Gospel Reflection Apr 30 – Deacon Paul
Sunday, April 30
Fourth Sunday of Easter
John 10: 1-10
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
There was once a mother who was asked by a census-taker how many children she had. She replied, “Well, there’s Billy, and Joey, and Mary, and…” “Never mind the names,” the man interrupted, “Just give me the number.” The mother angrily replied, “They don’t have numbers, they all have names!”
This might be a humorous story, but in our culture today this is certainly true. Often we are reduced simply to numbers and statistics. Thankfully, our Savior Jesus Christ is not like this. As we heard in today’s Gospel, Jesus knows each and every one of us by our names, just like a shepherd knows each and every one of the sheep in his flock.
Just think how great it is that Jesus knows us by name. The sheep follow the shepherd because they recognize his voice. But, how many of us recognize the shepherd’s voice, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ? Can we distinguish His voice from all the other voices in our daily lives and follow Him in faith? Or is there a tendency for us to listen to the other voices of our secular world? We can have all of the world’s goods, but we would still be empty inside. For the only one that can truly satisfy us is Jesus.
In today’s Gospel, John portrays Jesus as the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd is willing to lay down his life in order to protect his flock. Jesus, as our shepherd, willingly laid down his life when he was crucified on the cross so that those who believe in him would be protected from sin and have the opportunity for eternal life.
Friends, who belongs to Jesus’ flock? Only those who recognize the Shepherd’s voice. Those who believe in Jesus belong to him, hear, and respond to his voice, and so have life. Today, let us all enter the gate of the sheepfold, Jesus, and take to heart his words to us: “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. Whoever enters through me will be saved.”
-Deacon Paul Zemanek