The image of the shepherd is always one of comfort and care. Shepherds have a serious responsibility to watch over, lead and care for the sheep. Jesus is the Good Shepherd, the one who has shown us how much he cares for all of us by giving us an example of his concern and love. But he died for us to show the extent of that love. One of the best images of Jesus the shepherd is the one of him carrying the lost sheep over his shoulders. I have that statue and think of him doing that for us, because sometimes we stray, lose our way and get lost. So, he sends someone to care for us and bring us back to him. The image of the shepherd can help us during this difficult time. There are those in our lives who care for us, and those for whom we care. Jesus sends us all into one another’s lives to remind us of how important we are to him and need to be for each other. It is easy to become discouraged, frightened or even anxious about Covid-19. But Jesus reminds us that he is present to us and with us, and sends individuals to us to remind us of that. Of course, we are all concerned about what will happen in the coming months.  It seems to me that nothing will    happen before June, when hopefully, the worst will be over.  We have been vigilant these past two months, but that  doesn’t mean we should relax our vigilance when everything opens up again. We probably will have to be just as vigilant and careful as we have been.   I hope that all of you are taking care of yourselves and your families. We all want to be safe, and if we follow all the directives and guidelines, we will be safe. We always have to look for what is positive and hopeful in all of this, or else we give in to the doom and gloom, and stupidity of too many. We have to use common sense and do what is right for us, our families and friends, our parish and our towns. Think of what Jesus offers us to help us. His presence in the Word reassures us of his presence in our lives. Since we cannot gather as a community in the church, consider reading and reflecting on the Word as a family. Connect to the live streaming of the 10:30     Sunday Mass to help you. It always helps families in times of difficulty to pray together, in whatever way works for you. It is important for all of us to be connected to the Lord  and to one another at this time. All of us are in this together, and together we will survive it. But we cannot do this without the connection to the Lord, who   reminds us of his abiding presence and love.  While this Period of Mystagogia is different from past years, it is still important for us to reflect on the effects of the Lord’s Resurrection  on our lives and the life of our family. This is what helps sustain us during this different and unusual period in our lives. WWJD?  Be safe all of you!   HAPPY EASTER SEASON!!     HAPPY MYSTAGOGIA!!!   ~ Fr. Joe

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