FRIENDS and SERVANTS of the WORD
Fourth Sunday of Easter Time
May 12, 2019
WORD of the DAY
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish. No one can take them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one. (John 10: 27-28)
How shall I live this Word?
This passage of John’s Gospel, of the disciple who had best understood the heart of Christ the Lord, is impregnated with a tenderness that we can understand better if we keep in mind that Jesus is speaking above all to people who are dedicated to two kinds of work, that of shepherding and that of fishing.
The relationship of the shepherd with the sheep is affectionate, tender, personalized. It is expressed mostly in regard to the voice and following. The sheep listen to their shepherd and even know his voice, thus they follow wherever he goes.
In the second part of the passage, John indicates what is most important here. The shepherd is obviously Jesus Himself who communicates to His sheep the promise of a salvation that not only concerns this life but the one that will be eternal. Another very important promise of great comfort is that no enemy, no traitor, no evil person can take these dear creatures from His hands, and we can also say, from His heart, since He loves them and possesses them. The comparison is transparent. Yes, the Shepherd is Jesus and all those who freely choose to follow Him have nothing and no one to fear regarding Salvation because they are saved for all eternity.
Lord Jesus, the whole Bible and especially the Gospels speak to me continually of You, of Your Love which is salvation. Because You love me and created me free, grant that I may use my freedom to choose You, Your teachings in the Sacred Scripture, and in the teachings of the Pope today. This is the sequela from which nothing and no one can take me if I daily live in Your Grace.
The Voice of Fr. George Horta, OFM
It is legitimate that many times we are assailed by the fear of our capacity, of our strength and perseverance in following the voice of our Shepherd, so that our gaze remains on our weakness and fragility. However, it is precisely the presence of the Word of Jesus that gives us certainty and foundation on our journey. We do not need to stop at the little, needy lamb, but follow the voice of the One who gives His life for us, obeying the command of the Father.
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