May 3, 2020

A HOMILY FOR THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – CYCLE “A” –  5/3/2020  –  SMG

+  Pax et Bonum!   Peace and goodness to you this day!

We all like to think that we are intelligent people.  We went to school or are going to school.  Hopefully, each day, with each experience, we continue to grow in knowledge and wisdom.  We all want to keep getting smarter.  So we keep reading.  We keep taking classes and trying to educate ourselves.  We strive to make smart choices, being well-informed, and making the decisions that are best for us and those around us.  And now of course, we have the internet.  So all those things that we can’t remember, that maybe we learned at one time or another, we can Google!   We are smart.   Just ask us.  We may not have all had straight “A’s” in school, or made the honor roll, or have high I.Q.’s, or be on the list of Time Magazine’s “100 Most Influential People”, but, but…  we think of ourselves as pretty smart.

In the Bible, God’s Word doesn’t talk about being “smart” near as much as it talks about being “wise”, and wisdom.  Wisdom is seen as a blessing from God.  And fearing and respecting God is seen as the very beginning of Wisdom.   According to the Bible, and according to our Faith, you want to be smart, you want to be intelligent, start out by respecting God, Who is the source of it all.  We see the importance of Wisdom in the lives of all the holy men and women of both the Old Testament and the New Testament.  The smart ones, the intelligent ones, recognized God and got to know Him.  We’ve got to remember this today.

This is Good Shepherd’s Sunday, the Fourth Sunday of Easter, and today, as we celebrate and remember, that we have a Lord and Savior Who is not just a “Good” Shepherd, but He is the “Best” shepherd, the Greatest Shepherd, a Shepherd Who laid down His life for His sheep.  That’s the given facts as we gather together today.  This God loves us enough, and cares for us enough, that He is the Good Shepherd leading us safely through this world, and home to Heaven.  That is something that is worth celebrating and rejoicing over, as we continue to celebrate this Easter season.  That’s what we know today.  You don’t have to be a genius to see this or figure this out.

What I want to talk about today is sheep.  You know, sheep are not such intelligent animals.  Sheep wander off.  Sheep do stupid things, that get themselves in trouble or danger.  Sheep will follow one another off a cliff, if you let them.  Sheep don’t realize that a wolf will eat them alive.  So a sheep will walk right up to a wolf, and say “What’s for dinner?”  These are not the smartest of God’s creatures.  They need a shepherd.  They need someone to watch out for them!  They need a Good Shepherd!

So what do sheep have to do with us?  Well, for all our wisdom, for all our intellect, for all our smarts, you know and I know, that sometimes we can act like stupid sheep.  We do ridiculous things, stupid things.  For example, did you know, that Tennessee’s most famous whiskey distiller, Jack Daniels, couldn’t remember the combination to the safe in his office, so he got mad and kicked it really hard.  He kicked it so hard, that he broke his toe.  His toe got infected and a couple of weeks later, it killed him.  Jack Daniels, a name that we all know, needed a Good

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Shepherd!  Jack needed somebody to show him a better way of dealing with his anger, than kicking a safe!  Do you ever do that?  Get mad at an inanimate object and kick it?  It’s stupid.  But I bet we’ve all done it.  We are a whole lot more like sheep than we like to admit.

You wanna be smart?  You want to be intelligent?  Let the Good Shepherd lead your life!   Follow Jesus.   Learn His teachings and put them into effect in your life.  It is the smartest thing that you can do in this lifetime!   We gotta be smarter than sheep, people!   It just cracks me up to hear so-called educated people talking about how they, in all their wisdom and knowledge, have determined that there is no God.  What a joke!  What a sure fire proof that they don’t know anything!  The beginning of wisdom is a healthy fear and respect of God.  And that fear and respect has to grow into a real love and devotion for a God Who is our Good Shepherd!

Let us not be sheep.  God has given us good minds and intellects to know, to love, and to serve Him!  We don’t have to follow the Good Shepherd.  Any of us, we can go our own way, as Fleetwood Mac used to say.  Life just works a whole lot better, when we go God’s way, and not our own!  Let us be smart enough to follow the Good Shepherd!  Every day!

+God bless us on this Fourth Sunday of Easter,  Father, Son, and Holy Spirit…      AMEN !!!

St. Maria Goretti… Pray for us !!!