The WORD in other words (2023) by Fr. Emilio Pati, SVD – Pindangan, San Fernando, La Union
Monday 4th Week of Easter
I used to be very good at remembering names. This usually made people whom I know feel nice. As a senior citizen, however, it is pretty different. More and more names escape me, even if the faces look very familiar. To make it worse, some are relatives.
So to avoid getting embarrassed when meeting a familiar person and I could not figure his or her name out, inuunahan ko na. I would say, “Oh Carol, long time no see!” She would politely say, “Si father naman, I am not Carol; I am Lanie.” Then I would say, “Ah, yes, Lanie pala.” This way is less embarrassing than asking the name at every encounter.
Knowing the name of someone is very significant. To be called by your name by a friend always gives you a warm feeling. It touches something in you deeply. This is precisely what Jesus wants us to feel when, as a Good Shepherd, he knows us by name. In the Hebrew Scriptures, we are told how God inscribed the names of his people on the palm of his hand. This makes us belong to the same family, or, to use the image of Jesus, it makes us members of the same flock.
In today’s First Reading, Peter discovers the inclusivity of God’s vision of salvation. We are one big family. Let us ask St. Joseph the Worker to guide and lead us through the “Gate” (Jesus) into God’s family by living faithful and holy lives, and righteous day-to-day affairs modeled after the Holy Family.