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Sherie Durand Tazewell

The Fourth Sunday of Easter

“Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:1-10)

Since Easter, I have been very focused on Heaven and the Gate in my daily prayer routine and meditation. Why? One might ask. It is because I have a pre-teen son, and I am constantly trying to ensure I am giving him the tools and foundation he needs to enter the “Gates of Heaven.”

In today's world, I have to check daily on my son's mental, spiritual, and social health. At times, I am so overwhelmed with the daily news that I have to cut it out for weeks. I have been doubting myself – asking myself if I am doing enough. Am I present enough? Is the choir enough? Is his Sunday school preparation enough? Are our weekly Wednesday Gospel readings together enough? Does he have enough? What I failed to realize, while I have been reflecting on this over the last couple of weeks, is that YES, YES, it is enough. Why? God is Enough! The Lord is my Shepard. He came so that I may have life. I heard, “Listen Sherie, instead of speaking, listen and meditate on the Word.”

You see, I have been in my prayer room, praying and praising God, but I failed to be still, stop, listen, and meditate. I failed to sit and listen for God’s answer. I was so focused and worried about getting through the Gate that I didn’t stop to hear God’s message for me. When I stopped and was still, Psalm 23 came to mind. Over the last three weeks, Jesus has been trying to speak to me. I was acting like Thomas. I needed to see for myself. Still, the Lord has been traveling with me. I had been sharing with everyone how great the Easter Sunday Service was and didn’t realize Jesus was right beside me. He broke bread with me last Sunday. And if that was not enough, while at Mass, I said to my son, “I really like how the priests puts emphasis on the Breaking of the Bread – it is the focal point – the highlight in the Mass.” BUT STILL, I was not listening. That is, not until I sat still in my prayer room, and then it all came together. Jeff Major’s rendition of Psalm 23 popped on my playlist. WAIT! I closed my eyes, and I saw my grandmother. I cried as I saw her face. This was her absolute favorite Psalm. I asked myself, “How could I have missed that in reading this gospel?” I repeated the song for hours with tears of Joy overflowing. I saw her face and her smile. I could hear her voice, and she said to me, “Trust in the Lord, He is your Shepherd.”

I remembered how I ministered in dance at my grandmother’s request for my grandparent’s 60th wedding anniversary. This was the first time many people from my hometown of New Orleans had seen me minister in liturgical dance. Years later, I sent my grandmother off to the “Gates of Heaven” when she passed, to that same song -- Jeff Major’s rendition of Psalm 23, in the same church. God’s peace and love were handed down from my grandmother, our foundation of our faith, and then down to me.

I hear you, Lord. As long as my son knows that the Lord is his Shepherd and that he is God’s sheep, the Gates of Heaven are his.

The Lord is our Shepherd.

Author: Sherie Durand Tazewell, Member of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Catholic Church in Washington, DC.

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