday, the 4th Sunday of Easter, we celebrated “Good Shepherd Sunday.” This is always the case with the 4th Sunday because there is always a Gospel with imagery about Jesus as Shepherd. It is interesting to me that the image of Jesus as Good Shepherd has remained so popular and appealing to people down through the centuries. Most of us have no direct contact with sheep or shepherds, and yet there seems to be some sort of comfort or assurance that people feel with this kind of imagery.

There is of course the famous 23rd Psalm which is a favorite prayer of many people. “The Lord is my shepherd. There is nothing I shall want.” It is a prayer of confidence, especially in difficult times.

In the Sunday Gospel we hear Jesus saying that his sheep hear his voice. They follow him and he gives them eternal life. Who are these sheep? Ourselves, of course. Do you and I hear his voice? The voice, the message, indeed comes to us in many different ways. First of all it comes through the scriptures and then through the traditions of the Church.

But the voice of the Shepherd also comes to us in many ways in our life experiences. It starts with our parents and what they try to teach us as little children and as we grow up. The voice comes to us through other teachers, pastors, coaches, mentors all through life. The voice comes to us whenever anyone tries to do good for us and to help us along the way.

We, in turn, become that voice, as we also reach out in any manner of love, compassion, instruction to other people.  And so, Jesus says “My sheep hear my voice.”  The voice, the message is always there in one way or another. We need to keep listening.

In these days of warfare and news of violence and civil strife, can we hear a voice of sanity, of peace, of justice coming through all the noise? Let us indeed keep listening for that voice of our Shepherd.

Love Your Enemies

By Fr. Tom Zelinski, OFM Cap.

On the 7th Sunday of the Year, Series C, we hear one of the more challenging and central teachings of Jesus: “Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.” This is another example of how Jesus challenges our natural human tendencies.

He is, in effect, telling us to be more like our merciful God, who lets the rain fall on the just and the unjust. He is telling us to act out of mercy and certainly not in anger and revenge. Our world still badly needs to learn that lesson.

When I read this passage, I stop to consider if I have any enemies. I am not aware of people who are trying to hurt me in any way. We who can say that are blessed. However, if not enemies, there are people who do things that I don’t like and who can stir anger in me. I disagree with them. They do things which seem wrong and unjust. How would Jesus want me to think and act with regard to them? I cannot agree with their behavior. Perhaps I can try to better understand. And I certainly can pray for them. I can be honest about my own faults.

No matter how hard we try to live the Gospel, we will never be in complete agreement with everyone. There will remain evil in the world. We will stumble ourselves once in a while. We will have to leave much up to the mercy of God.

The strong words of Sunday’s Gospel remain an ideal which we may never fulfill in this life. We keep reading and listening and allowing these words to speak to us and slowly transform our lives.

Morning of Reflection: The Last Voicemail of St. Francis Assisi

Grow as a disciple. Renew your faith. Deepen your spirituality.

At our monthly Mornings of Reflection, gain a deeper insight on faith from a Franciscan perspective. Topics vary by month. This month’s topic is “The Last Voicemail of St. Francis of Assisi” and it will be presented by Br. Antony Julius Milton, OFM Cap.

This topic explores the Testament of St. Francis which contains his last words of advice, admonition, and blessing as well as his spiritual legacy to his followers whom he loved dearly. Thus, for Franciscans, it’s a highly important document to consider as we imbibe the spirit of St. Francis in following Christ. The Testament captures, in a nutshell, the spiritual legacy of St. Francis’ entire life-long desire to follow the Gospel of Christ.

We invite you to join us this month to explore this topic in depth. A digital copy of the testament is available at https://ofm.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/11/Testament.pdf and Br. Julius will provide copies at the talk as well.

Agenda:

  • Optional 8:00 am Mass in the Chapel.
  • Registration begins at 9:00 am
  • The program starts at 9:15 am
  • Lunch served at Noon

Registration is required, please call Capuchin Retreat at (248) 651-4826 to reserve your place.

The suggested donation is $40. There will be coffee, tea, and snacks available and we will serve lunch as well.

Morning of Reflection

Grow as a disciple. Renew your faith. Deepen your spirituality.

At our monthly Mornings of Reflection, gain a deeper perspective on faith from a Franciscan perspective. Topics vary by month. Watch this space for updated details on topic and presenter.

Agenda:

  • Optional 8:00 am Mass in the Chapel.
  • Registration begins at 9:00 am
  • The program starts at 9:15 am.
  • There are two morning sessions with the program ending before noon.

Registration is required, please call Capuchin Retreat at (248) 651-4826 to reserve your place.

The suggested donation is $35. There will be coffee, tea, and snacks available.

Morning of Reflection: Preparing for Advent Through Mary

Grow as a disciple. Renew your faith. Deepen your spirituality.

At our monthly Mornings of Reflection, gain a deeper perspective on faith from a Franciscan perspective. Topics vary by month.

The Advent season contains two very important feast days: The Immaculate Conception on December 8 and the Virgen de Guadalupe on December 12. Both are closely tied to our Church, historically and as patronesses of our land, but these feasts can also deepen our preparation for the Incarnation of Jesus Christ.
Fr. Vito Martinez will present Advent as “A Witness of two Marys.” Join us for an opportunity to reflect on Advent as a season of preparation for The Gift and as means to understand the Incarnation through the theological significance of Blessed Mother, as understood by her immaculate conception and her apparition to a lowly, indigenous, catechist.

Agenda:

  • Optional 8:00 am Mass in the Chapel.
  • Registration begins at 9:00 am
  • The program starts at 9:15 am.
  • There are two morning sessions with the program ending before noon.

Registration is required, please call Capuchin Retreat at (248) 651-4826 to reserve your place.

The suggested donation is $35. There will be coffee, tea, and snacks available.

Morning of Reflection

Grow as a disciple. Renew your faith. Deepen your spirituality.

At our monthly Mornings of Reflection, gain a deeper perspective on faith from a Franciscan perspective. Topics vary by month. Watch this space for updated details on topic and presenter.

Agenda:

  • Optional 8:00 am Mass in the Chapel.
  • Registration begins at 9:00 am
  • The program starts at 9:15 am.
  • There are two morning sessions with the program ending before noon.

Registration is required, please call Capuchin Retreat at (248) 651-4826 to reserve your place.

The suggested donation is $35. There will be coffee, tea, and snacks available.

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