Tuesday, May 01, 2012

Hear His Voice

May 1, 2012

Tuesday of the Fourth Week of Easter

By Beth DeCristofaro

So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, "How long are you going to keep us in suspense?  If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."  Jesus answered them, "I told you and you do not believe.  The works I do in my Father's name testify to me.  But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.  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. (John 10:24-28)


Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good,
for his mercy endures forever.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in man.
It is better to take refuge in the LORD
than to trust in princes.
            Psalm 118:1,8-9


Jesus’ words today follow those we heard him speak Sunday:  I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, …  and there will be one flock, one shepherd. (John 10:14, 16)  Sunday’s words are comforting, joyful, hopeful.  Psalm 23 gives life to this beautiful image and it is one which I use often in my work in hospitals and hospice.  His “one flock, one shepherd” promise becomes very close as these consoling images draw in Christians of many disparate groups.  There is one Shepherd when we suffer, fear, hurt, worry, lose loved ones or ourselves, and when we die.  The Shepherd knows each of us who know him.

However, Jesus’ words of today disturb me.  He says you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.  Jesus came to save the world and redeem all of God’s children except these leaders of the church?  He tells them that My sheep hear my voice.  He knows that these Jewish leaders refuse to hear.  They chose to listen to others’ voices rather than the voice of Our Lord.  My being disturbed comes from the fact that anyone would choose to not listen to Him.  It is sad that anyone would be on the outside of the sheepfold.

But truthfully I hate to have anyone tell me what to do.  And I do prefer to listen to those with whom I agree.  The Jewish leaders preferred to hear what they wanted to hear.  How often do I do that? 


In this tumultuous world of media overload, how often do we listen soley to those with whom we agree?  How do we know, really know anything?  How do we know the voice of the Shepherd?  We spend time with Him.  John  Henry Cardinal Newman said that conscience is the aboriginal Vicar of Christ.  Within our own biological selves, God gifted us with the ability to know His voice.  But this means that we spend time with, pray and listen closely.  In this Easter Season, take some time to imagine yourself with our Good Shepherd.  Are you listening?  Are you listening to other voices?  Are you in the sheepfold?  

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