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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About Father Ivano

Ivano Liguori Dell'Ordine dei Frati Minori Cappuccini Presbitero e Teologo ( Click on the name to read all its articles )

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. Good evening Father Ivano,

    even if I risk being out of fashion considering the way of thinking within the Church by many who feel they are true Christian Catholics, I am sure beyond the iconographic image, up to now, the Holy Father Francis has been and is a true living image of the Good Shepherd as he describes the Gospel passage mentioned.
    If the Poverello of Assisi lived this moment in history with this present Church, he would not preach the reform of the Church by distancing the faithful from those who are the Pope today. (despite everything) as many want to do.
    I wish you a good continuation of the Easter season.

    Enzo1

    1. Sig.Enzo,

      Pope francis is the vicar of Christ,therefore it must be respected as such, but when he makes statements that completely derail from Catholic doctrine,it is fair to criticize such claims!
      Obviously by sedevacantist Catholics or excommunicated priests,it is better to stay away …

  2. Padre Ariel,

    maybe mine is a trivial question, do you forgive me, but I would like to take the opportunity to ask you for an explanation, to see, I, as you often tell some keyboard all-rounders, I apply the criterion … when you do not know you are silent, or ask who knows, do not throw yourself into possible ignorant fools.
    Days ago, one who says he understands the liturgy (he is not a priest he is a layman), he said that the ancient planets were abolished to replace them with hideous chasubles in order to be closer to Protestants even in liturgical clothing.
    I was shut up, because I didn't know what to answer.
    Could you explain to me?

    1. Dear Paul,

      I am very happy to explain, why this telematic tool, which in and of itself would be very useful, I have always tried to use it precisely for certain purposes and purposes related to pastoral care and the doctrine of the faith.

      The pseudo expert in question told you something completely inaccurate and false. Indeed, the ancient vestment is not the current planet, but the chasuble itself.

      Like many of our liturgical accessories, the chasuble also derives from the ancient Roman tradition, literally means “small house”. We should not in fact be afraid to explain that many of our liturgical accessories, starting from the stole, were assumed in the third century by elements of the paganitas Roman and Christianized, giving them completely different meanings.

      Precise information on the “liturgical chasuble” we have it starting from the VI century.

      Therefore, it is far from being the ancient vestment, the planet, the current one, it does not even go back to the liturgical reform of the Holy Pontiff Pius V, but later still in time, ie the first decades of the eighteenth century, and it is a vestment that is strongly affected, in all and for all, of what was the style of Baroque art.

      Therefore, what “the expert” in question defines ancient vestment, ie the current planet, it is a very modern face that dates back to the early decades of the eighteenth century, whereas, what he wrongly defines as a modern vestment, it is instead the liturgical accessory, together with the stole, more ancient.

      Proof? In the frescoes dating back to the VI / VII century and so on, you may notice that bishops and priests are depicted with the chasuble, certainly not with the baroque planet.

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