"I am not afraid of an army of lions led by a sheep; I am afraid of an army of sheep led by a lion." - Alexander the Great.
Gospel text (Jn 10,22-30):
The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem .
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
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.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”
Many people are waiting for God to reveal Himself to them by doing great works or giving them special spiritual experiences. However, the Lord has already revealed Himself through His incarnation, death, and resurrection. He has loved us faithfully and perfectly every moment of our lives. Before we can deeply believe in His works, we must believe in Jesus, the Worker. Before we can fully hear His words, we must love Jesus, Who is the Word.
Only through Faith man is able to recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God. When The Holy Father John Paul II addressed the young people on occasion of the 15th World Youth Day at Tor Vergata, in the year 2000, he spoke about the “school of faith”. To the question «Who do the crowds say that I am?» (Lk 9:18), there are many answers... But, then, Jesus becomes more personal: «But, who do you say that I am?». To correctly answer this question we need the “revelation of the Father”. To be able to answer like Simon Peter did —«You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God» (Mt 16:16)— it takes God's grace.
But, even though God wishes everybody to believe and be saved, only humble men are capacitated to receive the gift of grace. «But with the humble is wisdom», can be read in the Book of Proverbs (11:2). Man's true wisdom consists of trusting God.
Saint Thomas Aquinas comments on this passage of the Gospel by saying: «I can see thanks to the sun light, but if I close my eyes, I cannot see; but this is not the fault of the sun, but mine».
Jesus tells them to believe in him, if nothing else, because of his works that manifest God's power: «The works I do in my Father's name proclaim who I am» (Jn 10:25).
Jesus knows his sheep and his sheep hear his voice. Faith allows us to connect with Jesus through prayer. What else is a prayer but a way to communicate with Jesus Christ, who loves us and takes us to the Father? And the outcome and reward of this intimacy with Jesus in this life is eternal life, as we have read in the Gospel.