The time came for the feast of the Dedication. It was winter and Jesus walked back and forth in the portico of Solomon. The Jews then gathered around him and said to him, «How long will you keep us in doubt? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly». Jesus answered, «I have already told you but you do not believe. The works I do in my Father's name proclaim who I am, but you don't believe because, as I said, you are not my sheep. My sheep hear my voice and I know them; they follow me and I give them eternal life. They shall never perish and no one will ever steal them from me. What the Father has given me is stronger than everything and no one can snatch it from the Father's hand. I and the Father are one».
Knowing and loving go hand-in-hand. Knowing can be attributed to the intellectual excellence and loving is mainly of the heart. God very often insists this heart and heart relationship. It is the same relationship that He has with the Father. They are so united that before son thinks, Father knows.
Jesus is extending this divine relationship with us. Particularly by using this parable of sheep and Shepheard, where Jesus insist his connaissance about the sheep and He demands that we should from our part should know Him and love Him. Many of us know about God and not God.
Jesus helps us in this gospel by giving some notes to know God; His works. Though His words are very rich and clear, we have to humbly accept that it is very difficult for us to decode the divine mystery and intelligence. In contrast, the divine works which are visible in this world are simple with a tangible message. Jesus is asking us to be connected to the present status of life (neither be taken of the past, nor by the future) and observe all that is happening around us, which are rich in revelation.
The gospel has an important assurance for us. Jesus will never abandon us. In truth, it is we who abandon God very easily. We are called to see the goodness of God in Christ and believe in Him. He gave His life for us. This deep faith in Him is capable of giving us the inner peace and Joy, and in its fullness.
Little note to my readers. Yesterday I was at the Shrine of ‘Mary of Lourdes’, particularly in the evening rosary with all the pilgrims from different part of the world. I remembered you and prayed for you all and God bless you.
«I and the Father are one»
Fr. Miquel MASATS i Roca
Today, we see Jesus walking «back and forth in the portico of Solomon» (Jn 10:23), during the Feast of Dedication, in Jerusalem. It was then when the Jews ask him: «If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly», and Jesus answers: «I have already told you but you do not believe» (Jn 10:24-25).
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.