April 23, 2013

The Gospel for Today

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

Jn. 10: 22-30

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
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.”

Reflection (Sem. Jorge Santiago, Jr.)

I remembered the story of my professor in Theology about the nature of sheep. He and his companions went to the Holy Land for an academic trip and on their journey, they passed by a place with shepherds who tended to a flock of sheep. He told us that they had an opportunity to converse with them and they found out that sheep were poor-sighted animals but had sharp hearing abilities. As to what the Scriptures said about the sheep, they truly heard and followed only the voice of their shepherd. My professor and his companion tried as exhaustively as they could to imitate the voice and the accent of the shepherds in order to test the sheep, whether they would be deceived by their voices or not, and they failed. They did not succeed in persuading the sheep to follow them, and then they asked why. The shepherd said that their voice became part of the nature of the sheep, who followed no one except their voice. The only reason why the sheep tended to be misled was because of sickness.

In our Gospel today, Jesus clearly states that his sheep heard and know his voice, and follow him. Jesus, as the good shepherd takes care of his flock and never lets them be led astray. He guides them to green pasture and abundant water sources. He protects them from being snatched by the wolves. He loves them and he saves them. The only reason why his sheep go astray is because of sin. And when His sheep become blinded by wicked deeds, it loses its ability to hear its shepherd’s voice.

Let us remember that when we are with God, we are in good hands. If we stay focused with the Lord, we will never be led astray. If we listen to his voice intently, we will never be snatched by the wolves around us. Let us intensify our prayer life so that we will be able to hear God’s message and be guided to greener pastures. Amen.

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