Sunday, July 22, 2012

Looking ahead

By Father Perry D. Leiker

This weekend we welcome Father Manuel R. Guico from the Philippines who comes to preach to us about the mission work of the church.

Today's readings from scripture couldn't be better if they were hand picked. They speak so warmly about God's care for his people promising that he (God) would send good shepherds. Jesus' own experience of the people was that they were like "sheep without a shepherd," so he began to teach them many things.

Throughout the scriptures God always expresses his concern for his people, especially the poor and vulnerable. His care and love for them is legendary. He even sent prophets to call them to repentance and bring them back to him — back to a life of faith, hope and a life rooted in God.

The church has always had a deep missionary sense lived out in the sending forth of priests, religious, and lay missionaries who have gone to distant lands and people's to proclaim God's love for them. We have always believed that this was yet another expression of God’s love — sending shepherds to care for his flock. The vast majority of the church has not been nor never will be missionaries. Most of us will never go to foreign lands to share the love of God with people we do not know. But there are some very special people in our church who have dedicated their lives as missionaries and today provides an opportunity to listen and respond to them. It is our chance to show both our spiritual and financial support.

Father Perry D. Leiker is St. Bernard parish administrator. Reach him at (323) 255-6142, Ext. 112.

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