Tuesday, APRIL 28, 2015
4TH Week of Easter
1st Reading: Acts 11:19-26
Gospel: John 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 Messiah, 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.”
(Daily Gospel in the Assimilated Life Experience)
The Jews asked Jesus to tell them with finality who he really was. “How long will you keep us in suspense?” They asked. Then they demanded: “If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus was surprised when they asked how long he’d keep them in suspense because he was always open to them about his origins. To Jesus the problem was not that he was keeping them in suspense. The real question was what was keeping them in suspense! In Jesus’ analysis, it was their lack of faith that kept them in that state. “But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep,” Jesus said. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Jesus’ statement cuts us to the quick. It pierces our hearts because we too fail to listen to him on many occasions even as we claim to be Christians. There are various reasons as there are many such occasions. Among these could be the voices in the world competing with the voice of the Shepherd. One example is the voice of pro-contraceptives trying to sway our value system from the moral to the practical. Another is the voice of politicians luring us to sell our votes. There are many similar voices in the world that drown the faint voice of the Shepherd within us.
If the examples given above are among those voices distracting us from the faint voice of the Shepherd, something could be done at the personal and community level. At the community level we can intensify our loyalty to the Church and strengthen our unity as a community in defense of faith and morals. At the personal level we can cultivate inner silence by forming the habit of meditation. In that inner silence the Shepherd can speak to our soul. If we really belong to the flock, we won’t find it hard to recognize the voice of Jesus as the Shepherd. For Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” – Rev. Fr. Dan Domingo P. delos Angeles, Jr., DM. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Website: http://www.frdan.org.
Prayer for the day: God our Father grant us the gift of inner silence so that we may recognize the voice of our Shepherd speaking to us through our conscience. Grant this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
SAINT OF THE DAY: ST. PETER CHANEL, Priest and Martyr. He was born in France in 1803. His intelligence and piety were noticed by the local parish priest, who helped him enter the seminary. After ordination, he was appointed for three years to the rural parish of Crozet, where he brought about a great religious revival. In 1831 he joined the Marists who were involved in missions abroad. In 1836 he landed on the island of Futuna in the Pacific Ocean, where the name of Christ had never been preached before. By his preaching he destroyed the cult of the evil spirits, which the chieftains of the Futunians encouraged in order to keep the tribe under their rule. In 1841, they sent a band of native warriors who killed him with clubs and hatchets.