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Our Lady of Victory / St. Malachy
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Our Lady of Victory
490 Charles Street
Gatineau, Québec
J8L 2K5

Mass:     Sunday   9:00 AM
            Thursday 10:00 AM

St. Malachy
3889 Route 315
Mayo, Québec
J8L 3Z8

Mass: Saturday 7:00 PM





Fr. Albanus’ Reflections on the Sunday Liturgy

Risen Lord, the Good Shepherd
On this fourth Sunday of Easter we continue our reflections on the meaning of the Resurrection. Today, there is a special emphasis on the Good Shepherd. The Gospels of the fourth Sunday of all three cycles come from the tenth chapter of John’s Gospel. Hence, it is called the Good Shepherd Sunday. The risen Lord is celebrated as the Good Shepherd who lays down His life for His sheep. The earliest Christians saw Jesus as the fulfillment of the ancient Jewish dream (prophecies) of a Good Shepherd. Today is also World Day of Prayer for Vocations. In the first reading from the Acts of the Apostles, St. Peter continues his speech in answer to the authorities questioning the healing of the cripple. He asserts that there is no salvation except through Christ, the Good Shepherd. Jesus is the one rejected and crucified by the leaders. He faced this in order to fulfill the mission entrusted to Him by the Father. It is in His name the apostles preached and healed. Faithfulness to Christ may land the apostles in similar situations. We should however remind ourselves that unswerving loyalty to the Gospel is more important than human friendship. What moved Peter to action on behalf of the cripple was his faith in the Lord Jesus who, as a Good Shepherd, cares for such people. The Lord Jesus, according to St. Peter, is not offering just physical healing (salvation). The healing of the cripple is only a sign of the total salvation that Jesus has in store for people.

In the second reading, St. John tells us how God, the Good Shepherd expressed His love for us through His Son Jesus, the Good Shepherd, by making us His children. This letter is said to have been addressed to the Judeo-Christian community at the time some members were advocating false doctrines, denying the full divinity and full humanity of Jesus, disregarding the commandment of love of neighbor refusing to accept the faith in Christ as the source of sanctification, and denying the redemptive value of Jesus’ death. John argues that we are privileged to be called children of God and that is who we are. The life of God that we, as Christians, received in Baptism is a spiritual life. It is a gift from God; its presence cannot go unnoticed because it produces concrete signs that all can see. This new reality that is in us will be made manifest only when the veil of this physical life of ours is removed. When we see God as He really is, when we are like Him, then we shall realize fully what we already were (Armellini, F Vol. B, p.123).

In the Gospel, Jesus introduces Himself as the Good Shepherd. Jesus, the Good Shepherd is a protector, the fighter who, at the risk of His own life, stands up to anyone who threatens His flock. This is the picture John uses in today’s Gospel. Jesus is the true Shepherd not because He cuddles and caresses His sheep, but because He loves them so much that He is ready to lay down His life for them. It is a comforting Good News that Jesus, the Good Shepherd, knows us, provides for us and loves us. He is in contrast with the hired person, the mercenary whose contract would not demand that he/she should lay down his/her life for the sheep. A mercenary is concerned with the money, his salary. He/she sticks to the minimum laid down in the contract. The Good Shepherd does not stop to consider his/her rights, duties, what the law asks of Him, what agreement binds Him to the master; his/her law is just one: his/her love for the sheep, and love knows no limits, runs risks, and is ready to suffer for the flock. Jesus claims that as a Good Shepherd, He knows His sheep and His sheep hears His voice; He knows each of us, our needs, our merits, and our faults. More than intellectual, the knowledge here is the one that comes from love and leads to care and concern for the other. He loves us as we are, with all our limitations, and He expects us to receive and return His love by keeping His word. He speaks to us in the Scripture, through our pastors, parents, families and friends and through our lives. He gives eternal life to us His sheep by receiving us into His sheepfold, Baptism and strengthens us through the rest of the sacraments. He protects His sheep by placing them in the loving hands of His Almighty Father. He guides and protects us from the spiritual wolves of this world. He goes in search of the stray ones and heals the sick ones (sacraments of reconciliation and anointing of the sick). More than the true shepherds of the ancient days who protected their sheep from wild animals and thieves by risking their lives, Jesus dies in expiation for the sins of all people. We are all being challenged to become good shepherds to those entrusted to our care and good sheep to those placed over us in various capacities. The Christian should not fear to give up his/her life because s/he knows that death cannot destroy the life that God has put in him/her. Giving up one’s life is necessary so that the fullness of life may be revealed. Happy Sunday!


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490 Charles Street • Gatineau • Québec • J8L 2K5
Telephone: (819) 986-3763
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