“… My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me....”
Gospel: John 10:27-30
27 My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. 30 The Father and I are one.”
Jesus speaks with absolute certainty of His complete authority alongside His Father, and of assured eternal life for his followers. He explains that nothing can ever change this and that by saying that He and His Father are one, He once again reveals Himself as the messiah.
Relating the Gospel to our lives today.
This week’s very short Gospel is all about certainty. The first thing that comes to my mind is the Glory Be prayer:
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
This prayer, like this week’s Gospel, speaks to us of Gods ultimate authority. He is the Alpha and the Omega – the beginning and the end. He is in charge at all times and nothing happens unless He permits it.
This is no easy concept to grasp when faced with the reality of injustice and suffering. Take the recent Boston bombings for example – God in His ultimate authority allowed that to happen – but why? Isn’t He supposed to be a loving God?
Isn’t it funny how we never ask God “Why?” when he sends us blessings – we reserve “why?” only for when he sends us suffering. My own children are exactly the same. I never hear a peep out of them when it is time for ice-cream or treats, but when faced with the injustice and suffering of having to tidy their room or do their homework the wailing and gnashing of teeth never cease!
This week’s Gospel also speaks to us of hope and the assurance of eternal life. Is it possible that, like little children, when faced with the question of injustice and suffering we are incredibly short focused?
This life is only temporary. Our suffering is only temporary. And the injustice we have to face is only temporary.
We can understand all three of these situations as we look at Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Through His death and resurrection Jesus teaches us that death is not the end. There is a life after this one that is happy, free from suffering and injustice, and is everlasting.
But through His death, He also assures us that in this life there certainly will be suffering and injustice. Even the son of God was not spared suffering and injustice.
Jesus did not come to take away our suffering. He came to show us that suffering has meaning and purpose. Whether we like it or not, our suffering in this life is part of Gods ultimate plan.
- This life is only temporary.
- Jesus has given us eternal life.
- Ultimately, God is always in control.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.