The fourth Sunday of Easter, May 8, 2022
“Jesus said: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
~ John 10: 27-30
Brothers and Sisters,
Today’s Gospel moves us backward, well before Jesus’ passion and resurrection to wintertime in Jerusalem and the feast of the Dedication, or Hanukkah. Jesus is outside the temple; having just declared himself the “good shepherd,” he is met by a hostile crowd. With rocks in hand, ready for throwing, the Jews ask, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense?” If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” After some back and forth, Jesus reveals the power of his guardianship for believers, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” This passage reassures us as God’s sons and daughters of the care we are promised. And that God himself, like a good shepherd, is willing to surrender his life that we, his sheep, might live.
As we continue to experience the excitement of the Easter season and anticipate the celebration of Pentecost on June 5, we, like sheep, require nourishment and guidance to stay healthy. So, with that in mind, I wanted to highlight some planned and anticipated activities the evangelization team has been working on to feed our OLPH flock.
First, the big picture, whether you are a cradle Catholic or a brand-new Catholic like Diane and Jordan, who entered our church at the Easter Vigil, we can all find purpose by following our parish’s discipleship pathway (https://olphparish.org/the-path). Life is messy, and unexpected events can put us on detours away from this pathway of Belong, Believe, Become, and Beyond. So, it is essential to engage in activities that meet us wherever we find ourselves on our unique spiritual journey.
Second, our focus is to design consistent and complementary activities for various parishioner groups. OLPH is blessed with many established and recurring activities like Marriage Enrichment, the Gals of OLPH gatherings, the men’s Cornerstone Saturday faith sharing group, and our ministries that serve those living on the margins, like SALT and St Vincent, and many more. Visit https://olphparish.org/faith-formation and https://olphparish.org/faith-formation/join-a-group to dive deeper. So, as we expand activities, our team will consistently rotate through a quarterly cycle of events designed for women, men, and families, like “The Well” morning retreat for ladies https://olphparish.org/the-well on May 14, our family parish picnic on June 5, and the men’s event (potentially a cornhole tournament) in July. We will return to a women’s specific activity sometime in August. Regardless of participant type, all activities will feed our need for fellowship, spiritual growth, self-discernment, and more. Look for more details on our website and the bulletin as our plans develop.
Lastly, many hands make light work. Please consider getting involved in our efforts to get these activities underway. We are excited about “getting back to normal” and back together with our spiritual family/friends here at OLPH. Contact Becky at BeckyNeedham@archbalt.org or me, Roch.Kallmyer@archbalt.org, with any thoughts, ideas, or needs you would like to share. On behalf of the Evangelization Team at OLPH, we look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event!