Gathered as His Flock

John 10: 22-30
Acts 11:19-26 / Psa 87

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

Let us come together in praise,
We are His flock in God’s pasture;
Be grateful to Him all our days,
Being His flock is our treasure!

Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was in the temple area walking in the portico of Solomon. 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 hear 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

“The Feast of Dedication” (or Hanukkah, the Jewish Festival of Lights) was an eight-day celebration (1Macabees 4:56) that commemorated the ancient victory of the Maccabees over the Syrians during the reign of the Greek tyrant, Antiochus IV. The feast was associated with the miracle of the lamps staying lit for eight days while the Temple in Jerusalem was being rededicated, when there was only enough fuel oil to light them for one day. The Jews then used this occasion to ask Jesus if He was really the promised (political) messiah like Judas Maccabeus, who would lead them in a similar revolt against the Romans, just as Judas and his brothers did to liberate Israel.

The Jews did not know who Jesus Christ really was, because they did not believe that He was the Son of God, in spite of all the miracles He had performed in His Father’s Name. Instead, many of them followed Jesus because they saw in Him a political solution for the salvation of Israel from the occupying Romans. Others saw material gain in the ‘magical’ powers that Jesus possessed. These our Lord did not regard as members of His flock. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

Do we know our Lord Jesus enough to recognize and accept Him as our Shepherd, Lord and Savior? If so, then it should also be easy to “see” Him in the face of other people, especially those who are in need. Knowing that the LORD is our God Who cares for us should make us grateful to be in His flock, and so should share our blessings with His other sheep. “It is He who made us, and we are His; we are His people, the sheep of His pasture (Psa 100:3).

Coming together as one flock in our Brotherhood’s 33rd National Anniversary twelve days ago in Iloilo, we were witness to the outpouring of love and gratitude among the more than 3,000 delegates who came for the grand fellowship and worship. Many of us could only sympathize with our hosts for the enormous task of providing an efficient system of transportation, accommodations, and the feeding of such a multitude. But despite the trials and minor irritants, our hosts showed us an example of genuine hospitality and caring in the typical tradition of cariño de Iloilo. It was a festival worth remembering, because we all came together to celebrate the blessings of the Lord as His flock, “the sheep of His pasture.”

We praise and thank you, Father God, for keeping us always under Your watch, and for giving us your Beloved Son, Jesus as our Savior and Shepherd, Whose example we aspire to emulate, for the guidance and care of those entrusted to us. Amen.

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