22 April 2018
Filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter said: ‘Rulers of the people, and elders! If you are questioning us today about an act of kindness to a cripple, and asking us how he was healed, then I am glad to tell you all, and would indeed be glad to tell the whole people of Israel, that it was by the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, the one you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by this name and by no other that this man is able to stand up perfectly healthy, here in your presence, today. This is the stone rejected by you the builders, but which has proved to be the keystone. For of all the names in the world given to men, this is the only one by which we can be saved.’
1 John 3:1-2
Think of the love that the Father has lavished on us,
by letting us be called God’s children;
and that is what we are.
Because the world refused to acknowledge him,
therefore it does not acknowledge us.
My dear people, we are already the children of God
but what we are to be in the future has not yet been revealed;
all we know is, that when it is revealed
we shall be like him
because we shall see him as he really is.
‘I am the good shepherd:
the good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.
The hired man, since he is not the shepherd
and the sheep do not belong to him,
abandons the sheep and runs away
as soon as he sees a wolf coming,
and then the wolf attacks and scatters the sheep;
this is because he is only a hired man
and has no concern for the sheep.
‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.
And there are other sheep I have
that are not of this fold,
and these I have to lead as well.
They too will listen to my voice,
and there will be only one flock,
and one shepherd.
‘The Father loves me,
because I lay down my life
in order to take it up again.
No one takes it from me;
I lay it down of my own free will,
and as it is in my power to lay it down,
so it is in my power to take it up again;
and this is the command I have been given by my Father.’
They too will listen to my voice, and there will be only one flock
There is a television reality show entitled, “The Voice” where famous singers participate as judges who listen to the voice of the contestants. They will then offer to be the ‘coaches’ to the contestants to groom them to become better singers. Just by listening to their voices, they can decide who has the potential. The readings of today remind us that Jesus himself is always calling us and it is us who have to respond to him.
Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He will call each one of us by name. We need to respond to Him despite the distractions of the world. This could come in the form of our careers, our pursuit of prestige or pleasure yet Jesus continually calls us. We need to acknowledge the plan which God has for us, ask Him to show us the path He wants us to take and then co-operate with this plan. St John assures us that God will reveal himself in the future and it will be worth the wait.
Belief in Jesus Christ is important because it allows us to have hope. This hope will allow us to continue to spread God’s love in this world through our actions and words. We have hope that God will be with us throughout all the troubles we have. Let us respond generously to His plan for God cannot be outdone in His love for us.
(Today’s Oxygen by Nicholas Chia)
Prayer: Father, we pray for the courage to listen to your voice and obey your will
Thanksgiving: We give thanks for all who are Spiritual Directors