Tuesday, 4th Week of Easter
A lot of voices are competing to grab our attention: the voices of money, power, prestige, title, comfort, convenience, pleasure etc. We hear all kinds of voices around us – loud and confusing voices: telling us what to do, where to go, how to think, whom to follow… teaching us how to get ahead of others in this competitive world… making us think only of our own welfare, security, and interests… persuading us to embrace and live out the values of materialism… offering us their own brand of thrill, enjoyment, and happiness… trying to entertain us and give us pleasure and satisfaction. When we focus our attention to these powerfully seductive voices – when we give them our minds, our hearts, and our souls – it is tantamount to ‘hearing’ them and ‘following’ them.
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” Today’s gospel passage invites us to ask ourselves: Do we hear the voice of Jesus and follow the Good Shepherd? Are we listening to the voice of the Good Shepherd? Do we take time out to listen to the voice of Jesus in our silent prayer and reflection?
Amidst the noisy voices around us, may we hear the Shepherd’s voice… calling us to himself… speaking to us of the Father’s love for us… proclaiming us the Good News of truth, justice, peace, and love… telling us to seek first the kingdom of God and not something else… urging us to share in his life and participate in his mission… teaching us to embrace his cross and his self-giving ways… reminding us that in God alone can we have the fullness of life. We must train our spiritual ears to hear the Shepherd’s voice amidst the cacophony of voices and noises in the world.
How is the voice of the Lord heard today? How can we recognize his voice? Bishop Robert Barron gives some practical suggestions… We can hear God’s voice through the Scriptures, through the teachings of the Church, through the Lives of the Saints, through the Liturgy, and especially through the conscience. In light of this, let us make some practical resolutions today: To spend enough time reading, studying, and meditating on the Bible. To learn and be faithful to the teachings of the Church. To know and imitate the lives of the saints. To give our full, conscious, and active participation in every liturgical celebration. To listen to God speaking to our conscience.
To be good sheep of the Good Shepherd we must learn to hear his voice – that is, to tune in to his voice. “My sheep hear my voice; I know them and they follow me.”