This Sunday, as with so many Sunday’s in Spring, there are many moments calling for reflection. First and foremost, a very Happy Mother’s Day to all our moms! By God’s providential and loving plan, there would be no life without women, and more particularly, without moms. May all of our moms enjoy a memorable day, and may you know of the love and gratitude of your children.
I just spoke with my mom and the family gathered in Tell City. They were busy opening the pool for another summer season. I guarantee you no such events are taking place here in Wyoming today, where we are experiencing one of those Spring Winter Storms, snow, ice, and 20 – 35 mph winds.
Today is also Good Shepherd Sunday. A good part of the renewal of the Church will require more and more of our people to come to know Jesus in such a familiar way that we will so fall in love with Him that we will follow Him faithfully. Following of course begs the question: “where?” Today’s psalm response (Psaom 23) gives the answer: “to verdant pastures, restful waters, right paths, a banquet table, a place of anointing, a place of goodness and kindness, the eternal dwelling of the LORD.”
Good Shepherd Sunday is a time for each of us to listen for the Voice of Jesus, and to be attentive to this voice over all others, which prove to be mere distractions during this pilgrimage of faith. Today is an invitation to renew our conviction that the LORD is the Good Shepherd Who alone can give us what we long for – communion with Himself. Each of us is to grow in the wisdom that understands that only in following Jesus can we achieve the destiny of our life.
I pray that more and more families will place Jesus at the center of their lives. I pray that more and more young people will humbly pray to know the Good Shepherd, that He may lead them to understand and embrace God’s will in their life. I pray that every parish and family will call discover and empower the vocations our Church so desperately needs of holy married men and women and especially the vocations of religious and priests. Christ is calling. Let us listen.
If Christ is calling your son or grandson to become a priest, will you support this call and support your son / grandson to answer this call? If Christ is calling you to be a priest or religious, will you answer? … will you follow Him? I pray the answer will always be “Yes.”
Finally, some brief thoughts about yesterday’s graduation ceremony at Wyoming Catholic College. In keeping with tradition, this year’s graduating senior chosen to give the senior address was Joanna Mason from Rockville, Maryland. It is so refreshing to hear a young adult speak so articulately and comfortably of her faith. Her address clearly reflects that this class of graduates understands that they are to go into the world to carry on the great commission of Jesus Christ, following Him as our Good Shepherd, proclaiming the Good News, and setting the world on fire with the approaching Kingdom of God. Well done, Joanna and graduates. You give great hope to this bishop, and to many others.
I could not help but share at the banquet on Friday night my hopes for the future of these graduates. If I can do what I am doing as a bishop with the education I received, I cannot wait to see what this group of young people will do with the unique education they have received at Wyoming Catholic College.
I also wish to acknowledge what a fine commencement address Bishop James Conley delivered. He obviously shares an education very similar to what these young graduates of Wyoming Catholic College have received. Bishop Conley understands what a treasure a liberal arts education is, as well as how that rich gift imbued with faith is the remedy for the poverty of today’s society.
His challenge to the young graduates was to recognize the great treasure of our Christians faith along with our relationship in Christ. True human satisfaction comes from following Christ and living a life of witness to our faith in him. The encouraging reality for me is that I believe Wyoming Catholic graduates understand this fundamental truth.
Bishop Conley was also awarded this year’s Sedes Sapientiae Award. This award is given each year by the Wyoming Catholic College in honor of the College’s Patroness, the Blessed Virgin Mary. The award recognizes a Catholic who has made an outstanding contribution to articulating and defending the Faith in today’s Church.
Congratulations to our Wyoming Catholic graduates of 2014!
(photos courtesy of Joseph Susanka)0