Hearing and moving.
Jesus said: “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.”
Good morning, Church! I am so thankful you have chosen to worship with us this Sunday as we declare: Christ is risen! He is truly risen! Alleluia!
Today we celebrate Good Shepherd Sunday as the fourth Sunday of Easter is always known. We encounter the shortest Gospel concerning the Good Shepherd, only four verses. In other years it is either eight or ten verses. Yet in these four verses we clearly see the image of Jesus as the Good Shepherd – the Shepherd Who cares for and protects us, the Good Shepherd Who lives up to His promises and speaks to us.
Last week we heard about Jesus’ feeding of His Apostles by the seaside. He also spoke a command to them, and to us, that we are to feed and tend His flock.
Now, we should take a moment to check in. Did we hear what Jesus asked of us concerning tending and feeding? This is important.
Today’s gospel contains a great promise to all followers of the Christ. Jesus says: “My sheep hear my voice!” He does not say we could hear his voice, or we should hear his voice, or we might hear his voice. Rather, Jesus is exceptionally clear that we do hear His voice.
As such, we should always be alert, awake, and ready to act on what God is speaking to us. It may sound strong… but if we are not hearing anything, if all we hear is silence, or if we ignore what we hear, then we are not walking in the Lord’s will. We have placed ourselves outside the sheepfold.
Think of it this way. When our moms called out to us, or call out to us, did or do we hear them? I can tell you from personal experience, when my mom wanted her will done, I could hear her, even down the block. Jimmy, Jimmy… I wanted to bury my head in the dirt, but the call and the request for a response were real. I responded.
That is what the Good Shepherd is saying. We cannot help but hear and if we are within the sheepfold we must then act.
We easily know God’s call to us because His voice is clear, right here in Holy Scripture, in Holy Tradition, in the Holy Spirit guided teaching of the Church. We indeed know God’s will and desire for us.
On top of that, we have the voice of the Holy Spirit we have each received. He leads us to the places He wishes and asks us to carry out the work He needs done: witnessing, serving, evangelizing, and more.
When the Good Shepherd’s voice is stirred in us His words are words of life. Jimmy must get up, get going and do. We all must so we may live in His sheepfold forever.