Are We Still Jesus’ Sheep?

John 10: 22-30
Acts 11: 19-26 / Ps 87: 1-7

My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
(John 10:27)

We are the flock He has gathered
Who heard His call and have answered.
No one can ever be bothered
Who lives the Word of our Shepherd.

Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon’s Colonnade. The Jews gathered around him, saying, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father’s name speak for me, but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.” (John 10: 22-30)

Reflection

Most of the Jews who followed Jesus were hoping that He was their political solution for the salvation of Israel from the occupying Romans. Others saw material gain in the ‘magical’ powers that Jesus wielded. These our Lord did not regard as members of His flock. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Today we are witnessing a new kind of political solution (read: persecution) against Jesus and His followers. The United States of America used to be the bastion of the Christian faith, but now the political, ‘pragmatic and modern’ segments of its society, sympathetic to homosexual rights, same sex marriages, separation of church and state (anti-religion), feminism, right to choice (against right to life), promoters of abortion and contraception, and atheists have grown in such great numbers that Satan today seems to be making great strides in America. Just the other day, I read in the papers that a ‘dedicated’ atheist finally won a three-year court battle against his own state for the removal of a memorial cross on a hill. Most states in the US now even ban prayers in public schools. I will not be surprised if one day Americans decide to remove the words “In God we Trust” from their currency.

The Philippines is the only predominant Catholic country in Asia. But the influence of America in our country is so powerful that its materialism and ‘modernism’ has been eroding our long held values and spiritual practices. The onslaught of various controversies like the Da Vinci Code book and movie, the Judas gospel, etc. have only served to increase the hostility and suspicion against the doctrines and Christian traditions of our Church. Is it any wonder that many of the sheep nowadays fail to hear the Shepherd’s voice above the din?

Help us to to find, Lord Jesus, the green pastures and restful waters of your Gospel; keep us safe from the ravenous wolves of this world. Make us the grateful sheep that You pasture, that we may always follow Your call. Amen.

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