FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

His sheep follow Him because they know His voice

We learn today that Jesus is the good shepherd.  We can rejoice in this fact, because Jesus is guiding us and leading us and is willing to lay down His life for us, just as He did on the cross.  Jesus is also in intimate relationship with us, He knows our voice, and we know His voice and follow Him.

Some time back, someone was relaying a story about a busy Sunday school class, and a conversation with a friend.  There were many kids in their classes, and it became very loud with teachers and students all discussing their lessons.  The two men chatted away for a while, and then suddenly out of nowhere, the friend got up and said that he heard his daughter’s voice, and had to leave.  It left the first person confused as to how he could hear one singular voice out of so many voices in a large crowd of students.  The friend knew the voice of his daughter because he is a close, loving relationship with her.  Jesus too, is in a close loving relationship with us and is there to shepherd us back to the father, just as he speaks of in this week’s gospel.

This little story about the father also reminded me of our own roles as shepherds in our families.  God has entrusted us to guide and protect our children, as they grow into adults, and as they develop their own faith life with the Lord.  Just as Jesus is the Good Shepherd, we too must follow his example.  A shepherd would not drive his sheep, he would lead his sheep.  That I believe is our call as well, to nurture, and lead our families, not to use any kind of force or fear, as that will only create emotions and feelings that are opposite to what we are trying to create.  We want children to hear a kind, healing voice when they hear us speak. Hearing His voice, recognizing it, and know where to go next.  It is comforting to me that God knows us so intimately, because even with all our shortcomings, weaknesses, and faults, it’s God’s real love we can rest easy in.

God bless you all
Deacon Dan MacDonald

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