Gospel and reflection – why we read the word of God!

 

Gospel

The feast of the Dedication was taking place in Jerusalem.
It was winter.
And Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon.
So the Jews gathered around him and said to him,
“How long are you going to keep us in suspense?
If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.
The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me.
But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep.
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.”

REFLECTION

Jesus walked about in the temple area on the Portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe.”  John 10:24–25

This statement of Jesus may have left His followers confused.  They wanted to believe that Jesus was the Messiah, and so they asked Him to tell them plainly if He was the Messiah.  And how did He respond?  He tells them that He already told them and they failed to believe.  This is an interesting situation.

The first thing to say about this is that Jesus was not being critical.  He was helping them to understand His language.  He was helping them to understand that the answer to their question was not a matter of Jesus simply telling them, “I am the Messiah!”  Rather, the answer to their question had to come to them from the Father in Heaven, spoken to their hearts as they listened to Jesus and witnessed His miracles.  The answer was to be given to them by the gift of faith that had to be received from within.  This gift of faith would give them the certainty they so desired.

The same is true with us.  Perhaps you’ve wanted God to come down from Heaven at times and tell you “plainly” the answer to this or that question.  But He does not do that.  He does it in His perfect way with His perfect language.  It’s the language of faith and it requires a complete submission of our minds and wills to God to hear and understand.  This is the only way to become converted in the way God wants us to be.

Reflect, today, on how well you listen to God speak.  You most likely can learn to listen to Him more clearly, discerning His voice of Truth.  As you hear Him, let yourself become completely convinced of all that He says.  And let that deep conviction rule your life. For example, read the Gospel and reflect on it, look up online catholicdailyreflections.com, listen to EWTN and to some of the speakers. Those are examples of you trying to give God an opportunity to talk to you by reading and listening to his word (in the busy world you operate within). Not everyone will hear God’s message in the same way. Some people may hear the Lord speak while out walking through the fields in the Countryside, witnessing it’s natural beauty. Another may hear the Lord speaking to them in the quietness of a church. Others by reading and reflecting on the Gospel or different readings. We need to keep exploring until we find a way that the Lord speaks to us in through our Hearts. Once we experience this once, then all of this starts to make sense and we want more! To those of no faith, this sounds utterly ridiculous.

The gift of faith, is the best gift one can ever receive. When someone is on a trolley going for an operation. No mobile phone, no internet, no family or friends allowed in to this area of the hospital. No watch, no nothing apart from you and God. You can speak in your mind to the Lord. He is with you always, when all the worldly items are not there. You are there worried about what will happen in the operation. You comfort in talking and trusting the Lord.

Locked in a prison on your own, the Lord is there with you. Once you have faith, you can never be parted from the Lord, notwithstanding what happens.

If only our children could understand this but we must keep trying to explain in a way that they can understand. Our role is to keep trying and the Lord will take it from there. At the very least, we keep praying for our children (family, neighbours and friends) to experience the gift of faith.

Dont take this gift for granted. The Lord gave you this gift to go out and speak his word in a respectful and polite way. Not everyone has received the gift you may have received and may have to spend years searching.

We cannot see the wind. We cannot see the Lord but we know they are both there.

 

Prayer

Lord of all Truth, I so often do not let myself hear You plainly through the gift of faith.  I so often want the easy answer to the difficult questions.  Help me to grow in patience so that I may know You and allow You to become my true Shepherd.  Jesus, I trust in You.