SECOND SUNDAY AFTER EASTER
News of the Order and commentary appear after the Proper Collect, Epistle and Gospel
I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep
1. The Lord Jesus is speaking to His sheep—to those already so, and to those yet to become such—who were then present; for in the place where they were, there were those who were already His sheep, as well as those who were afterwards to become so: and He likewise shows to those then present and those to come, both to them and to us, and to as many also after us as shall yet be His sheep, who it is that had been sent to them. All, therefore, hear the voice of their Shepherd saying, "I am the good Shepherd." He would not add "good," were there not bad shepherds. But the bad shepherds are those who are thieves and robbers, or certainly hirelings at the best. For we ought to examine into, to distinguish, and to know, all the characters whom He has here depicted. The Lord has already unfolded two points, which He had previously set forth in a kind of covert form: we already know that He is Himself the door, and we know that He is Himself the Shepherd. Who the thieves and robbers are, was made clear in yesterday's lesson; and to-day we have heard of the hireling, as we have heard also of the wolf. Yesterday the porter was also introduced by name. Among the good, therefore, are the door, the doorkeeper, the shepherd, and the sheep: among the bad, the thieves and robbers, the hirelings, and the wolf.
Read more at the link to the homily...
Sabas Stratilatus, Martyr Aurelian -- April 24 [270-275]
Some of the Centurions have exchanged thoughts and prayers with one another this week for the victims and their families here in America at Virginia Tech University. It is good to see such and for the saints of the Order to comfort and encourage one another.
It is a time for all to ponder what evil there is that leads a man to do such harm to his fellows. It is a solemn reminder that the prince of darkness continues to act in our world and all should be wary. Those who ignore such do so at their peril. That, in part, is the topic of today's homily. It is a newly posted homily from Augustine of Hippo from the fourth century, who was a Doctor of the Western Church. He speaks of satan and those who come to kill the sheep. I commend it to you.
There are lessons to be learned from this tragedy at Virginia Tech; I, like some fellow centurions, fear often that people think in terms of fixing or treating a problem with good intentions, but the wrong medicine. Recently some have criticized the airing of such violence and the video of the vain ruminations of the perpetrator of this heinous act. News programming in the past decade has used the technology of television and media to turn these tragedies into a form of entertainment that goes well beyond news reporting; meanwhile many remain silent concerning the very real problem of violence for violence sake as a form of entertainment that permeates Hollywood. It reminds me of the entertainment that the masses flocked to in the arena in the days that Augustine wrote.
Let us endeavor, as our collect this day says, to follow rather in the footsteps of our Lord and be an example of Light and Peace in this dark world. In a society that often gloats as it feasts on the macabre and the dark side, let us be very aware of the good shepherds, and the bad, and to whom we listen, and after whom we should follow