Occasion: Fourth Sunday of Easter
You can find the full readings here. This Lectio is based on the Gospel reading, 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.”
Standout words & phrases
thief, robber, the sheep hear his voice, will not follow a stranger, did not realize, I am the gate, life, abundantly
“The sheep recognize his voice.” Do we? Do I? Firstly, am I a sheep – part of Christ’s flock? I claim to be. Often I want to be. But am I? Yes. Because I’ve heard him speak the words of life, an abundant life. And I follow him.
Or I try. I really do want to follow him. But there are thieves and robbers whose voices call to me, enticing me to follow them instead. And often I do. And the Good Shepherd seeks for me and brings me back to his fold. I don’t deserve it. But God’s love is rich in mercy. It endures forever.
“I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved.” Jesus often went out of his way to tell us of his uniqueness. “I am the Truth.” “I am the way.” “No man comes to the father but through me.” The scriptures tell us that there is no other name by which men can be saved. It is imperative that we hear his voice. That we follow him. How else can we find pasture and rest?
What can I do to better listen? Turn off the noise of this life. Do I need to hear the latest news on the hour, every hour? Does it matter if I don’t know the latest popular music or watch the most talked about television? Do I seek after celebrity gossip, or worse – gossip about my neighbor? Do I purposefully fill my ears with the voices of strangers and wonder why the Shepherd’s voice seems so distant and small?