Fourth Sunday of Easter

To watch Fr. Joe’s homily from the Fourth Sunday of Easter (First Communion): CLICK HERE!

The story is told of a mother preparing pancakes for breakfast for her two boys, Jimmy and Johnny.  Before the pancakes could be placed on the breakfast table, the two boys began to argue over who was going to get the first pancake.  The mother, thought that this is a teachable moment, so she said to the boys, ”Now boys, if Jesus was here right now, he would say, ‘Let my brother have the first pancake.’” With that, Johnny said to Jimmy, “Jimmy, you be Jesus today!”.

Well on this First Communion Weekend, on this Sunday often referred to as Good Shepherd Sunday, we are all being reminded that we are all being called by God to be good, to be “Jesus-Like” every day.

And the Eucharist that we share in every week is Jesus himself reminding us, encouraging us, nourishing us, to bring the Jesus we receive in Holy Communion to everyone every day.

You know at the end of Mass, the Priest or Deacon says something like, “the Mass is ended, go in peace.” This is not, “Mass is ended, see you next week or whenever”.  No, this is each of us being sent out to the world we call our home, our school, our workplace, our community, where we can bring a glimpse of Jesus to others in our words and actions of kindness, love, goodness, caring and sharing…etc…

This past week I called a priest friend of mine on his 90th birthday. As we talked, I asked him what is the secret to reaching 90 years of age.

He said, “Good friends…”

And I thought to myself, isn’t that what Jesus… The Good Shepherd asks of us, to be good friends to everyone, every day, just as He does for us every day.

Does anyone remember the call/response statement I shared with everyone about God many, many months ago?  It was, “God is good all the time; all the time God is good!”

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, asks us to be Good Shepherds to everyone ALL the time.

To be good friends, be good “Jesus People” to everyone you and I meet in our words, our attitudes and our actions!

In the mid 70’s I lived with Bishop Maginn.  He had a little poem he used to share that went like this:

Good, better, best
Never let it rest,
Till the good is better
And the better is best.

Let’s keep working with the help of God in the Eucharist to be not only good friends and good Jesus People, but better friends and better Jesus People… and the best friends and best Jesus People Jesus wants us to be every day!