In today’s gospel passage (John 10:22-30) Jesus in continuing with the theme of the Good Shepherd.
It was the time when the feast of Dedication was being celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the Temple walking up and down in the Portico of Solomon. The Jews gathered round him and said, ‘How much longer are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.’ Jesus replied:
‘I have told you, but you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name are my witness;
but you do not believe, because you are no sheep of mine.
The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice;
I know them and they follow me.
I give them eternal life; they will never be lost
and no one will ever steal them from me.
The Father who gave them to me is greater than anyone,
and no one can steal from the Father.
The Father and I are one.’
The following is part of an address made by Pope Francis last Sunday on the same theme.His description of Divine Love is inspiring.
“The Father gave us the greatest and most precious gift He could give. It is the highest and purest love, as it is not motivated by any need, it is not conditioned by any calculation, it is not attracted by any interest to receive in exchange. Before this love of God, we experience immense joy and open ourselves up to the the acknowledgement of what we have freely received. But contemplating and giving thanks are not enough. We must also follow the Good Shepherd.
By way of a personal footnote, as delightful as God’s unconditional love for us may be, it wont benefit us if we do not attempt to respond to it.