April 25th

Today’s Gospel reminds us that Jesus, Himself, is the Good Shepherd and that we, His sheep, hear His voice and follow Him.  How do we hear His voice?  We hear the voice of Jesus through the Sacred Scriptures, through Tradition (that which has been handed down to us from the Apostles) and through the Church.

Jesus Christ handpicked twelve Apostles who closely accompanied Him throughout His public ministry.  Those Twelve were eyewitnesses of His bodily Resurrection and they were commissioned by Him to take His message to the ends of the earth.  Jesus gave the Apostles, and their successors, the authority to teach in His name.  Jesus said to the Apostles: “He who hears you, hears Me.”  (cf. Luke 10:16)

The Apostles were given the Holy Spirit to guide them into all Truth.  (cf. John 16:13)  The Holy Spirit guides the Church and protects it from teaching error.  Because we know that the Holy Spirit guides the Church we can have confidence that the Church will never lead us into error when it teaches on faith or morals.  Through the Apostles and their successors we hear the voice of Christ.  The Church carries on the mission of Christ and teaches in His name.

The Church was promised the gift of the Holy Spirit to lead it into all Truth, yet we know that gift was entrusted to weak vessels.  The shepherds of the Church are sinners, just as are all the members of the Church.  We know that the Church is holy and at the same time it is constantly striving to become holy.  The Church is the spotless bride of Christ and the Church is full of sinners who stand in need of forgiveness.

There have always been scandals and failures in the Church, there have always been attacks on the Church from within and from without.  We must not allow ourselves to become discouraged by the human element of our Church.  We know that we can trust the teachings of the Church on faith and morals because we know that the Holy Spirit will not allow the Church to lead us into error.  Jesus Christ promised that the gates of hell would never prevail against the Church.  (cf. Matthew 16:18)  The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth in the world.  (cf. 1 Timothy 3:15)

Let us pray for our Church and her shepherds during these days.  May the Lord bless and strengthen our Holy Father and the bishops united with him.  May they have the wisdom and the courage that they need as they continue to guide the Church.

God bless,

Father White