Acts 13:14,43-52; Psalm 100 We are his people, the sheep of his flock; Revelation 7:9,14-17; John 10:27-30
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..."
This Sunday we celebrate the 4th sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday. We turn our gaze toward the one who is both "lamb" and "shepherd."
The lamb that has been sacrificed is the shepherd of our souls. He has proved himself worthy of our attention, our willingness to follow, for he has given all for us.
I don't know much about the reality of shepherds and sheep and tending flocks and the like. But I do have a cat. And this is what i have discovered about my cat.
I received this cat 2 years ago from a three year old at St. Rose of Lima catholic school. I practically raised the cat from the youngest one can raise a cat.
The cat, while a kitten, lived in the rectory with me. For almost a year and half the cat was with me.
It would sit above my head when i would watch TV or it would curl up on my chest while I was resting.
The cat wanted to be as close as possible to me.
I would whistle and it would come running instantly.
After about a year and half of living with me, i discovered the cat wasn't good for my allergies. So i decided to put the cat outside. Each morning I would wake, I would go to the patio and whistle and the cat would come running, quickly and promptly. It would approach me and quickly roll over and look for me belly scratch before i would feed it.
Over the days, weeks, and months that followed, the cat began to run around with the neighborhood cats and began to hang out with my neighbor and his family. They would play with the cat and feed the cat and so on.
What I have noticed over the last 6 months or so is that when I whistle the cat isn't as prompt or as quick. It takes a few minutes to crawl out from under the other the house. And before it use to run, now it slowly lumbers toward me.
Sometimes, I have to pick up the cat and take it to the feeder.
As soon as distance became a part of the reality, all of sudden the cat become more distracted and less and less willing to respond to the call of my voice.
It is the same with our relationship with Christ.
The one thing that is need is closeness and familiarity.
We too, like my cat, can get distracted and caught up with all kinds voices that what our attention. The more we give ourselves the less we respond to the voice of the real shepherd.
Our task is to stay close. We must tune our ears to Christ and christ alone, daily.
As JEsus states so clearly, no one can snatch us from his hand, but we can let go. We can remove ourself from his grip by our lifestyle and choices we make daily. We can choose to give ourselves over the many wild and haunting voices that pray upon us or we stay close to the one voice that matters.
Daily we go forth with one ear bend toward the lips of Christ and the other ear toward the needs of those we encounter. But it is the voice of Christ that purifies and urges us forward as we go.