GOSPEL OF THE FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER: John 10: 1-10
The image of Christ as the Good Shepherd that knows his sheep and calls each of them by name is the Central Theme of today’s Gospel and it is one that should reassure us during this particularly difficult time for humanity. We are… each one of us… completely known to Christ.
Just think about that for a moment: All the virtues, strengths, the temptations resisted, the challenges met, the good deeds done that somehow seem to go otherwise unnoticed… …
…And then there are those things about ourselves that we try very hard to keep hidden from the people around us: our weaknesses and fears; our vices that are really more embarrassing than evil. The sort of qualities that we fear would make us a good deal less loved, less respected, if they were known.
Well, they are all known. All of the virtue in each of us is seen and known and named by Christ. The world may not notice nor be much impressed by our personal struggles for holiness. But that really doesn’t matter – Christ does!
And, what of our weaknesses? The great truth is that Christ loves and calls us by name –even in our weakness and foolishness and fear. Christ has no disdain or contempt for our faults. He knows human beings too well for that.
He calls us away from our faults – he encourages, leads and Shepherds us away from them in order that we may have life to the full. (John 10:10) But even that is a gentle and loving process.
It is precisely because we are known by the Lord that he can reach us and lead us home.
There is, finally only one measure of what we are, any of us, and that is the great truth that Christ calls each of us by name.