The Bel Pastore is not a devotional iconography, but the possible and achievable model to pursue that Divine Christ Master offers us

The angle dell'omiletica of the Fathers of The Island of Patmos

THE BEAUTIFUL SHEPHERD IS NOT A DEVOTIONAL ICONOGRAPHY, BUT THE POSSIBLE AND REALIZABLE MODEL TO BE OBTAINED THAT DIVINE CHRIST MAESTRO OFFERS US

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Whether we are shepherds or sheep it is necessary to go through the Risen Christ because it is the only rule for finding life. We repudiate all other useless doors, all other deceptive shepherds, let's not get confused and end our disappointed days, sick and hungry. Whoever does not go through Jesus is either a thief who wants to use faith to get rich illegally or is a brigand who wants to use faith with violence and aggression.

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Author
Ivano Liguori, Ofm. Capp.

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File picture: the Holy Father Francis

On this 4th Sunday of Easter our reflection on the Gospel of John focuses on the figure of the risen Christ presented as the good Shepherd, title that in the Greek original is rendered as the handsome shepherd that is, the exemplary model for all those who are called to be shepherds. This observation leads us today to carry all our shepherds in our hearts: from the Bishop of Rome to the last ordained priest. All of them are vicar shepherds insofar as their life follows that of the only and authentic Shepherd who is the Risen Christ.

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I will be sincere, I have never liked that the judgment on a priest is made up of what he can do or what he can give. Worse still when the priest - or bishop - is identified through his academic qualifications, as new blazons to be exhibited in the plethora of clerical climbers towards career climbing. The only essential title for a priest is given by his being of Christ, inside that undeserved and burdensome mystery of which we will never understand enough the value is enclosed everything necessary to open wide the doors of paradise. For this - I said - I suffer a lot when a priest is deemed worthy or not based on his physical skills, intellectuals, academic, social, organizational, ecclesiastical. It is enough for me to be a priest: convinced of it, happy to be, responsible for it.

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We parish priests know this well when we feel brought to a measure of comparison by the faithful: «That priest organizes many trips and pilgrimages for the parishioners, put numerous aggregation activities in the parish, has equipped the oratory in a magnificent way, can speak to young people, has endowed the Church with all comforts etc .. ». Sorry, but I can only think how in front of all these wonders - certainly useful and right - many super-equipped communities still remain empty, the boys abandon the faith after confirmation, the hunger for the Eucharist and the Word is not filled, the difficulty in remaining faithful to the Gospel represents the norm to get used to in order not to be labeled as rigid.

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Here then is why the Gospel of this Sunday it is extremely important not only for the lay faithful but above all for us ministers, constituted shepherds of the flock of God entrusted to us. Christ in his incarnation takes charge of our human nature and in the events of Easter he elevates it to the glory of God. Our final condition, from a theological point of view, it is decidedly more superior and sublime than what our ancestors experienced in Earthly Paradise.

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Dear Christian friends, this is the work done by the Risen One, from the one who is the Lord, and this work of raising the faithful to the glory of the Father through their daily sanctification is an eminent task of the priests, this is, and it should be the only worry that made us leave everything to follow Christ.

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I can't be satisfied of a flock of faithful satisfied if this is not even holy, satisfaction pertains to immanence, holiness embraces the eternal today of God in a continuous movement of conversion:

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"If anyone wants to come after me, disown yourself, take up his cross every day and follow me. Who will want to save their life, will lose it, but who will lose their life for me, will save her » (cf. LC 9,23-24).

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For this reason the evangelist John tells us today that Jesus is the only door through which the sheep can pass to be holy and full of God. Words that want to indicate the mediation of the One who allows us access to the Father, within a life totally filled with God and that speaks of Him in all the most minute facets.

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This prospect of perfection should not surprise us, because in this month of May we have before us the example of Mary Most Holy, she who is called holy and full of grace, precisely because - through the Son and in view of him - he obtained from God that completeness of life which is the goal of every baptized person. Mary is the first Christian who has fully enjoyed the fruits of the resurrection of the Son.

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Therefore, whether we are shepherds or sheep it is necessary to go through the Risen Christ because it is the only rule for finding life. We repudiate all other useless doors, all other deceptive shepherds, let's not get confused and end our disappointed days, sick and hungry. Whoever does not go through Jesus is either a thief who wants to use faith to get rich illegally or is a brigand who wants to use faith with violence and aggression.

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We pray every day so that our shepherds do not turn into thieves or robbers, this is the task of the whole Church, community that intercedes so that those who are called to sanctify are the first saints to whom we must give thanks to God.

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Jesus is the door of our life, a resurrected life which - if accepted freely and joyfully - is capable of saving from the depths of death and constituting authentic witnesses of life. This is the only message that I wish to meet today in the eyes of the priests, this alone is sufficient, this alone is enough.

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Laconi, 3 May 2020

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To stay as close as possible to the faithful in this time of crisis and emergency, the editorial staff of The Island of Patmos informs readers that our author Father Ivano LIGUORI, Order of Friars Minor Capuchin, Care on Facebook the heading 'THE WORD NETWORK ", offering of three times a week meditations. You can access the edited page from our Father clicking on the logo below:

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Visit the pages of our book shop WHO. Following the coronavirus emergency, the Amazon company that prints and distributes our books had to prioritize the distribution of basic necessities. Printing and distribution of books will then resume after 4 May.

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4 thoughts on "The Bel Pastore is not a devotional iconography, but the possible and achievable model to pursue that Divine Christ Master offers us

  1. Buona sera Padre Ivano,

    anche se rischio di essere fuori moda considerando il modo di pensare all interno della Chiesa da tanti che si sentono i veri Cattolici cristiani, io sono sicuro che al di là della immagine iconografica, il Santo Padre Francesco è stato finora ed è vera immagine vivente del buon Pastore così come descrive il passo evangelico menzionato.
    Se il Poverello d Assisi vivesse questo momento della storia con questa Chiesa di adesso non predicherebbe la riforma della Chiesa allontanando i fedeli da chi oggi è il Papa (despite everything) come molti vogliono fare.
    Le auguro un buon proseguimento del tempo pasquale.

    Enzo1

    1. Sig.Enzo,

      Papa francesco è il vicario di Cristo,quindi va rispettato come tale, però quando fa dichiarazioni che deragliano completamente dalla dottrina cattolica,è giusto criticare tali affermazioni!
      Ovviamente dai Cattolici sedevacantisti o preti scomunicati,è meglio stare alla larga

  2. Padre Ariel,

    forse la mia è una domanda banale, do you forgive me, ma vorrei approfittare per chiederle una spiegazione, perché veda, I, come lei spesso dice a certi tuttologi da tastiera, applico il criterioquando non sai taci, o domanda a chi sa, non ti lanciare in possibili brutte figure da ignorante.
    Days ago, uno che dice di intendersi di liturgia (non è un prete è un laico), disse che furono abolite le antiche pianete per sostituirle con orrende casule al fine di essere più vicini ai protestanti anche nell’abbigliamento liturgico.
    Sono stato zitto, perchè non sapevo cosa rispondere.
    Potrebbe spiegarmi lei?

    1. Dear Paul,

      le spiego molto volentieri, perché questo strumento telematico, che in sé e di per sé sarebbe utilissimo, cerco da sempre di usarlo proprio a certi scopi e finalità legate alla pastorale e alla dottrina della fede.

      Lo pseudo esperto in questione le ha detta una cosa del tutto inesatta e falsa. Indeed, il paramento antico non è la attuale pianeta, bensì proprio la casula.

      Come molti dei nostri accessori liturgici, anche la casula deriva dalla antica tradizione romana, alla lettera significapiccola casa”. Non dobbiamo infatti avere timore a spiegare che molti dei nostri accessori liturgici, a partire dalla stola, sono stati assunti nel III secolo da elementi della paganitas romana e cristianizzati, dando ad essi tutt’altri significati.

      Notizie precise sullacasula liturgicasi hanno a partire dal VI secolo.

      Lungi quindi dall’essere il paramento antico, la pianeta, quella attuale, non risale neppure alla riforma liturgica del Santo Pontefice Pio V, ma più avanti ancora nel tempo, ossia ai primi decenni del XVIII secolo, ed è un paramento che risente fortemente, in all and for all, di quello che era lo stile dell’arte barocca.

      Therefore, what “l’espertoin questione definisce paramento antico, ossia la attuale pianeta, è un paramento modernissimo che risale ai primi decenni del Settecento, whereas, quello che erroneamente definisce come paramento moderno, è invece l’accessorio liturgico, assieme alla stola, più antico.

      Proof? Negli affreschi risalenti al VI / VII secolo e via a seguire, lei potrà notare che vescovi e sacerdoti sono raffigurati con la casula, non certo con la pianeta barocca.

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