Monday - May 4
In today’s Gospel, Jesus continues the theme of the Good Shepherd from yesterday. His words are directed at the Pharisees, who refused to accept Jesus as the Messiah even after he cured the blind man at the Pool of Siloam. Today we have an opportunity to examine how we are living out our faith in Christ.
Jesus exposes the Pharisees as just hired hands, entrusted to care for the Jews, but who carry out their duties only to the degree that their personal desires are served. Jesus states that he is the Good Shepherd, who will lay down his life for his sheep, which he ultimately fulfills in his crucifixion and death on the cross. Jesus explains that God the Father loves Him for his sacrificial love, not the conditional love of the Pharisees.
Jesus knew that the Pharisees would not put aside their ego and desires. Jesus knew they could never accept him and relate to him as a sheep, an animal totally dependent on someone else to lead them, care for them, and protect them. But that is also what he is calling us to do! What about us? Are we willing to put aside our egos and desire to be in control, and be totally dependent on Jesus?
Now is the best time to take stock of our lives, and examine how well our lives display our dependence on Jesus as our Shepherd. Let us examine our life in prayer. Is our prayer spent silently listening for the voice of Jesus? Or does our prayer resemble the Pharisees, known for their recitation of all the many prayers available to them? What do our actions, our work, and our use of financial resources look like? Do these display our trusting in God to provide all that we need, and returning the abundance he provides back to Him? Or does our work, relationships, and use of money reveal that we mostly serve our own needs? What do our conversations with others reveal? Do they show us as a disciple of a loving and merciful God? Or do they show our desire to be appreciated for our knowledge, achievements, or prosperity?
Let us come before the Lord in prayer today, asking Him to show us not only where our faith might be lacking, but also to give us the vision of peace and joy that He wants for us. He is our gatekeeper. Let’s enter through his gate, and receive his love and protection today.
Today’s Question for Prayer and Reflection:
Do you listen attentively to the voice of the Good Shepherd and obey his word?