They Know His Voice

May 7, 2019

Gospel Reflection 
Acts of the Apostles 13: 14, 43-52; Revelation 7: 9, 14b-17; John 10: 27-30

They Know His Voice

This fourth Sunday in the season of Easter is called “Good Shepherd Sunday”.  Various passages are read from the tenth chapter of the gospel of John on this Sunday in which Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd.  He had warned his hearers against the false shepherds, the hirelings who are thinking only of their own profit and are indifferent to the welfare of the flock.

How can the flock know who is the good shepherd and who is the bad one?  The sheep would follow a shepherd’s voice, but not that of a stranger, and Jesus’
hearers knew this.  The sound of a shepherd’s voice was one that the sheep could trust.  What was Jesus trying to say through this parable?  He knows me better than I know myself.  He knows me through and through.  He knows me as a shepherd knows his sheep and he knows what I need, and wants to lead me to good pastures.  “I give you eternal life”, says Jesus.  And just as a good shepherd fights for his sheep against predators, Jesus declares energetically, “They shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand.”

Have no fear that God is all-knowing!  It is inseparable from his mercy.  It is comforting to know that nothing is hidden from him in that he does not condemn us.  Yet, there are voices that condemn and criticize and we often find fault with one another.  There is always a fly in his ointment and we also say to ourselves, “You ought to have done that differently!”  Self-criticism can also drive us mad.

Yet here is a voice that sounds different.  It does not condemn, nor does it butter me up.  It tells me the truth and yet it is full of love and kindness.  It is the voice of the Good Shepherd.  It can speak to me in my heart through the scriptures.  Distinguishing this voice from other voices is of vital importance as he is leading me along a good path.  I can trust this voice completely.  It is leading me along the path to life.

God bless you all!

Father Tony