The Voice of Christ
Today, more than ever, we must pay attention to the voice of Jesus Christ, the Good Shepherd. Unfortunately, other voices are filtering into our ears. There are voices of distraction, disillusion, disappointment, destruction, and deviation from the path of truth. We face trials-in private and public life on account of our faith in the Risen Christ, yet we must continue to be guided by the voice of Christ. Like Paul and Barnabas, we must remain resolute and “faithful to the grace of God” we have received from Christ (see Acts 13). Paul and Barnas spoke boldly that the works of God needed to be communicated to all. Though they faced rejection by Jewish leaders who, filled with jealousy, turned their back on the living word of God, the source of eternal life, the followers of the way never stopped speaking the words of Jesus, gathering people “to hear the word of the Lord.”
Though persecuted and expelled, the early Christians, filled with joy and the Holy Spirit, never ceased to be available to be used as instruments of salvation to the nations. The words spread like wildfire abroad through their witness, and many came to faith. They trusted in Jesus the Good Shepherd, who tends his flock (Ps. 100). The lamb will shepherd his people on earth if they listen to his encouraging and empowering words. Like the sheep who knows and listens to the shepherd's voice, we must listen attentively and be guided by the Good Shepherd’s voice (Jn 10: 27-30). The sheep know Shepherd’s voice and follow him so that they never perish. Jesus is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Ps. 23 and Ez. 34 about the Lord and the King of Isreal. Jesus and the Father and one. We can trust and follow the voice of Jesus because He is one with the Father. We will face persecution and trial in the course of living our faith, but if we listen to the voice of the Shepherd, he will guide us through them, not around them. Jesus' voice still guides us through our Pope and bishops. Jesus and the Holy Spirit have appointed them to channel the words of Jesus to us. Let us listen and live by those words of truth and life as we walk through the valley of tears.
The Church has designated this Good Shepherd Sunday as “World Day of Prayer for Vocation.” Let us continue to pray that many from our Church hear the voice of Jesus calling them to be priests, deacons, and religious. Please encourage your child to consider vocations to the priesthood and religious life. The world needs more voices to speak in the name of Jesus to her spiritual needs.
We also celebrate in our country today Mother’s Day. We are thankful to our mothers for their sacrificial love for their families. Thanks to all our women for their life nurturing deeds. We love our mothers and pray that their spouses and children show gratitude for their love.
Your humble shepherd,
Fr. Bernard, OP