Last May 10, the Archbishop’s residence, with its chapel named after the Good Shepherd and being the residence of the shepherd of the Archdiocese, celebrated its annual fiesta. Traditionally the actual feast is held at the (4th) fourth Sunday of Easter, but because of the upcoming Elections, the celebration was held two days earlier.
Archbishop Rolando J. Tirona, OCD, celebrated the mass in the afternoon at the Good Shepherd garden. Being the pastor of the local church, the archbishop represents Our Lord who says in the gospel of John 10:14-15 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. I know my own sheep, and they know me just as my Father knows me and I know my Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.”
During the homily, Archbishop Tirona emphasized the importance of the role of the shepherd who recognizes the voice of the flock in the local church. There is a need of the collaboration of the faithful in fulfilling their mission. As part of Pre-Election voters education, the archbishop also stressed the need for the character of the Good Shepherd among the candidates whom the electorate will choose during the elections. As politicians should mirror a shepherd who selflessly takes care of his flock and does not think of his personal interest but the interest of his sheep.
Later during the feast of the Good Shepherd, the archbishop sent personal message to his priests in the archdiocese:
What a wonderful grace and blessing for us to be called to shepherd God’s flock ‘in persona Christi’!
Our participation in the salvific mission of Jesus Christ, the sole Good Shepherd, is truly humbling for us. Unworthy as we are, out of sheer predilection, the Lord Jesus has called us to shepherd His flock. Through the Holy Anointing we are empowered to make present Jesus Christ, and to continue His saving actions through the Sacraments.
Let us then re-invigorate the grace of Holy Ordination and faithfully exercise our priestly ministry like Jesus the Good Shepherd. Let us constantly invoke the power of the Holy Spirit to guide us in our shepherding His sheep.
God bless us all, and may INA protect and support us with the mantle of her love and care. HAPPY FIESTA!