for Sunday, May 15, 2011
There is only one Good Shepherd. Does that mean that we all recognize Him?
From the Gospel it seems unlikely. Rather, the sheep seem ultimately only
to recognize the voice of the Lord, who comes not to steal or slaughter or
destroy, but to give Thelife.
These are reassuring words who us who seek the living God, who seek to
know the God revealed to us in the Church and in Scripture. There are so
many voices at various times, all seeking our allegiance and telling us
that each one has the way to salvation. Salvation is not a lottery.
Salvation is not finding something that makes us happy. Salvation is
following the authentic voice of God in His Church and in His Scriptures.
In the Acts of the Apostles in today's reading, we have this incredible
conversion story, all from preaching the word of Scriptures. The eleven
clearly knew the Word of God and could preach it because it was clear to
them that Jesus was its fulfillment. The more we come to understand the
Word of God and allow it to possess us, within the Church, the stronger can
become our own conversion. This also give us authority to speak with
others about God and His Word.
Only if we ourselves are personally convinced that Jesus is the Savior of
all can we have the strength to proclaim Him to others. When we become
convinced that He is Savior, we are not afraid to point out sins: lying,
covetousness, lust, adultery, stealing, fornication - the whole list that
Saint Paul gives us. Today we add the particular problems of abortion and
The First Letter of Peter reminds us that we are all saved in Jesus
Christ. None of the sins mentioned above can keep us from Christ. Rather
the more we come to Christ, the more we see that in Christ alone is our
possibility of living free from sin and in the freedom of the children of
The voice of the Good Shepherd has a difficult time today, in the present
age, when our secular society often tells us that what Christians consider
as sinful actions are instead virtuous actions and actions that are needed
to be fully human. Nevertheless, the more we live in Christ - not in our
thoughts, not in daydreaming, not in theological or religious
abstraction - the more we come to live in the wisdom of God and become free
from our passions so that we can walk in the way of the Lord, following the
Good Shepherd. May we hear the authentic voice of Jesus today.
Readings of the day:
Reflections are available for the following Sundays: