Liturgical Colour : Green or White (Religious)
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we listened to the Lord and His profession of faith and devotion to us, as He told us how a shepherd would go all out of his way, leaving those sheep which are secure with him, and find the one lost sheep until that sheep is found. Our Lord is the Good Shepherd, as He Himself had said, and therefore, we are His sheep, in the pasture that is this world, and He will devote Himself in the same way as the shepherd is devoted to his flock of sheep.
In the first reading today, Ezekiel, the prophet of Israel called when the people of God was exiled at Babylon, received a vision showing God in all of His majesty, who commissioned him to speak His words on His behalf to the people of God, and particularly those who had rebelled against God and walked in ways contrary to the way of the Lord.
Thus, both readings essentially talked about the same thing, that God is concerned with the fate of mankind, particularly those who are lost in the darkness of this world, which is caused by our sinfulness and disobedience to the will of God. God wants those sheep that are lost, to be able to find their way back to Him before it is too late, and thus He sent His servants, the prophets like Ezekiel and ultimately Himself through Jesus His Son.
God did not take our case and fate lightly, as He knows that there are only two end points for us all, that is either eternal goodness or eternal damnation. Satan and his supporters are ever active in our world, dragging mankind and all those who are not vigilant into the trap of sin and evil, much like how wolves drag and trap their unsuspecting preys, the lost sheep into harm’s way and death.
That is why He sent on our way, so much help and assistance, that is the assistant shepherds which He gave us to be our shepherds and leaders to help us on our way to the Lord, to guard us and help us to evade the wolves. These were the prophets, and then followed by the disciples of Christ and their successors, our priests and bishops today.
Brothers and sisters in Christ, today we celebrate the feast of a saint, St. Jane Frances de Chantal, a French noblewoman who lived during the late Renaissance era. She led a relatively normal life for the people of her age in that time, building up a family with her aristocrat husband, until she was widowed at the young age of twenty-eight with several of her children.
St. Jane Frances de Chantal then experienced a turn in her life, when she devoted herself to a life in devotion to God through charity and works, meeting up with saints and then established a congregation of women committed to the service of the poor, which she herself dutifully carried out for the sake of these lost ones of the children of God.
She was so devoted in her works, that despite all the opposition and challenges against her, even ridicule and obstacles would not allow her to give up her good works for God’s lost and weak children. It was indeed the same as how our Lord painstakingly worked hard to gather back all of His sheep, the lost ones, namely all of us, who had been sundered from Him ever since sin entered into the hearts of men.
We too have to follow her example, and the very example set up by our Lord, who as the Good Shepherd, did the ultimate act of love and devotion, by laying down His own life for His sheep, through the crucified Christ, that we all may live. It is important for us to realise how great is the love that God has for us, and therefore try our best to love Him back and seek Him with the best of our abilities.
Let us help one another on our way towards the Lord. Let us seek Him who is the Shepherd of all things living, and of all creations. He loves us all, and we should also all love Him back in the same way. Let us never be separated again from Him, and let us ask for the intercession of St. Jane Frances de Chantal, that our faith in the Lord will always be blessed by God. Amen.