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Jesus is the Good Shepherd

Our newly formed Thursday outreach team began our afternoon street mission for the homeless with a mass at the Holy Rosary Cathedral in Downtown Vancouver. The mass is the occasion where we celebrate Jesus’ life, death and resurrection. During the mass, we encountered Jesus’ powerful love which transformed the darkness in our human souls with light, simplicity, and joy. After the mass, we prayed and meditated on “The Lamp on a Stand” from Mark 4:21-25. The Spirit’s response to my prayer was, “Be a light to your neighbour. Go --- without fears into the depths of men’s hearts…. I shall be with you.” Within seconds, my heart was filled with the blazing fire of the Holy Spirit and I searched for the beloved sons and daughters of God who suffered from homelessness, abandonment and addiction on the streets of Downtown Vancouver.

I listened to the spirit attentively and let Him guide me. Within seconds, I came across to a young couple who had fallen into a deep sleep in front of a café’s entrance. We dropped off some food without waking them up. Then, I was moved by the spirit to pray for the couple in my heart silently. As I prayed, a spark of light entered my heart which made me feel deeply consoled. My eyes were filled with tears and I experienced Jesus merciful love for the poor in my depths of my heart. He was really with them and with me.

Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd and I know my sheep.” (John 10:14) I continued to be guided by my good shepherd who was in search of His sheep. He led me to His beloved son who was a very polite and kind gentleman. Despite all the hardships he had gone through, he told us that He feels Jesus loves him and cares about him personally. I realized there was something very amazing about this gentleman and His relationship with Jesus. He is created in the image of God. God loves Him and “will always guide him and satisfy his needs even when his is going through hard times.” (Psalm 72:12)

The most challenging moment of the outreach happened when the Spirit invited us to accompany a homeless young adult who was smoking. At that moment, I found it very difficult for me to pray with someone who was smoking because I was taught to pray with reverence for God since I was a child. But my heart said “give him a chance” and I was challenged to go deeper. I surrendered my heart to Jesus and prayed with him at the end. Then I realized God forgives him because He loves him unconditionally. Our prayers were an invitation from God to allow him receive Christ’s healing gift of salvation and to live a new life with Him.

This outreach experience was one of the most valuable lessons my life. It made me realize that every human being, including the homeless, is precious, noble and magnificent. We are God’s masterpiece. Although the homeless may appear to be broken and hopeless, Jesus loves them unconditionally by uniting us close to His heart so that we can bring them home and restore their lives. With unconditional love, empathy, compassion, and an undying faith towards Jesus and the homeless, I am confident that the homeless will get on the right path in life to become the person they are meant to be. 

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