From the President

Father Joseph P. Tierney

May 04

Father Tierney’s Weekly Prayer.

May 4, 2020 | 2:42 pm
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Good morning to the Hayes House.

Once again, I hope all of you and your families are safe and keeping healthy as we continue in this pandemic time of our lives.  You continue to be remembered in my daily prayers and my daily Mass here at 650.

Please keep in your prayers and thoughts all those who have died from the COVID-19 virus, for all those working on the front lines in hospitals, nursing homes, emergency rooms, for first responders and those who are caring for the home-bound.  Also, let us not forget those who are ‘essential’ workers who are keeping some normalcy to our city and world, particularly those who must go to work to keep us fed, transported, cared for and protected.

We come to the fourth Sunday in Easter, and this week we are privileged to listen to what I like to refer to as the Hayes gospel account.  I refer to the fact that this is the “Good Shepherd Sunday”, the time when we are called to reflect upon the image that is found over the front entrance of our school, the statue of the Good Shepherd.   Many times (maybe too many….) I have used this image of the story found in John’s gospel of Jesus’ teaching his disciples and listeners of God’s loving care for all of us.  In the gospel of the Good Shepherd, it is the shepherd who leaves his flock of one hundred, rather, ninety-nine, since one has gone astray, and goes to find what was lost.  He brings this one lost soul back to the fold and returns it, carrying it on His shoulders back to the flock, safe and sound.

What better image Hayes, do we need at this time of our lives to be grateful and comforted by this story of Jesus who comes to us, maybe because we know of the comforting care of the Good Shepherd in our lives, but also for those who have strayed from Him, for those who have turned our backs on His invitation to “stay with me”, or for those who have felt there was a better way to live our lives without the demands of the gospel or the Church.  Maybe you know someone who has left the Church and stopped going to Mass or their Church, stopped praying, stopped trusting in God’s love for you.  All of us have been that one lost sheep at one point or another in our faith journey.  Today, the Lord Jesus, the Good Shepherd comes for us.  He is not interested in why or when we strayed, but He is interested in finding us, freeing us from our burdens or from the thickets of sin that we may find ourselves and is ready to lift us up on His shoulders to bring us home, safely.

This week, I invite you to join me in praying for the courage to say, “Yes”.  “Yes, Lord.  I am ready to be lifted up from my fears, my anxiety, my doubts and my unbelief…..and ready to be carried home by you, the Good Shepherd.”

This week, I invite you to join me in prayer for all those who need to be saved, who are lost in the world of many voices, so that they and those and maybe ourselves, may hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and allow Him to carry us home, to a deeper relationship with God, with Family, with friends and others.

This week, I invite you to be the ‘gate’ that invites others to come to know the Lord in a more intimate way, by praying for those who are alone at home, who have lost a loved one or who are anxious about their future and the future of the world.

Use this week to take out your Bible and go to the Old Testament and join with me on praying and meditating on Psalm 23 that we read and prayed at Mass this Sunday.  Read it slowly.  Listen to the words of faith, trust and hope.  Do not overlook the psalmist’s words, “….though I walk through the valley of darkness, I fear no evil; for you are at my side with your rod and your staff that give me courage.”  And let them guide your heart and your mind to the love, guidance and care of the Good Shepherd.

Many times I have wondered why the statue of the Good Shepherd was chosen to be placed at the entrance of our school.  Maybe it was and is, to show to us of God’s unconditional love and care for all people and Jesus’ willingness to come and save us from our straying hearts and lives so that He may be able to show us His mercy and love for all the members of His flock.

Let us pray.  Almighty ever-living God, guide the hearts and minds of the members of our Hayes House.  Continue to open our hearts to your love and peace, and may we all trust in the voice of the Good Shepherd who seeks out those who are lost, comforts those who trust in Him and heals all our wounds with His mercy.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Live Jesus in our hearts, forever.  In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.

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