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Catholic Church / Pacoima, CA

Jesus, the Good Shepherd

Fourth Sunday of Easter

Throughout the gospels we hear Jesus teaching and preaching about the kingdom of God with images that are very much related with the way of living of the people in his time. This Sunday, for example, He presents Himself as the Good Shepherd the one who takes care of His sheep. He is not just any other shepherd that gets paid, has a schedule and may even run away when danger comes. Nope, Jesus is not that kind of shepherd, He is the Good shepherd, the one who is willing to give up his life for the sake of the flock. He says that His sheep will hear his voice and will recognize him; He knows them and they know him.

What a beautiful and powerful image. Just think about it! He is always there taking care of our needs; the one who protect us from the snare of the enemy. Let us echo the words of the psalmist in one of the most beautiful psalms. Psalm 23: “The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want, even though I walk through the valley of tears I have no fear because He walks with me with his crook and staff.” Indeed, Jesus is the good shepherd there is nothing we shall fear.

Fr. Abel Loera,

Readings for the Week

Monday: Acts 11:1-18; Ps 42:2-3; 43:3, 4; Jn 10:11-18
Tuesday: Acts 11:19-26; Ps 87:1b-7; Jn 10:22-30
Wednesday: Acts 12:24-13:5a; Ps 67:2-3, 5, 6, 8; Jn 12:44-50
Thursday: Acts 13:13-25; Ps 89:2-3, 21-22, 25, 27; Jn 13:16-20
Friday: Acts 13:26-33; Ps 2:6-11ab; Jn 14:1-6
Saturday: Acts 13:44-52; Ps 98:1-4; Jn 14:7-14
Sunday: Acts 6:1-7; Ps 33:1-2, 4-5, 18-19; 1 Pt 2:4-9; Jn 14:1-12

Saints & Special Observances

Sunday: Fourth Sunday of Easter; World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Wednesday: St. Damien de Veuster
Friday: Ss. Nereus and Achilleus; St. Pancras
Saturday: Our Lady of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima

Lady of Fatima A hundred years ago, on the 13th day of every month from May through October of 1917, the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children near Fatima in Portugal, bringing them an urgent message, calling for repentance and prayer, a message that has no less urgency today. Pope Benedict XVI described Our Lady of Fatima as “the Teacher who introduced the little seers to a deep knowledge of the Love of the Blessed Trinity and led them to savor God Himself as the most beautiful reality of human existence” (May 13, 2010).

In a century when atheistic totalitarian regimes would bring the horrors of genocide to hundreds of millions of people, and when equal numbers of innocent children in the womb would die through legalized abortion, this “deep knowledge of the Blessed Trinity” was and continues to be badly needed in our world.Among all the Church-approved Marian apparitions, Our Lady of Fatima is one of the most popular, especially among the Successors of St. Peter. On May 13, 1946, Pope Pius XII crowned the original statue of Our Lady of Fatima as “Queen of the world.” Blessed Pope Paul VI visited the Fatima Shrine on the 50th Anniversary, May 13, 1967. Both St. John Paul II and Pope Benedict XVI made pilgrimages there; and Pope Francis will do the same, next month, to celebrate the centenary of the first apparition. The Holy Father also will be canonizing the two youngest visionaries, Francisco and his sister Jacinta.

The devotion of St. John Paul II to Our Lady of Fatima was particularly profound. When a would-be assassin tried to take his life on May 13, 1981, the pope attributed his survival to her miraculous intervention. Therefore, as an expression of his filial gratitude, he went to Fatima a year after the assassination attempt and presented to Mary the bullet intended to kill him but which proved unsuccessful because of Divine Providence. That bullet today is part of the crown of Our Lady’s statue in Fatima.

This is the first in a six-part series of Bishop Thomas J. Olmsted’s reflections on Our Lady of Fatima.