Sunday reflection 8 May

Readings: Acts 13:43-52; Psalm 100:1-5; Rev 7:14-17; John 10:27-30

Over the past few weeks the readings have spoken about coming to faith, a journey best taken intentionally. Today’s readings speak about being ‘the sheep of his flock’ and that we ‘hear his voice’. If I am on an intentional faith journey, how am I encouraging that?

One way might be to see and foster my connection with those around me. How am I behaving as a brother or sister to others? Then we can take it one step further to follow our spiritual brother, Francis of Assisi, and behave as a sister or brother to all of creation. In what ways might that change my behaviour on an everyday basis?

If I am a sheep of his flock how am I working for justice and right relationships that will bring God’s reign? As a Church, how are we sheep of his flock? The kind of systematic harassment and persecution faced by early Christians is a long way from our current reality. Rather the Church finds itself in a place of relative power. Such power should only be used to bring God’s reign through justice and right relationships. In that sense much good has been done and is being done in hospitals, schools and other church-run charitable institutions. Yet, Pope Francis’ exhortation to pastors to ‘smell like the sheep’ is important. Many of us have been fortunate to be looked after in that way. Would that that were universal. As an organisation that does not fully embrace and utilise the God-given gifts of women, I pray that this Mother’s Day will mark the beginning of a change in the Church.

In the Gospel, Jesus says that ‘my sheep hear my voice’. On this intentional journey of faith, may we each take the time to listen for the voice of Jesus in prayer, scriptures, creation and our interactions with others.

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