Shepherding

42
Fr. Joel de los Reyes

By Father Joel de los Reyes
Divine Mercy Moments

A ship ran aground off the Italian coast in 2012 killing 32 people. The captain abandoned the ship. A Greek luxury liner, Oceanos, sank off the coast of Africa in 1991. The captain and crew members left the ship. A ship captain got 36 years in jail for deserting a Korean ferry.

A Dutch admiral chose to go down with the ship, De Ruyter, which was torpedoed in the Battle of Java Sea on Feb. 28, 1942. A Greek army of 7,000 soldiers blocked the pass of Thermopylae from Persian army of 70,000-300,000. It’s a symbol of courage against overwhelming odds. Following a 13-day siege of the Alamo, Mexican soldiers stormed the building killing the defenders. The Battle of Alamo is said to be akin to the legendary Battle of Thermopylae. Father Maximilian Kolbe, a Franciscan Friar, volunteered to die in place of a stranger in a German death camp of Auschwitz, Poland during World War II.

Our life is like a ship, and we are the captain. It sails smoothly in the calm seas of prosperity and success, but struggles to float in the storms of adversity or moral breakdown. Some retreat to discouragement and despair while others face the challenge and recover.

Our life is also like a battleground, and we are the soldiers. Fight between good and evil constantly rages in our mind and heart, to commit or avoid sin, to indulge or restrain from immoral act or pleasure, to change for the better or for worse. They say that two hungry wolves constantly fight inside us, one is good, the other evil. Who wins the battle? The one that we feed most of the time.

Like a good captain who doesn’t abandon ship when sea tragedy happens, do not panic in crisis but look up to God for strength and guidance. Believe in his wisdom and power, trust his providence and mercy.

The Lord is the Good Shepherd and we are his flock. He leads us to the right way of living with his teachings, nourishes us with his body and blood in holy Communion.     

Be a good shepherd by taking good care of yourself and your neighbor. Be a good shepherd to your family, your workers and subordinates. Be a good shepherd through your good Christian living and example. Be a good shepherd with your love and compassion, forgiveness and sincerity of heart. Good shepherding is good stewardship.                     

On the flip side, someone said that human rejection can be God’s protection. Whatever you decide to do, make sure it makes you happy. Weak people revenge, strong people forgive, intelligent people ignore. What you think of yourself is more important than what people think of you. Stress, anxiety and depression are caused when we are living to please others. If you focus on the hurt, you’ll continue to suffer. If you focus on the lesson, you’ll continue to grow. Storms make trees take deeper roots. Amen on that folks!

St. Faustina wrote Jesus’ words; “By saying the chaplet, you’re bringing humankind closer to me” (Diary 929).

Pray the Divine Mercy every 3 p.m. Daily pray the chaplet of mercy and the holy rosary for peace in our families and in the world.

Come to our healing Mass every Wednesday at 6 p.m. with the anointing of the blessed oil of San Roque and veneration of hi sacred relic.

Join me in pilgrimage to the Holy Land, Lourdes, Paris, Infant of Prague, and Divine Mercy in Poland from July 6-24, 2019. Please contact Lou Salas at 477-8079 or me, Father Joel, at 483-9464. Thank you.