OUR GOOD SHEPHERD TAKES CARE OF ALL OF US REGARDLESS OF OUR ORIGIN, OUR SKIN COLOR, OUR LEGAL STATUS, OUR GENDER OR OUR CREED
There was a man who became famous in my hometown of Carreras, Durango. His name was José Maria Cháidez. This man was a native of this town as were his parents before him. Jose Maria came to be well-liked by the whole town, but was feared by outsiders or visitors to our town. He had the important role of maintaining law and order in the community. He took this job so seriously that you’d always hear him saying: “Keeping order in Carreras is sacred.” This slogan earned him the nickname “the town’s sentinel” among locals.
In order to maintain the order in the town, he enforced the following rule: “No foreigners were admitted without a complete investigation of the reason behind their visit.” He was convinced that security and order would be upheld if only people who were born in Carreras lived there. All foreign people who came to visit the town could potentially cause big problems, because their origin, story and of course reason for traveling was unknown. One needed to know what family they belonged to, their habits and what tricks they were bringing with them. So any visitor to Carreras had to first be interviewed and cleared by Mr. Chaidez. That way the people of the town could remain calm.
This procedure which took place more than 90 years ago in a small town continues to have validity. Each one of us wants someone who can provide safety and vigilance. Actually, we all become Jose Maria. Everyone who comes in contact with us must have good intentions. When someone greets me I want it to be a heartfelt greeting. We want people who are good, just and perfect around us.
Nevertheless, today’s gospel shows us Jesus as the Good Shepherd who gives a place to everyone and who gives his life for the sheep that stray away. He is not a sentinel who protects with rules, on the contrary his voice is heard saying: “I have other sheep that are not from this sheepfold and it is necessary that I also bring them: they will hear my voice and there will only be one flock and only one shepherd. In this time of resurrection it is good that we learn how to have the feelings of the Good Shepherd who looks for all of those who are lost. The Good Shepherd is the one who bears our weaknesses before making rules and offers his friendship before making conditions.
When Jesus Christ remained on the cross alone became the best sentinel, the Good Shepherd. On the cross he made sure that we would not walk around like evildoers or live like outsiders. Jesus on the cross made us good. He offered a place to all of mankind. He was not only a sentinel with good intentions like Jose Maria or like us when we choose only those whom we consider to have good intentions. He saved us from living outside of God, outside of his people or to seem like immigrants who do not have a home. For him, the rule is not to ask: Who is good? Who is bad? He only loved and he loved on the cross, therefore he fulfilled the entire law so he could earn the right for us to be adopted children. Resurrection is fully lived when we change our feelings of sentinels to those that the Good Shepherd teaches us today. That is why Paul will say in the second reading today: “See what love the Father has bestowed on us that we may be called the children of God. Yet so we are.” No one is an outsider to God. Resurrection is a time of tolerance and of openness.
Rev. Arturo Corral
Rev. Roberto Raygoza
All masses are in Spanish
Sunday: 7:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m., 10:30 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m., 7:30 p.m.
Saturday: 7:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., 5:30 p.m.
Monday to Friday: 6:30 a.m., 8:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m., 5:30 p.m.