In today’s holy gospel, the discussion about the sheep and the Good Shepherd continues.
Jesus repeats this when He attended the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. In all these discussions, we have come to know that Jesus is the Good Shepherd while we are His flock.
To be among the sheep, there are also some responsibilities that this demands of us. It is not all about saying that Jesus is my leader, my shepherd, my all in all.
When we affirm that Jesus is this to us, let us be reminded that there are things that we must do to show that we do.
In the sheep and the Good Shepherd, there must be a relationship that binds both.
In the Gospel.
Today, Jesus came to the feast of the Dedication at Jerusalem. As Jesus is walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon, the Jews gather around Him. They say to Him “How long will you keep us in suspense?
They ask Jesus “If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answers them, “I told you, and you do not believe”.
Jesus also says that His works can bear witness to Him. The problem is that they could not believe in Him.
Here, Jesus reveals that the true reason they could not believe in Him is not that He has not shown signs of the Messiah. The reason is that they do not belong to His sheep.
Therefore every sheep that belongs to Jesus listens and believes in Him. When we say that Jesus is our guide, Jesus is Shepherd but we do not have faith in Him, we do not listen to Him, we do what we want and not what He wants, then we are invariably counting ourselves out of the flock.
Possible Reason for the Unbelief.
There are possible reasons the Jews could not believe in Jesus. The fact here is that the Jews are expecting a political messiah.
So, they doubt Jesus’ messianic role. This may be because of their expectations from Jesus.
Their expectations could be that they want Jesus to pick up arms and fight the Roman empire. They are expecting Jesus to do more politically.
They demand more from Jesus. There are also times we demand that God will do what we want and not what He wants.
When God does not answer our prayer the way we want, we lose hope in Him and sometimes abandon our faith.
To certify that He is the one, Jesus points to His works as a sign to show who He is. Yet the people of His time doubt Him.
This is how we may also refuse to change and truly believe in Jesus, especially when we expect more and we do not see those things happen.
We tend to forget that there are still many things that God does for us that we do not know.
The sheep believe in the shepherd. They follow the shepherd wherever He goes. They trust that He is always there for them.
There is this confidence in them when they see the Shepherd around them always. Every sheep that belongs to the Shepherd must know this.
The Sheep does the will of the Good Shepherd.
The Jews want Jesus to start fulfilling their political and selfish desires but Jesus is more interested in fulfilling the mission God sent Him and in making them believe in Him.
Sometimes when what we want from God is not forthcoming, we begin to lose faith in God. The question for all is do we truly believe?
If we truly believe, we will find joy doing His will, we will not be just churchgoers but strong and faithful followers of Jesus, we will always live our lives according to His principles.
Why we do the way we do, the reason we hear but do otherwise is that we are not yet fully convinced. Everything seems to be mechanical.
Therefore, if you are fully convinced of something, you will do that thing with your whole heart. If we believe in Jesus Christ truly, we will have this great hunger for Him.
If we truly believe, keeping to His word should be a hobby and not a burden. Hence, there should be real hunger in keeping to His words.
In every dedicated sheep, there is a hunger to keep following the shepherd.
To read and listen to all He says and do them with ease will interest us more than to read any other thing from any paper.
My Sheep Listen to His Voice.
1.Jesus says my sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. Therefore, the sheep that belong to the Good Shepherd listen to Him.
They obey the advice of the Blessed Virgin Mary in John 2:5 “do whatever that He tells you”. The sheep listen and put into practice the words of Jesus.
2.They are those who follow him like sheep. Therefore, the sheep that belong to the Good Shepherd follow the Shepherd wherever He goes.
The sheep know that the shepherd cannot disappoint. They have faith in Him and follow Him with humility.
The sheep that belong to the Good Shepherd are always behind and the Good Shepherd is in front. They believe that the Good Shepherd would not lead them astray.
3. The sheep trust the Shepherd deeply. Even when deadly animals come to attack, they hardly run, they know the Shepherd is there for them and today Jesus affirms this when He says “I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish, and no one shall snatch them out of my hand”.
4. The sheep that belong to the Good Shepherd cannot lose faith even when difficulties come. Today we claim that Jesus is the Shepherd, but when challenges come, we abandon the Shepherd to seek refuge anywhere.
5. There is always a cordial relationship between the Shepherd and the sheep that belong to Him. Jesus says that He will know you by your name, and you are sure to live with Him in the next life to come.
Beloved, Jesus is always the Good Shepherd, so instead of running away from Him, let us run to Him.
In Him we are sure of protection, we are certain of His of love. When we truly belong to Him, we are certain of eternal life.
May God bless you dearest and protect you from any danger Amen