Tuesday of the 4th Week of Easter
May 5, 2020
Ps 87:1b-7 (with Ps 117:1a)
USCCB Podcast of the Readings:
But you do not believe, because you are not among 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 take them out of my hand.
When we reflect upon today’s Gospel , I remember last year we conducted Retreats in two different Countries. The first Country which was relatively poor in Wealth as well as in Christian Missions accepted our message in great joy and faith and mighty miracles took place in that Country. The people opened their heart to the message of Christ and arranged another three Retreats with in a span of three months.
The second Country which was one of the Wealthiest Countries of the World and rich in Christian missions and Churches received our message halfheartedly and in routine obligation , we could not see many miracles or transformation of hearts in that Country. The followup retreats turned out to be Empty because of their hardheartedness and obligatory spiritual life , no major transformation took place in that Country.
While preaching or writing reflections on the Word of God , for some the Word of God makes so much sense and for others is Nonsense. I remember one family , the Husband deleted my blog from Wife’s Computer for following everyday and living according to the Reflections. She called me up and said , my Husband does not like me reading your reflections because he says , the time I read your reflections , I become fanatic and there is a clash between their Christian beliefs . This was a Sunday Christian Family , Sunday Christians are satisfied with mediocre spirituality. There is no growth happening in these families and if some one wants to grow in faith, other member pull them down from their belief. Jesus Prophesied in Luke 12 : 49-53 “I have come to bring fire on the earth, and how I wish it were already kindled! 50 But I have a baptism to undergo, and what constraint I am under until it is completed! 51 Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. 52 From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. 53 They will be divided, father against son and son against father, mother against daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”
If we try to follow Jesus there will be persecutions, misunderstanding, force and divisions my friends because we live in a Commercial World and Satan of Money is the Master of this Commercial World. The Word of God or even the Church teachings and disciplines are manipulated by this Commercial World. We try to compromise the Word of God in little things but this little door which we open to the Vices of the Evil gradually and unknowing take control of our life and makes the word of god Void or Null in our life, we may think we are Baptized or receive sacraments regularly but these very beliefs become obligatory or routine and there is no Spirit of God in our Spirituality.
If we see in the first reading , the first Christian Community were persecuted by their own brothers and sisters , Stephen was martyred and Saul started dragging people who believed Jesus as a Messiah and put them in Prison. People got scattered all over the World due to this persecution and they proclaimed the message of Christ all over the World and these people were recognized by the rest as followers of Christ or Christians. We do not become Christians because of our Name or Baptism but only reflecting like Jesus in our life and shining in to the Whole World. The World must recognize us as Christians not through our long Robes or Big Cross on our Neck or by our name but by our actions of love , service and evangelisation.
Some Christians are limited to Service but we must proclaim to our Brothers and Sisters whom we Witness and what we believe, who is the source or power behind us. Some Christians only Proclaim Christ by catching a Bible in their hand but we must witness what we preach and believe otherwise we become Hypocrites in our beliefs . The other Sheep who are not in the Herd are rough and violent or we call them as Wild or junglee, they do not follow the Good Shepherd so easily unless they see and listen to the tamed sheep. We must be prudent in dealing with these rough Sheep or while we evangelize , We must pray to Our Father to draw these Sheep and listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd.
The Lord promises every person who listens to his Word by living their life as per the Word and proclaiming it to others , the eternal life and a hand of protection. When God holds us no person in Heaven or Earth can detach us from his hold because he holds all authority and power on Heaven and Earth. We need not fear of anything when we are in the presence of God. The only people who will perish in the Natural Calamities and Natural death are the People who do not listen to the Voice of God and change their life.