This is Vocations Sunday.

“Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.  The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.  When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice.  They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers.”  Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.

So again Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep.  All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them.  I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.


In these times of the Synod we need to ask practical and pastoral questions for the Church going forward:

  • Who will lead the community?
  • Who will teach and preach the faith?
  • Who will celebrate for us each Sunday?
  • Who will guide us in prayer and spirituality?
  • Who will be there for us at the birth of our children?
  • Who will accompany us at times of transition and tragedy?

The hope is that after many centuries of excluding the gifts of many members, now is the time for people to come forward and offer their gifts and energy for the well-being and flourishing of the whole community. This is both old and new: a vision of a servant church, going back to the example of Jesus himself. It is new once more in our time: we are (re)discovering the Gospel of service, at this critical juncture in our world and in our church.


Good Shepherd now your flock has need of you,

One finds the fold and ninety-nine are lost

Out in the darkness and the icy dew,

And no one knows how long this night will last.

Restore us; call us back to you by name,

And by your life laid down, redeem our shame.