FATHER FRANK’S FIRE
This weekend’s readings shed an incriminating light upon religious leadership. In our first reading from the Book of Jeremiah, God is angry with the way that the religious leaders cared for the people. The leaders did not shepherd and guide the people but instead had misled them into sinful ways. Now God himself will be their shepherd and will lead them to safety and security. This reference is of course to Jesus, the Good Shepherd.
Everywhere that Jesus went he was surrounded by a vast crowd. Some were curious and others were thirsting and hungering for his words. They were empty and they longed to be filled with hope. The gospel tells us, “When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things”. The religious leaders did not give their people hope. They were often oppressed under the weight of the Law, the Law which they could not live up to. Jesus came and offered them freedom from their bondage, freedom to live as the children of God.
So many people feel weighted down by religious institutions. They feel abandoned, neglected and uncared for. They thirst for the living water but do not know where to go to get it. I find it disturbing that people do not feel that they can be fed by their local parishes and have to search elsewhere for the life giving water. Every time we gather around the altar we are being nourished and fed by Jesus himself. We first are nourished by God’s Word – the Scripture readings that give us hope. Then we are fed with the Body and Blood of Jesus that nourishes our souls. Jesus has become our shepherd and he teaches us many things, but are we willing to listen, learn and change?
My dream is for St. Michael to be the place that all can come for this life giving water. I pray that we become a beacon of light that helps to dispel the darkness of sin and reveal the gentle mercy of God. United together, under the guidance of Jesus the Good Shepherd, we will be able to be led, nourished, loved and challenged on our journey to the heavenly kingdom.
In Christ’s love,
Fr. Frank A. Kurucz – Pastor