“No one can take them out of my hand.”

The gospel reading for this day in the Easter season (Jn 10:22-30) immediately follows the Good Shepherd discourse of the last couple days.   We are told that the feast of Dedication (Hanukkah) was taking place and Jesus is in Jerusalem for it.  In the temple area, Jesus is asked by the Jews to tell them plainly if He is the messiah (“the Christ”).  In reply, Jesus keeps with the shepherd/sheep theme by saying that those who belong to (i.e., believe in) Him know from His words (like sheep know their master’s voice) and from His works who He is and have eternal life because of it.  Jesus is doing the Father’s works and in fact declares: “The Father and I are one” (v. 30).  The questioners do not have faith so are blinded to this reality.  Yet, in Jesus’ words at the top of this post, those who acknowledge Jesus as Christ and cling to that truth are enlightened and cannot be led afield by falsehood.  It is only when we stray from His loving and protecting hands that we put ourselves in danger.  Like sheep, we must have a single-minded devotion to our Shepherd who wants only what’s best for us and who laid down His life for us so we could have the hope of eternal happiness in the heavenly sheepfold.  Take time to listen to that voice in prayer, Scripture, and His Church.

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