Fourth Sunday of Easter
3rd May 2020
This Sunday is normally known as Good Shepherd Sunday because of the readings we are presented with on this day. The Gospel from John this year has the beautiful image of the shepherd who cares for his sheep and knows each and every one of his own.
‘The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice.’ (Jn 10:2-4)
The sheep follow because they recognise the familiar voice of their master. They trust him because they have experienced his protection in the past, they feel secure with him because he knows his own, individually and personally.
I think The Good Shepherd image that Jesus presents us with today is very apt, especially in our present situation. All the technology and science, all the best human endeavours, all the greatest mind empowering and healing skills will never ever reach the same par as truly knowing the Good Shepherd, Jesus Christ himself. To know the Lord, to love the Lord, to serve the Lord is that which allows us to face any challenge in this life. It does not mean it will be easy, but the voice of the Shepherd that calls us is far more powerful and efficacious than anything else.
Let us, as always, set some time aside for The Good Shepherd this Sunday and listen to his voice. Listen in the silence of our homes to the voice of God that wants to reassure us, that wants to love us. Listen to the voice of God that wants to challenge us about our lives, our relationships, our strengths and weaknesses. Listen to the voice of God about the future, our future, our families future our worlds future.
Prayer to the Good Shepherd
Good Shepherd of the flock, you tend and feed and protect your chosen people and only ask us to put our trust in your loving care. As host you entertain us at your welcome table and anoint us with your Holy Spirit. Make us ever thankful for all your blessings, O Saviour of the world, living and reigning with the Father and the Holy Spirit, now and for ever. Amen
Finance and Donations
Good News! The diocese has set up a system to make it easier for people to donate to their parish by standing order or by a one off payment. It is quick, safe and private. If you go to the diocesan web page www.dioceseofsalford.org.uk at the top right hand corner you will see a red box that says ‘DONATE’. By clicking on that you can donate money to St. Mary’s Oswaldtwistle, through the main diocesan system and your donation will come straight to the parish.
Spiritual Reading and Nourishment
Many people are finding that they have some spare time each week. There is only so much housework, gardening and D.I.Y you can do. I thought I’d recommend some good books for spiritual reading during the lockdown if people have a little more time.
• Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred & Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder
by Evelyn Waugh.
• Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael D. O’Brien
• Silence by Shusaku Endo
• Strangers and Sojourners: A Novel by Michael D. O’Brien
• The Complete Stories by Flannery O’Connor
• The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
• The Robe by Lloyd C. Douglas
• The Screwtape Letters by C.S Lewis
• The Spear by Louis de Wohl
• God With Us: Encountering Jesus in the Gospel of Matthew by Edward Sri
• Jesus the Bridegroom: The Greatest Love Story Ever Told by Brant Pitre
• Journeying with Jonah: The struggle to find yourself by Denis McBride
• The Lambs Supper: The Mass as Heaven on Earth by Scott Hahn
• Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by Donald Calloway
• Into His Likeness: Be Transformed as a Disciple of Christ by Edward Sri
• Catholic and Christian: An Explanation of Commonly Misunderstood Catholic Beliefs
by Alan Schreck
• Praying The Rosary Like Never Before: Encounter the Wonder of Heaven and Earth
by Edward Sri
Lives of Saints
• Bernadette of Lourdes by René Laurentin
• Consecration to St. Joseph: The Wonders of Our Spiritual Father by D. Calloway
• Charles De Foucauld (Charles of Jesus) by Jean-Jaques Antier
• Fatima in Lucia’s Own Words: Sister Lucia’s Memoirs edited by Fr. Lois Kondor, SVD
• John Henry Newman. His Inner Life by Dr. Zeno, Capuchin
• Saint Mary Magdalene: Prophetess of Eucharistic Love by Sean Davidson
• The Bishop of the Abandoned Tabernacle. Saint Manuel González Garcia
by Victoria Schneider
• The Story of a Soul. The Autobiography of The Little Flower
by St. Thérese of Lisieux
• The Cistercian Way by André Louf
• Befriending Silence: Discovering the Gifts of Cistercian Spirituality by Carl McColman
• Report from Calabria: A Season with the Carthusian Monks by a priest
• Sacred Reading: The Ancient Art of Lectio Divina by Michael Casey
God Bless and keep praying.
Our Lady of Oswaldtwistle, pray for us.
St. Joseph, pray for us.