Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan

Jesus said, “I came so that you might have life and have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 This gift of life is a cause for rejoicing.  Easter is a season for thanksgiving. Jesus chose to come to this earth as the Shepherd of our souls. He came to find the lost and to restore them to their proper existence. At what cost? His very life. “When he was insulted, he returned no insult; when he suffered, he did not threaten…he bore our sins in his body on the cross, so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness…Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example that you should follow in his footsteps…you have been healed.” 1 Peter 2: 20-25

Just as Jesus freely chose to offer himself as the “Shepherd and guardian of our souls,” 1 Peter 2: 25 we, too, have a choice to follow him. We can claim the rewards of Jesus’ death and Resurrection, but there will be a price to pay.  We need have no fear of what is to come, because we walk behind our leader, Jesus, the Christ.

The image of Good Shepherd is very powerful one.  It almost cost Jesus’ his life by stoning. John 10: 1-23  We may ask why?  Shepherds weren’t exacting at the top of career choices. Psalm 23 gives the answer, “The Lord is my Shepherd.”  When Jesus said, “I am the Good Shepherd,” he was claiming to be God.

The Jewish law demanded a stoning to death for anyone who claimed to be God. They even tried to arrest at this time.

This coming Saturday, May 13, is the 100th Anniversary of Our Lady of Fatima appearance in Portugal.

She appeared to three shepherd children, Lucia, 9, Francisco, 8 and Jacinta, 6. Mary is known by several titles in this apparition – Immaculate Heart of Mary and Madonna of the Rosary. Actually, an “Angel of Peace” appeared to them several times, preparing the way for the “Lady in White” to make herself known to the children in 2016 during the time of World War I. She asked the children to devote themselves to the Trinity and to pray the Rosary daily for the end to war and conversion of sinners.  Mary predicted that more war, starvation and the persecution of the Church would continue through the ages, but that her Immaculate Heart would triumph. It is a good practice to carry a Rosary in your pocket to remind you of the need for prayer and penance for personal conversion and that of the whole world.

This Sunday is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations. Pope Francis in his Sunday Regina Coeli Address, called the faithful to follow Jesus, the Good Shepherd and to beware of the “stranger,” who may lead us away from Jesus with “false wisdom” and distract us from the path through the “gate” of salvation, Jesus.

Devoted to the Good Shepherd, I remain your sister,

Sister Rosemarie Goins, Felician Franciscan


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