Gospel – John 10:1-10

Jesus said:
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate
but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
The gatekeeper opens it for him and the sheep hear his voice,
as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
When he has driven out all his own,
he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him,
because they recognize his voice.
But they will not follow a stranger;
they will run away from him,
because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.”
Although Jesus used this figure of speech,
the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.

So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you,
I am the gate for the sheep.
All who came before me are thieves and robbers,
but the sheep did not listen to them.
I am the gate.
Whoever enters through me will be saved,
and will come in and go out and find pasture.
A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy;
I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

Anyone who was paying attention in Scripture class knows that Jesus used familiar images to capture the attention of his audience and provide easy-to-understand analogies. Sheep and shepherds were familiar to the working class and poor to whom Jesus so often spoke. They easily understood how a sheep would recognize the voice of its shepherd, distinctive from the voice of anyone else.

The Pharisees completely missed the point that Jesus was making. This might lead one to question how well the Pharisees were connected to the rest of their society. How well did the Pharisees know the people who were part of their community? With that thought, I might ask the same question: how well do I know my neighbor? How well do I understand the needs of people in the world (especially the needs of the poor)? How well do I understand the needs of the students entrusted to my care? Failure to recognize their needs may also be connected to the failure of hearing and recognizing the voice of Jesus. And who would want to miss having life, and having it abundantly?

Brother Mark Brown, FSC
St. John’s College High School – Washington, DC

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.