When He has driven out all His own, He walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow Him, because they recognize His voice.
Thank you for joining today as we continue in our Easter joy. Christ is risen! He is risen indeed! Alleluia!
Lost, wandering, confused, despairing, angry, tired.
Considering our Good Shepherd, Jesus, has caused me to reflect on all those times in my life where I was lost and wandering. In different measure we all live through being lost, wandering, confusion, despair, anger, and tiredness.
One night of my life jumps right out at me. I was literally awake all night, that kind of awake where you know sleep will not come, that kind of awake where you cannot even close your eyes. My eyes were wide open, starring at the ceiling.
A lot had gone on – broken relationships, financial difficulties, job worries, my diabetes not in good control at all, a doctor who could only lecture – no help there. It all rushed through my mind, and it did not seem solutions were forthcoming. I couldn’t even despair.
As I mentioned, people go through times like that and if they have even an inkling of hope to overcome it, they start to actively seek a solution.
Now you might ask: ‘Where was your faith?’ On that, there was little of that left. I was away from the Church. I never rejected Jesus – but as I’ve told many people, that was a constant temptation.
So, what happened, how did I overcome? I’ll start with the fact that there was no miracle or amazing revelation. One day, thinking about my faith, I realized I never took it seriously. I never even memorized some of the most basic prayers beyond the Our Faith and Hail Mary.
I will ask you to consider this – that for the first time in my life I really heard the Good Shepherd’s voice and the message – Get serious! That’s what I did, I got serious.
Did my problems go away magically? No. Did I have to work hard? Yes. As I studied my faith, as I memorized those prayers, as I did the work necessary to overcome my troubles, as I went to church each week my life normalized. My week started right, and it made a huge difference to not just have God as an active part of my life, but to truly listen to His voice, to work at walking His path. To seat Him on the throne as God in my life.
Brothers and Sisters, is all solved? Of course not. What has changed is that I am no longer lost, wandering, confused, or despairing. Angry and tired – sometimes – must work more at that, but I know with absolute assurance that when I was at my lowest the Good Shepherd sought me out. He seeks all of us, calls to us, and we innately know His voice.
Wherever we are on the journey of life, wherever we came from, the Shepherd calls to us. Let us listen, not just to listen, but actively engage and follow for a real overcoming.