for Sunday, April 25, 2010
We often speak of this Sunday as Good Shepherd Sunday. In all three cycles
of the Sunday readings, there is a reference to Christ as shepherd.
Today's Gospel says so simply: my sheep hear my voice! No one can take
them out of my hand.
Thus we are invited and challenged to hear the voice of the Lord Jesus
today. It is by listening to His voice and recognizing His presence and
believing in Him that we are saved. Surely we have to respond to that
voice, but only believing gives us the strength to act from faith.
The first reading today, from the Acts of the Apostles, tells us about
preaching the word of God. Only if we have heard that word ourselves can
we preach it effectively. Again the challenge of this Sunday is to hear
the voice of the Shepherd, to hear the voice of Jesus and to let it touch
our hearts and our minds. If we ourselves are not converted, we shall
never be able to draw others to the Lord.
The second reading today, from the Book of Revelation, speaks of the
countless numbers of people who are saved. It is the Lamb who is in the
center of the throne, who will shepherd them. Again we have the image of
Christ as the Shepherd who leads us, who draws us to Himself, who delights
in saving us in His own blood.
Sometimes we surely ask ourselves: how do we listen to God and let His
word transform us? There is no easy answer. We can read the Scripture
every day and sometimes it seems not to penetrate us. We can try to
meditate and at times, all we have is inner emptiness. We can ask God to
possess and yet at times we sense only abandonment.
In all of this, we must persevere. We must continually ask God to touch
our hearts and our minds, even when we find ourselves resisting Him. We
must continue to read the Scriptures even when they seem foolish and empty.
We must continue with meditation, prayer and contemplation even when
nothing seems to happen. Perseverance over many years of knocking at God's
door is the only answer. He may give us small glimpses at times or He may
leave us in darkness for years.
We are invited to hear the voice of our Good Shepherd. We know that He is
with us, even when we walk in the valley of darkness. May our profound
awareness of His presence lead us onward, believing that in the end, He
will give us light and let us hear His voice. Let us sing alleluia to the
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: