Sunday Breakfast with the Word. Good Shepherd Sunday Year C.
Acts 13:14,43-52, Apocalypse 7:9,14-17, John 10:27-30
The Sheep Listens to My Voice And I Know Them.
A little boy of 15 years known as Chima studied extremely hard to be among the top in his class. He was hopeful that by the end of the first term, He would do excellently well.
He has even bragged among his siblings about how he now studies harder to pass exams. During the exams, Chima had some struggles which truly affected him and he did not reach his expectations. The reason is that he didn’t do well in mathematics.
As a little boy who had an expectation, he developed a hatred for the teacher. Not only that, little chima decided never to talk to anyone, even to his siblings. Suddenly His attitude at home also changed.
He always appears moody and forlorn. His parents and siblings noticed this abrupt change in their little boy.
The older sister who is also in the same school met her brother to know why he suddenly changed. Little Chima decided not to talk but later opened up about his grievances with the teacher and his expectation to be at the top which did not materialize.
No person was able to bring Chima back to normal again. On the third day, the mother woke him up early in the morning and asked him what his problem was. He explained to the mother and vowed to her mother, that he has decided to live the way he wants now.
The mother asked Him “Chima, remember I am your mother, are you willing to listen to my voice?” He kept quiet. After talking to and advising Him, the mother left.
To everyone’s surprise, the little boy’s attitude changed. His mother was happy to see him smile again. So, when the mother asked him why he finally decided to change, little Chima tells mum “Mummy I can’t listen to you and harden my heart.
I know you will always want my good”. The Mother also said to the little boy “I know you Chima, I cannot see you in that condition and keep quiet”.
This story summarizes the relationship that exists between us and Jesus. It reveals our responsibilities in this relationship and the blessings that come from Jesus too through this relationship.
Today is the fourth Sunday of Easter and is known as the Good Shepherd Sunday or Vocation Sunday. It is also a day we pray for Vocations.
Today, reminds us of our sacred duties in caring, leading and converting souls handed unto our care. Today’s liturgy pays more emphasis on priests and religious life.
It can also extend its tentacles to different vocations in life. Therefore, today’s liturgy reminds us of our roles in saving lives and shepherding the flock handed to our care.
It also reminds us of our responsibilities as a good flock of Jesus. In the gospel, He reminds us of our duties and responsibilities as the children of God and followers of Jesus Christ and the blessings that come from this relationship.
My Sheep and My Voice: The Implication.
In the gospel, Jesus says “my sheep hears my voice”. Let us analyze this a little bit. What we shall analyze here is “my sheep” and my voice.
Sheep indicates a group of a flock under a shepherd. Therefore, by saying “my sheep” Jesus has already seen himself as a great shepherd who has a flock under His care. In John 10:11, Jesus says “I am the good shepherd.
With this, he affirms that He has many souls who are guided by Him. Therefore, the word ‘my” denotes something that belongs to someone. Therefore, by saying my Sheep, it means that there are people, whom Jesus sees as His own. They belong totally to Him.
2. Secondly, when Jesus says “My Voice”, it means there are other voices that can influence us other than that of Jesus.
“My voice” also denotes that this voice belongs particularly to Jesus. He wants His Sheep to follow and listen to this voice always. It also denotes the presence of other voices that can influence us positively, negatively, knowingly and unknowingly.
Other voices apart from that of Jesus could be the voice of money, the devil, the voice of the media, the voice of social media, the voice of immorality, hatred, jealousy, wickedness, envy, and backbiting.
It could be the voice of killing, division, depression, worry, etc. Whose voice do we follow easily and whose voice influences us more. It could be the voice of our friend, earthly role model, or social media influencers, it could be the voice of that friend that we love so much.
It could be the voice of a father, mother or siblings. One point here is that other voices can either influence us positively or negatively, but Jesus’ voice cannot but influence us positively.
The Voice of Jesus is the way, the truth, life, light, secret of breakthrough, power, anointing, grace, and blessings. To obey the voice always is also a decision to run out of trouble, to bring peace, joy and open doors.
I know My Sheep: The Blessings of Being Christ’s Sheep.
The bible describes Jesus as the great shepherd. To know more about what Jesus means for us, we have to xray the life of the Jewish shepherd.
This will help us to understand it when Jesus says I know my sheep.
The shepherd in the Jewish times knew their sheep, despite any resemblance that it may have with another man’s sheep. He knows them by appearance, voice and way of attitude.
The Jewish shepherd spends his entire waking hours caring and tending to the flock. They hardly have any rest. They can have sleepless nights just for the sheep.
The Jewish shepherds spend an amount of time with their flock. He knows each one singly and by name. He is deeply connected with them and knows everything about them. The sheep do not lack.
The shepherd leads them where they will have enough to eat. This is echoed in the psalm of David in Psalm 23. David says “the Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie to them in the greenest pastures. He restores my souls”. Therefore, with the shepherd, the sheep do not lack.
Even when they are lost, the Shepherd goes on looking for the missing one. We can have a glimpse of this in Luke 15:1-7, the parable of the lost sheep.
Therefore, when we decide to belong to Jesus, we place ourselves in His care, He knows us by name. Knowing us by name does not only mean knowing our names, no.
It goes beyond that. Just as a name is a form of identity, Jesus knows more details about us. He knows everything about us. He knows our going in and coming back. Jesus will know when we are trying to be under attack or not. He flourishes us with His abundant graces so that we do not lack.
When we miss the road, through sinful living, Jesus the good shepherd will leave the entire flock to go after us, the missing sheep. He will use everything, opportunity and avenues to bring us back to Him.
These are the blessings of the sheep of Jesus. When we go astray, He will forgive us and bring us back to the fold. What a glorious opportunity to be with the Lord.
Other Blessings that Follow the Sheep.
From the gospel, we can also take note of many other blessings that follow the sheep. Apart from promising them that He will know them, Jesus also says :
1. “I give them eternal life.” In John 6: 68, when many deserted Jesus, Peter told Jesus “to whom shall we go, you have the word of eternal life. Therefore, Jesus promises eternity to the sheep that belong to Him. This is the life that only Jesus Christ can give. No other person can.
The Lord Jesus is the good Shepherd of the sheep and He knows all the needs of His little flock. He protects them from danger, He finds them when they’re lost, He understands their deepest concerns, and He provides for all their needs.
2.. “They shall never perish.” One specific thing that the Jewish shepherds do is to protect the sheep from external invaders. They make sure that the sheep do not perish.
They do not want to lose the sheep. A lion or a bear can come once and carry away any of the sheep. In the same way, the devil is always prowling like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
Christ’s sheep always have temptations, attacks, adversaries, challenges etc these come like roaring lions seeking to devour them. But Jesus says “they shall never perish.”
Jesus provides three reasons they can never perish and they are 1. They are in “my hand.” 2. They are in “my Father’s hand.” 3. “I and my Father are one.”
3. They will never be lost: Luke 15 gives us a glimpse of what it means to be lost. In Luke 15:1-7, we see the parable of the lost sheep, how the shepherd goes on in search of the missing sheep. He makes sure that He does not lose any other sheep handed unto his care.
Also, the prodigal son in Luke 15:11-32 was branded as lost and found. Therefore, we can be lost through sinful living. But Jesus is always there offering us opportunities for repentance. He is always ready to find us again and forgive our pasts. The problem is that we have blocked our hearts.
What Distinguishes the Sheep.
In the gospel, Jesus sets two distinguishing marks that separate his sheep from that others. In the gospel He says
My sheep hears His voice. And they follow me.
These essential qualities of listening to the voice of the lord and obeying and the decision to remain his disciple and follow Him, distinguish us totally from other sheep and other people who decide to follow other voices.
Therefore, the seal of our ownership is obedience to the word and becoming the disciple of Jesus. When we listen and keep to his word, we shall have eternal life, we will not perish, We will not be lost and most especially, He will understand us more and call us by name.
1. To be a shepherd of God’s people demands purity of intention and heart. It requires total dedication and understanding of the plight of the people that are under you. We have to study them and then follow them.
Therefore, we do not lord it over ourselves. We have to let the people see the christ-like effect presently. The shepherds must be willing to lay down their lives for the salvation of souls. We are not shepherds for the sake of what to gain, rather we are shepherds for the sake of touching lives and saving souls.
2. What truly distinguishes us from other sheep is our ability to listen to the voice of Jesus and keep to it. It is not when we harden our hearts to His word. It is not when we pretend to love Jesus but in truth we are not.
Also, It is not when we profess our faith in God, yet our hearts are very far from Him. What truly distinguishes us from other sheep is listening to the word and keeping to it.
3. Then the question today is “whose voice do we easily follow or abide in? Who is that person that we do not say no to his or her words?
Is it the voice of our earthly role model? Your father, mother, friends etc. Also which type of voice easily influences us? Is it the voice of immorality, hatred, wickedness etc? We are children of those voices that easily influence our lives.
4. Today, many souls are languishing in sin. Many souls have gone astray and need repentance. Many souls have already lost faith in God.
We have the suffering, the sick, the downtrodden, the depressed etc. Many of these would just need a little touch from you.
They need your prayers, words, and the light that you can give. Many souls are going astray. We have to play our roles as shepherds in bringing them back to God again.
5. Also what type of sheep are we? Is it the ones that listen or the ones that constantly disobey? What type of voice do we love to hear? The voice of the Lord or the voice of the world? Whichever one we choose, defines in truth, whose sheep are we.
6. Therefore, when Jesus says my Sheep listens to My Voice, He means that the sheep that truly belong to him are those who listen to Him. They are those who take Him as the number one in their lives.
It means that the sheep that belong to Jesus are those who desire to follow Him, despite the challenges they face in keeping their faith. They are those people who follow His teachings and live on them.
When Jesus says my sheep listen to my voice, they are the sheep who will not doubt His words.
They are always strong in faith even when problems and difficulties try to shift their faith, they remain so strong.
They choose Jesus first.
Amid divisions, they decide to live in peace. When problems come their way, they decide to remain stone in faith. When people do not value God again, they keep their respect for God. They are always ready to choose God as the first in their lives.
Let us be sincere today. Whose voice do we easily obey and accept?
May God help us to make the right choices. Happy Sunday.
Amen, remain blessed Fr.
Thank you dear Padre. Happy Sunday of the Good Shepherd. Amen and more graces.
Thank you Padre
Amen.May God continue to strengthen and keep you Father.May His grace be sufficient for you to lead the flock He entrusted in your hand. Happy vocation Sunday
Happy Sunday of the good shepherd
Amen thanks Padre
Amen! Happy Sunday to you too father. Thanks!
Amen. Thank you Padre for this powerful message, may the Lord bless you always. Amen
Amen. Wish you same fr 🙏
Amen.. Happy Sunday to you too, padre
God bless your knowledge 🙏🙏🙏
Amen and Amen. More of God’s grace and strength Fr.
Happy Sunday Padre
Amennnnnnn. Happy good Shepherd’s Sunday Padre
Amen, happy good Shepherds Sunday Fr.
Thank you Fr
Amen. Thank you Padre 🙏👌
Amen and thanks. God please give us, I mean our children, the grace
not to follow the voice of social media.