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The 4th Sunday of Easter: Homily - Father Michael Kim

Today, in the Gospel Reading, Christ tells us, “I am the Good Shepherd.” As sheep in the fold, we feel protected, knowing that He gave His own life for us. He says that He has other sheep that are not of this fold, and that He also has to gather these sheep together.

Our mission, as Christians, is to help our Church to maintain the flock united. Bringing others to the fold is also a task that each one of us has. And if we do this, we will be able to form one flock under one shepherd, Christ.

As you know, the task of each priest is to be a good shepherd, to be well familiarized with his sheep, the Christians who belong to his parish, and to defend them from the ferocious wolves who try to attack the flock. He should be like Jesus, prepared to give his life, if necessary, to defend his flock, remembering the reward that Christ gives to him.

Today is the World Day of Prayer for Vocations, celebrated each year on this forth Sunday of Easter, the Sunday of the Good Shepherd. So, today is a day of prayer, asking God, in the name of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, for more vocations to the priesthood and the religious life.

Many times, there are young people who hear the call of the Lord, but they do not encounter enough support for that calling to bear fruit. We have to give them our support and tell them there is nothing greater than renouncing the world and giving everything for Jesus.

Do you know how many seminarians we have in Alaska? We have 10 Alaskan seminarians preparing for the priesthood. We know that preparing for the priesthood is a task of self-giving that demands fidelity to God and to oneself. Whoever is ready to follow Christ demonstrates it by trying to live an exemplary life in this world.

That is why, if we see a young man who is somewhat special who makes us think that he might have a vocation, family, friends, parish priest, and the entire community should support him so that his vocation will take root.

To be a priest, there will be many years of study, of spiritual and mortal trials and much sacrifice before he gets his priestly ordination. Even, to be a good priest, one must be well prepared, ready to defend the sheep.

He will also have to protect himself from the many dangers that life will throw at him. And, most importantly, he will have to forget himself, looking out for the good of others. He should remember the phrase Christ said, “I give my life for my sheep.”

Each church community is a flock. And we are members of that flock. As parishioners, we have to put in our grain of sand, showing that the center of our life is the Good Shepherd, Christ.

Next, we have to promote harmony and unity in the community so that its members feel comfortable and happy within it. All together, we will have to strengthen it.

So, when the wolves come, and I am sure that they will come, and want to separate us from our Church and our faith, they will not be able to take away even one sheep.

With unity and good harmony, we will be able to maintain, for Christ, one flock under one shepherd. Let us remember that Jesus gave His life for us. He is our Savior, the Good shepherd.

Since today is the World Day of Prayers for Vocations, I would like to remind your calling from God. 

If any of you are contemplating the religious life and the priesthood, then I would like to hear from you. If any of you enjoy a burning desire to serve the Lord by tending to the sheep, even as a lay missionary, then I would like to hear from you. If any of you entertain a spiritual mind that is continuously compelled to reflect on spiritual things, then I would like to hear from you.

As we continue with the celebration of the Holy Mass, may our minds be strengthened by the Word of God and the Sacrament of the Holy Eucharist that we are about to receive. And let us humbly ask the Heavenly Father for His grace to shine on our Parish by the power of His Spirit, so we may be blessed with religious vocations to fruitfully continue the ministry of our Lord Jesus Christ.


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