Saturday 4 March 2017

4th Sunday of Easter, year ’A’ 4e dimanche de Pâques, année ’A’

“Amen, amen I say unto you : I am the gate of the sheepfold.”

Ac.2,14a.36-41 Ps.22 1P.2,20b-25 Jn.10,1-10

4th Sunday of Easter year ’A’

“In all truth I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a bandit. He who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock.” Jesus tells us how to make ourselves available to the newness He comes to bring us.  The Word He gives us enables us to come and go as we wish, allowing life to rise up within us. All we have to do is to receive it, allowing it to join us intimately in our hearts, thus betrothing it. The images of the shepherd and the gate permit us to have a discernment to follow the Good Shepherd and to reject everything that doesn’t come from Him. Jesus speaks to us simply, gently with respect to us, getting us to come out of ourselves. What allows us to move forward is His Voice, the Incarnate Word calling us by our name. There is a connivance between God’s voice and the depths of our own heart in our being untied to Him. This Voice is the mystery of the Holy Spirit given to us. We have been created in the image and resemblance of God, but we have been wounded by original sin, and so we have become a people who is restless. Despite this, because we have been created in the image and resemblance of God we are ale to hear the Voice of the Father. “When he has brought out all these that are his, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They will never follow a stranger, but will run away from him because they do not recognise the voice of strangers.” Jesus speaks of the good shepherds loved y the sheep, and of the bad shepherds who help themselves. Jesus gives up his Life for his sheep. Thieves climb over the mats put into place at night so as to force open the enclosure. Each morning the shepherd comes and fetches his fold, gets it to go in front of him, giving each one a name. The shepherd leads his sheep into good pastures and as night falls he places them back into the shelter. Going out and coming in is something that good shepherds are used to, they give pasture to the sheep, they don’t leave the people hungry and without hope. This is how we are to widen the tent of our hearts so that God’s Voice resounds in us, there where God dwells. Listening to this Voice we discover ourselves to be the beloved children of Our Father.  The Source of his Infinite Love bursts through into the deepest part of our being. We can announce this Good News to our brothers : everything that Jesus came to accomplish in the world. We recall everything that Christ suffered to buy us back. Jesus offered his sufferings for all those in his surroundings.    “Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he was saying to them. So Jesus spoke to them again : ’In all truth I tell you, I am the gate of the sheepfold. Al who have come before me its, but the sheep took no notice of them. I am the gate.  Anyone who enters through me will be safe : such a one will go in and out and will find pasture. The thief comes to only to steal and kill and destroy. I have come so that they may have life and have life to the full.” We are in the time when the Risen Lord Jesus spreads forth his reign into the hearts of all those who have become believers. The times we are going through lead us to enter more deeply into the understanding of God’s project for humanity. The Love of Jesus’ Heart, united to the Heart of the Father, transforms the cup of violence in the world into a cup of Blessings.  The hour glass of violence, of hatred and of justice can be turned over into a Life of Love that is coming down upon humanity. Humanity can take up an orientation towards God once more , the orientation of Love, of Mercy and of Tenderness. God becomes the Beloved for whom we are made. If we enter through the gate of His Love, we announce this Love and this is the Mission the Church has. God’s Love spread out into our hearts through the sacrament of baptism is poured out into the world. This is the Gift of the Holy Spirit who in the midst of this world brings to birth communities bearing witness to God’s Love and His Tenderness.  

We ask for he grace to hear God’s Voice in our hearts, so that it may transform us into the beloved children of the Father.