Pastor's Corner

Fourth Sunday of Easter  we 4/20/24-4/21/24

Scripture scholars have pointed out that the Gospel of John was written some seventy to eighty years after the death and Resurrection of Jesus and so contained a developed Christology and ecclesiology which were more nuanced and detailed than those of the Synoptic gospels. The proclamation of the Gospel of John at this weekend's Masses presents a deeper understanding of Christ and His relationship with both the disciples and the Church. John refers to Christ as the Good Shepherd who will lay down His life for the sheep and this theme and description underscores a soteriology, or doctrine of salvation which was developing at the time. Christ was understood as the sacrificial lamb reminiscent of the lambs offered to God in the Hebrew Scripture. Much later Anselm of Canterbury will develop his soteriology on this basis. He taught that because the sin of Adam was perpetrated by a human, a truly human had to atone for that sin, but because it was directed against God, only Christ as truly God could atone as well. 

The image of the lamb and the transference to the image of the Lamb of God not only promotes the soteriology of the Cross but advances the notion of an intimate God offering a personal relationship with Him which is one of care and concern. For John, Jesus is unlike the hired shepherd who leaves the sheep in the middle of danger, but is one who has a deep and loving relationship with each of His sheep, or disciples. Our God is not only transcendent and so totally other and capable of the Cross, but immanent, untied to us by the goodness of the Holy Spirit. Jesus, in the words of John, urges unity, offering one voice and developing ones flock and one shepherd.

So too are we called to unity with others who we recognize as neighbors and so deserving of the satisfaction of basic human needs and rights which we receive because we are made in the image and likeness of God. Your gift to the Catholic Appeal provides that satisfaction and those rights. Whether it is food, clothing, security and welfare offered by the Catholic Charities or education offered through grants which drive Catholic schools, or housing provided in case of tragic and sudden loss, your gift to the Catholic Appeal is necessary and welcome. Please use the envelope provided and know that it is appreciated.

Thanks and have a great week!
God Bless,        Fr. Joe