May 4 Reflection by Deacon Kurt
Good Morning my friends in Christ! Your priests and deacons are again offering daily reflections on our daily Scripture readings, we pray they help bring you peace in this time of isolation.
Our gospel reading today is a continuation of yesterday’s Good Shepherd gospel. The last time I preached on this passage, I did some research with a couple of farmers I know, wondering if sheep really do know their shepherd’s voice. As Fr John mentioned yesterday, dogs know their master’s voice, cats do I believe, although they usually ignore it, but I wasn’t sure how far that went into the animal kingdom. Well, I was told that sheep really do come to know that voice that leads them.
What warms my heart friends is that if you are reading this, you know the master’s voice, you know the one who leads you and that He will protect you, feed you and bring you peace. But what our readings show us today is God’s love for all of humanity, that throughout salvation history God has had a plan to bring His love to the whole world. John’s gospel begins with the message that Jesus (The Word) has been with God always and through Him all was created and through Him all will be saved if we follow the sound of His voice. Through His profound love for us, God has provided for us a way to salvation; first through His Son, Our Lord Jesus and then after the death of Jesus, through the third member of the Holy Trinity, the Holy Spirit. It was and is through mankind’s weakness that we lose sight of God. It is through our love of self that we can dismiss those gifts of Jesus and the Holy Spirit and think that we can control our world and find those things we think necessary on our own. We too sometimes ignore that voice of our Shepherd.
It is through Jesus’ relationship with the Father that He (Jesus) promises us so often that He will lose nothing that the Father has given Him…that means all of us…all of us. Jesus tells us in the gospel that He has, “…other sheep that do not belong to this fold”, that He must also lead and lay His life down for. Peter acknowledges the power of the Holy Spirit within him, leading Him to spread the Good News and act in the example of Jesus and to bring that gift of God’s love and salvation to all peoples. Peter here knows that the gifts of the Holy Trinity were not just meant for the Jewish people but for the Gentiles as well. “If then God gave them the same gift He gave to us when we came to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I to be able to hinder God.”
Friends, the love of God and eternal salvation is open to all peoples of the world. Jesus commissions His disciples, as He commissions each of us, to spread His word. “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) Let us pray my friends, that in this time of sheltering, that those who don’t know Jesus come to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd and follow Him. And may we all find our voice to assist those maybe lost sheep to return to the flock and find that shepherd who will lay down His life for us and will leave the many to find the one. His love will carry us through this pandemic and bring us back to our place in the fold and eventually to heaven if we but hear and know His voice.