[The following is a transcript of a homily given by Fr. Ricardo Rosales during the daily Mass at St. Francis of Assisi parish in Castle Rock, CO on May 8th, 2017, with some minor changes in formatting, etc.]
We all need to become good shepherds and good leaders. Everyone who is entrusted with the care of others is a shepherd. Pastors, parents, teachers, doctors, nurses, government officials, managers and supervisors, among others, are all shepherds.
We become good shepherds by:
· Loving those entrusted to us,
· Praying for them,
· Spending our time, talents and blessings for their sanctification, and
· Guarding them from physical and spiritual dangers.
At the same time, we need to become good sheep in the fold of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. Our parish is our sheepfold, and our pastors are our shepherds. Jesus is the High Priest and the Bishops are successors of the Apostles. The pastors are their helpers, and parishioners are the sheep.
As good sheep of the parish, the role of the parishioners includes:
· Hearing and following the voice of our shepherds through:
o Their homilies,
o Formation classes, and
o Activities in the parish.
· Receiving the spiritual food given by our pastors through:
o Regular participation in the Holy Mass,
o Frequent reception of the Sacraments, and
o Participation in prayer services
· Cooperating with our pastors by:
o Giving them positive suggestions for the welfare of the parish,
o Encouraging them in their duties, and
o Lovingly correcting them with constructive comments when they misbehave or fail in their duties
· Always praying for our bishops and priests
· Praying, as well, for vocations.
And a quote from Saint Jean Vianney that I would add to the end of Fr. Ricardo's notes:
“The priest is not a priest for himself; he does not give himself absolution; he does not administer the Sacraments to himself. He is not for himself, he is for you.”
(c) 2017 Rev. Ricardo Rosales. All rights reserved.