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Tuesday, May 5, 2020

Reflection 2020-05-05 Tuesday 4th Week of Easter

Acts 11:19-26; Psalm 87; John 10:22-30
My reflection yesterday was for Monday of next week. I will write my reflections for yesterday next week Monday. In any case, the Gospel today continues with the theme of Jesus as the Good Shepherd. The leaders again harass Jesus and ask him: if you are the Messiah, tell us plainly. This happened after the healing of the man born blind. So Jesus points to the works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep.
Jesus states clearly that those who have seen his works and still do not believe are not his sheep. They have refused to believe despite the many proofs. They have rejected Jesus so Jesus cannot do anything. Those who belong to Jesus hear his voice and they follow him – and he gives them eternal life. Eternal life, a life in union with God, is possible ONLY when we hear the voice of Jesus AND follow him. The rulers heard Jesus and saw his works, but they would not follow Jesus.
Sadly, there are many today who hear the voice of Jesus and reject him and yet claim to know the way to God. These are the many voices that clutter and confuse us. Some of these voices use Christian thought and merge them with other ideas, misleading those who do not understand. These ideas, snatch those who want to follow Jesus away from him. This is why it is critical to seek the protection of Jesus because Jesus said no one can snatch out of my hand. If I want a life in union with Jesus, I need to hear his voice and follow him and not any false prophet, not anyone who comes around presenting a new thought because ONLY Jesus can save.
We see this in the First Reading where, after the persecution of Christians in Jerusalem, the Christians dispersed from Jerusalem, proclaiming the Lord Jesus. When Barnabas came to Antioch, he exhorted them all to remain faithful to the Lord with steadfast devotion. The Douay-Rheims translation has this as: with purpose of heart to continue in the Lord. Following Jesus should be the only purpose of our heart. We cannot waver in our commitment to Jesus. This is how we continue in the Lord.
The Christians proclaimed the Lord Jesus. This in itself is full of meaning. It means there is only One Lord. Lord means the One who rules over us. This implies we allow him to rule over us because Jesus will not force himself into our lives and respect us when we reject him. Just as he did not force the rulers to believe him, Jesus leaves that to our own decision. To have Jesus as Lord means to hear his voice and follow him, committing our lives to him, never wavering in our commitment to him.
This is how Jesus can protect us from being snatched from his hand, because he and the Father are one: even if he is human, Jesus also has the same divine nature as the Father. Jesus IS God.
In today’s situation, there are many things that distract us from following Jesus: the fear of sickness, the boredom of isolation, the worries of where to get the next meal. These distract us from Jesus and this is natural. But when we trust in Jesus, when we hear and follow Jesus, we are confident he is with us and he will lead us through what we are experiencing. Trust in Jesus.
Lord Jesus, here I am. I want to follow you. You know my heart’s desire. I come to you and commit my life to you. I have many worries, fears, despair and doubts. My dreams have shattered. Yet Lord, I am confident when I allow you into my life, when I hear your voice and follow you, you will enter my life and lead me through these things I experience today, towards the life you have planned. Lord Jesus, I trust you. Protect me. Do not allow anyone to snatch me from your hand.

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