From Psalm 87
“All you nations, praise the Lord!”
Why? Because God is God; the Source of all goodness, love, compassion, and mercy. God, and God alone, is our ultimate rock and salvation. No matter what happens in life, to us or to our world, God is with us. God will never walk away from us. Even though we sin, close our eyes to God, and even reject God, God remains forever faithful to us. God always seeks our good. God awaits us. Our destiny is to live forever in God’s loving embrace.
In today’s Gospel, John 10:11-18, Jesus identifies Himself as the Good Shepherd who gives Himself completely to His sheep.
”I am the Good Shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. … I am the Good Shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me … I will lay down my life for the sheep … “
Jesus lay down His life for us on the Cross. This is His act of total self-giving for us. We are sinners unworthy of redemption; nevertheless, Jesus loves us and salvages us. We were lost but now we are saved in and through His Blood shed for us. Jesus is the Good Shepherd!
In today’s Gospel, John 6:60-69, we find that “many of His disciples (finding His teaching too much) returned to their former way of life and no longer walked with Him.” Jesus said to His remaining disciples, “Do you also want to leave.” Jesus always respects the free will of people and never forces them to stay with Him. Peter answered: “Master, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God.”
If I turn my back on Jesus, where shall I go?
I am leaving for the airport shortly. I will spend much of the day travelling. I will be gone on business for six days. I don’t want to go. I feel very fragile: spiritually, psychologically and physically. I didn’t sleep last night. Edgy. Anxious. Watched the hours tick away on my alarm clock. What to do?
There is only one way to go: acknowledge all of my feelings; surrender this day of travel to God and put this entire trip in His Hands. And then be at peace knowing that He is with me and that nothing will happen that He and I can’t deal with. Amen!
Who is Jesus?
Each one of us must explore that vital question for ourselves. Our salvation ultimately depends on it. In today’s Gospel, John 6:30-35, Jesus responds to the questioning crowd:
“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
It is Jesus alone who can fill the emptiness that haunts all of us. It is Jesus alone who can quench the thirst that burns within us.