I am the Good Shepherd, say the Lord; I know my sheep, and mine know me. ALLELUIA! This Gospel Acclamation sums up what we are all working towards in life. To open our heart and accept Jesus as our shepherd. When He speaks, we should open our ears and listen.
Drawing our attentions to the Gospel reading, though short in nature, it is simple and pure–one that we should take special attention to:
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. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
We should focus on the key phrase of:
No one can take them out of my hand.
From the readings, we are able to understand and form the image of Jesus—as the Good Shepherd. One who calls out among His sheep; each by name, taking care to guide them to safety and to deliver them from all evils. Though the message is short this week, we are able to gather that this relationship with Jesus is ESSENTIAL and of GREAT importance. It is a message of an unbreakable bond between ourselves and that of our Shepherd. We are told that we should listen to the call and message of Jesus, and that we should listen to the message with great care. That this message will allow us to never have fear, and that we shall never experience a separation from God, as nothing can break the bond, nor remove us from the palm of His hand.
Our second reading: from Revelation.
We are given the image of a “great multitude.” Something that is beyond our comprehension [size wise]. It is full of a message that this “multitude” is the body of Christ. That the group comes from all nations, race, tongues—composed of those that suffered and survived great distresses; those that washed themselves in the Blood of the Lamb.
Those in the early Church were faced with great adversity. Even our Apostles suffered greatly [John is the exception as he died from old age on the island of Patmos] –they were martyrs of the violence inflicted unto Christians by the Romans. Because of this persecution, many people would have had reason to doubt Jesus, to doubt the word of God—to flee from His promise of Salvation. Yet, He gives us the message that NO ONE can take them from the palm of His hand. Even in death, we are not separated from our Heavenly Father. Our Good Shepherd gives us Eternal Life, something that NEVER changes.
Sing joyfully to the LORD, all you lands;
serve the LORD with gladness;
come before him with joyful song.
Know that the LORD is God;
he made us, his we are;
his people, the flock he tends.
The LORD is good:
his kindness endures forever,
and his faithfulness, to all generations.
This Psalm is an invitation for all to come to the Lord and to do so with a great sense of Joy and Thanksgiving. We are joyful and thankful because we come knowing that we are God’s people, that we are a community with Him. That we cannot be taken from Him. Even though we receive the call individually, we come to our Lord as a community. As a GROUP of disciples that are there to listen to the Lord and to go forth and bring others to Him. In this multitude we experience diversity, knowing that ALL are welcome.
Holy Family, PRAY FOR US!
Deus lo Vult
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