From Fr. James Shea, C.Ss.R.,
He lived in a little cottage high up in the mountain ranges of Montana. He was a sheepherder.
Once a month he would drive to town to buy groceries and pick up his mail. One month there were five mail bags waiting for him at the Post Office. He couldn’t believe it. Who could be sending him so much mail?
He hurried back to his cottage with the five bags, curious to find out who had sent him all those letters. When he opened up the bags he discovered that he had received 3,500 letters from the National Geographic magazine.
It so happened that National Geographic contracted with a company to mail out renewal notices. The company had just bought a new computerized machine. On the first day the computer had a glitch. No one caught the glitch until it had sent 3,500 renewal notices to a sheepherder in Montana.
Back in his cottage the shepherd opened every envelope. Each carried the same message. Your subscription expired three months ago. this is your final notice.
The shepherd dutifully completed all the renewal forms, all 3,500. he then drive 13 miles back to the Post Office. He mailed the renewal forms along with the money, back to National Geographic. He included a letter which said: O.K. I give up. Send me your tad-blasted magazine!
The message this weekend is about Christ the Good Shepherd. Christ refers to himself saying, “I am the good shepherd”. St. John tells us that Christ frequently introduced himself with “I am”.
“I am the bread of life.” “I am the true vine.” The 23rd psalm tells us so much about the life of teh shepherd. Fernando D. Alfonso, tells us about Psalm 23.
Fernando is a sheepherder in Nevada. He comes from twenty generations of Iberian shepherds. He explained the significance of the 23rd Psalm. THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD, I SHALL NOT WANT. Sheep instinctively know that before they have been folded down for the night, the shepherd has planned for their grazing the next day. HE MAKES ME TO LIE DOWN IN GREEN PASTURES. Sheep graze from around 3:30 am to 10:00 am.
The shepherd leads them to rougher herbage early in the morning, and then he leads them to green pastures. he finally takes them to a shady place where they rest and chew their cuds.
HE LEADS ME BESIDE THE STILL WATERS. Every shepherd knows that sheep will not drink gurgling water. Although there are many flowing streams in the Holy Land, the shepherd must find a pool where the water is calm. HE RESTORES MY SOUL, HE LEADS ME IN PATHS OF RIGHTEOUSNESS FOR HIS NAME’S SAKE. In the Holy Land each sheep takes his place in the grazing line in the morning, and keeps that place throughout the day. Once each shepherd rubs the animal’s nose and ears, scratches its chin and whispers affectionately into it ears. Then the sheep returns to its place in the feeding line.
THOUGH I WALK THROUGH THE VALLEY OF THE SHADOW OF DEATH, I WILL NOT FEAR EVIL; FOR YOU ARE WITH ME; YOUR ROD AND STAFF COMFORT ME. South of Jericho is a road leading to the Dead Sea. It is a narrow road leading through a mountain range. The valley is four and one half miles long. The side walls rise over 1,500 feet. In places, it is only 10 or 12 feet wide. Sheep cannot turn around in some places. It is an unwritten law amongst shephers that flocks must go up the valley in the morning hours and down toward eventide.
Last weekend was a banner weekend for St. Gerard. Over the weekend there were two retreats: the youth and the men’s ACTS retreat. The youth retreat, under the title “New Life”, began on Friday. The youth gathered in the Seelos roomin the Parish Center. Their retreat closed with the 10:30 Mass on Sunday.
The men’s ACTS retreat began on Thursday evening at the Antonian Retreat Center. It continued through Sunday morning as the men returned to St. Gerard for the 10:30 Mass.
The Holy Spirit filled the hearts of everyone in church. The youth enthusiastically sang their song during Holy Communion. The theme of the men’s ACTS retreat was “Touch me and you will see”. Gabriel Garcia wrote a song reflecting our theme. After Mass the brother retreatants sang this song.
Congratulations youth and ACTS retreatants.
Why does a small tax increase cost you two hundred dollars and a substantial tax cut save you thirty cents?
Fr. Jim Shea C.Ss.R.