Monday, April 27, 2015

“What is important is not what you hear said, it's what you observe.”

“The creator of the heavens obeys a carpenter; the God of eternal glory listens to a poor virgin. Has anyone ever witnessed anything comparable to this? Let the philosopher no longer disdain from listening to the common laborer; the wise, to the simple; the educated, to the illiterate; a child of a prince, to a peasant.” -St. Anthony of Padua (1195 – 1231: Franciscan & Doctor of the Church)

Gospel Text: (JN 10:1-10)
Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice,
as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
they did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Do you hear voices? We all do, you know—all different kinds of voices.

In today’s Gospel reading, Jesus tells us that we are able to recognize his voice. It’s the voice of the Good Shepherd, a voice that we, his “sheep,” know and respond to (John 10:4). His voice speaks words of care and protection. He points us toward paths of safety and provision. He speaks words of acceptance and love.

What are you hearing?

You have the ability to control this inner conversation. You can choose whom to listen to. Blaise Pascal once said, “Man is so made that if he is told often enough that he is a fool he believes it. By telling himself often enough he convinces himself, because when he is alone he carries on an inner dialogue with himself which is important to keep under proper control.” Don’t let that happen! Don’t pay attention to any voice that contradicts what the Good Shepherd is telling you.

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