If we take just a couple of words from the Gospel, we can learn a lot. For example, in today’s Gospel, Jesus continually refers to us as “My sheep.”
Commentaries on Jesus’ calling us sheep like to emphasize sheep as stupid, smelly animals. Obviously, that is not the point to today’s Gospel.
Jesus’ language is emphatic when he calls us “MY sheep.” He says “No one can take my sheep out of my hand.” That is to say, he thinks his sheep are worth fighting for.
Jesus’ attitude toward his sheep reminds me of Michael Jordan. When Jordan has the ball, everyone on the court knows his attitude: “No one’s taking this ball from me!”
Of course the analogy breaks down when we consider what Jordan intends to do with the ball.
But I still like the example, because it illustrates Jesus’ point when he says, “No one takes my sheep!”
Christ’s deep passionate love for his sheep is no mere attitude, it’s an assurance. When he says, “The Father and I are one,” and “No one can take them from the Father’s hand,” He reminds us that we are in God’s hands.
If we belong to God, nothing can harm us and nothing can take us away from God. To be Christ’s sheep essentially means: to be eternally loved and to never lose that love.
As Saint Paul says:
In all these things we conquer overwhelmingly through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor present things, nor future things, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:37-39)
Because we belong to Christ, we belong to God.
I loved today’s Gospel reading. What faith and hope, because Jesus never lets us go! To me that is such a wonderful feeling! Good post and God Bless, SR
Thanks, SR. I still have to answer your question about Saul — which deserves a thoughtful response. Coming soon… In the meantime, count on my prayers. God bless!
God created each one of us. God loves us so much that He cares for us and is going to care and look out for us. So God calling us His sheep totally makes sense. Good post. God Bless.
When we look at it in that way, what do we have to fear? At the core of the Gospel message is a great consolation: We are children of a loving Father, whose love knows no bounds.
Thanks, Teresa. God bless!
The “Jordan analogy” still works… he intends to “score” with the ball, and Jesus intends to use us for God’s Glory, and our highest good (SCORE!), if we allow Him to be in control… 🙂 Peace and Blessings! I enjoy reading your posts!
Thanks, Sandi, for your insights on the continuation of the “Jordan analogy.” I’m glad it still works!
Hey Biltrix! This is a very interesting post. John 10:27 solidify the quote, “No one takes my sheep”. “My sheep listens to my voice. I know them, and they know me”. This verse seems to suggest that the sheep will never follow an imposter who tried to mimic the voice of the true shepherd. Therefore, as you have rightly suggested if we follow the Good Shepherd we have nothing to fear.
Thanks so much for sharing.
As Jesus said many times, “Do not be afraid!” In these verses he assures us that we are in his hands and that nothing can take us away from him. What is there to fear?
“…and the sheep hear HIS voice.”
What prevents me from hearing HIS call?
The darkness and deafness of sin.
Yesterday’s Gospel reading is something I must keep repeating in my heart. What other “voices” in my life prevent me from hearing my Shepherd’s call?
I pray to hear my Shepherd.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts on Sunday’s reassuring Word.
Thanks for your comment, Whenur64.
Sometimes God allows times of dryness and “darkness.” Some people refer to the dark moments as “The Dark Night of the Soul,” which is not always the case. I like to think of the darkness as uncertainty. Uncertainty in hearing God’s voice and following his will can arise for several reasons, but ultimately, if God allows it, it is for a good reason even if God is not the primary cause of our being uncertain.
In these moments, we need to come to terms with the darkness and embrace our own mental state — that is, our judgments, our will, our emotions, and the affections of our heart. The heart is the intimate inner chamber where we listen and speak to God (CCC 2562-2563). When we bring all our mental states to the heart and open them to God in prayer we enter into a process of discernment. Prayerful discernment takes time. During the discernment, we can receive lights from the Holy Spirit, many things can become clear, but even so, the process takes time and lots of prayer.
Think of Jesus knocking at the door, Christ the Light of the world awaiting your invitation to come in and join you at the table. You what kind of a time limit would you put on that conversation?
When we dedicate the necessary time to discernment and open our hearts and affections to God in prayer, we will hear his voice and we will see results. There will be moments of consolation and desolation, which we should take note of at the end of the prayer and we should revisit them the next time we pray. Over time, God’s will becomes more clear, darkness gives way to light, uncertainty gives way to certainty, and once we have made our commitment to do God’s will based on the certainty we receive in prayer, our hearts are filled with consolation and peace.
May God grant you this grace. God bless!
Must keep an ear open and have a soft heart.
I appreciate your inspiring words!