Good Shepherds - Family Reflection Video
Four priest friends were enjoying an early spring day sitting on park benches and chatting. "You know, we are such good friends," said one, "how about sharing some of our personal struggles." They all agreed. "Well, I would like to share with you the fact that I drink to excess," said one. There was a gasp from the other three. Then a second said...
"Since you were so honest, I’d like to say that my big problem is gambling. It’s terrible, I know, but I can’t quit. I’ve even been tempted to take money from the collection plate."
Another gasp was heard, and the third one spoke. "I’m really troubled, brothers, because I’m growing fond of a woman in my church — a married woman." More gasps. Still, the fourth one remained silent. After a few minutes the others coaxed him to open up. "The fact is," he said, "I just don’t know how to tell you about my problem."
"It’s all right, brother, your secret will be is safe with us," said the others. "Well, Okay, here goes. You see, I’m an incurable gossip. I just can’t keep a secret."
A little priest humor to start out the week! Now for a real story that touched many hearts and minds...
Some years ago, the actor Richard Burton was given a grand reception in his home parish in Wales. When he asked the assembly if there was anything they wanted to hear from him, his elderly pastor, who taught him the Good Shepherd Psalm, said, "I would love to hear you recite the 23rd Psalm."
The Lord is my Shepherd;
there is nothing I lack.
In green pastures He makes me lie down;
to still waters He leads me;
He restores my soul.
He guides me along right paths
for the sake of His name.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil, for You are with me;
Your rod and Your staff comfort me.
You set a table before me
in front of my enemies;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Indeed goodness and mercy will pursue me
all the days of my life;
I will dwell in the house of the Lord
for endless days.
Burton agreed, on one condition, that the pastor also should recite the same psalm after Burton finished. The elderly pastor agreed.
Clearing his throat, Burton proceeded with expression, tenderness, emphasis using all his acting talents. When he finished, the crowd gave him a resounding standing ovation that lasted for several minutes. Then the old pastor started reciting the same Psalm. As he began, his voice was shaky because of his reverence for God’s Word.
When the pastor was finished, nobody clapped. They couldn’t. There wasn’t a dry eye anywhere, and all were busy wiping away their tears. “Ladies and gentlemen, there is obviously a difference between our venerable pastor here and me. I touched your ears and your eyes, he touched your hearts. I know the Psalm of the Good Shepherd, but our dear Father here, he knows the Good Shepherd of the Psalm.”
Just this weekend, Good Pope Francis was ordaining young men to the priesthood and he reminded them that this is a vocation is not a career, it is a service to the people of God. Be good shepherds!
- Father Willy's inspirational homily was recorded live this morning during Mass at the Father Peyton Center. Please view the video on our Facebook page. (You don't need a Facebook account to view.)
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About Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C.
Father Willy Raymond, C.S.C. is President of Holy Cross Family Ministries. He entered Holy Cross Fathers in 1964. He earned a Bachelors in Philosophy from Stonehill College in 1967 and a Masters in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1971. In addition to English, Father Willy is conversant in French and Spanish. He's a native of Old Town, Maine and one of 12 children. He remains a diehard fan of the Boston Red Sox, even though he has served as Chaplain for the Los Angeles Dodgers.