Fr Thomas’ Homily for the 4th Sunday of Easter

The Good Shepherd

A brave man, Peter Chanel, sailed to the stormy Pacific Islands, to tell them what Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth and the life”.  This weekend we celebrate the feast of St Peter Chanel along with that of St Joseph the Worker, the two patrons of the parish. Protomartyr of Oceania, Peter Chanel, in particular bore witness to Jesus who said, “I have come so that you may have life and have it full”.  It is interesting that Jesus did not say that his teachings are the way to fullness of life, but he as a person is the way to the fullness of life.

How can we enter through the person of Jesus, especially considering that there is no physical person of Jesus available now?  Jesus the man is not on the face of the earth anymore.  But his physical presence continues in the parish gatherings as the “Body of Christ”.  That means no amount of catechesis and pious prayers will be good enough unless you are bonded to the Body of Christ and make the worshipping body the parish as your way of life.  When we bond with the members of the worshipping community of the parish, we are bonding with Jesus Christ.

Eucharistic Communities, like Parishes, need priests to celebrate Holy Mass to make it the Body of Christ.  Today is also Vocation Sunday, and we pray that more men will consider the ministry of priesthood, and men and women will hear the call of God to religious life.  All services towards the welfare of the humanity are praiseworthy.  But nothing is as blessed as the ministries to the Body of Christ.  Let us make our lives fuller through Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd.