Living the Faith

May 3, 2020 | N W | Courage, Discipleship, Father Salvador, Hope, Mary, Mission, Service, Strength, Vocations

Fourth Sunday of Easter
May 3, 2020 – Year A
Readings: Acts 2:14A, 36-41 / Ps 23 / 1 Pt 2:20B-25 / Jn 10:1-10
by Rev. Salvador Añonuevo, Pastor

We are now in the month of May, and in this time of the year we honor the Blessed Virgin Mary, our Lord Jesus’ mother and our mother. One of her titles is Our Lady of Victory. We believe that with her on our side, we, and all God’s children all over the world, will win in our battle against this invisible enemy, the Coronavirus, because we have an invincible God who is all powerful and almighty, and He is our shepherd.

Since today is also Good Shepherd Sunday and the World Day for Vocations, on behalf of my brother priests and brother clergy, I would like to let you know that we really miss you all here in church, and rest assured that you are in our thoughts, prayers, and Masses every single day.

Some of us even have the privilege to offer the ultimate sacrifice as we do our ministry during this pandemic. There are now over one hundred priests who have died of COVID-19 worldwide. They contracted the disease from patients and parishioners they ministered to.

Among them are Fr. Fausto Resmini, a chaplain of Bergamo’s prison for nearly thirty years and founder of the Center for Troubled Youth. He died a couple of weeks ago after catching the virus in the course of his ministry. Fr. Marcello Balducci was offering spiritual guidance and doing social work when he contracted the virus and eventually died.

Fr. Enrico Bernuzzi was only forty-six years old when he died of the disease while doing very active parish work. The Bishop of Bergamo in Italy, the country where more than one hundred priests have died of COVID-19, said that this is an evident sign of the priests’ closeness with, and sharing the suffering of, those who needed them the most.

My dear brothers and sisters in Christ, this is the life of a shepherd. It is not easy, but the joy we feel in our hearts is beyond words. As we all know, there are so many living heroes all over the world who offered the ultimate sacrifice while helping those afflicted with COVID-19. The medical professionals are definitely on top of the list, along with many first responders. Yes, they are shepherds in more ways than one.

But every little thing we do, even if it is just a phone call offering to buy or pick up medicine for those who are homebound, or even just offering an encouraging word and reminding others that we have a God who listens to our prayers and that we are there for them, will go a long way to make our lives a little easier during these difficult times. As St. John Paul II used to say, “To die for the faith is a gift to some, but to live the faith is a call for all.”