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Greetings to all who love to wander along the paths of the Holy Scriptures! The purpose of this blog is to share some of the insights of ordinary Catholics who have begun to delve into the mysteries of the Sacred Scriptures. Hopefully you will find these reflections inspiring and insightful. We are faithful to the Church, but we are not theologians; we intend and trust that our individual reflections will remain within the inspired traditions of the Church. (If you note otherwise please let me know!) Discussion and comments are welcome, but always in charity and respect! Come and join us as we ponder the Sacred Scriptures, which will lead us on the path into His heart, which "God alone has traced" Job 28:23.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

My Sheep Hear My Voice.


A reflection on the readings for the Fourth Sunday of Easter, 2013


Thereadings this Sunday call us to martyrdom; to witness in strength and love to the Lamb who shepherds us and fills us with His joy.  How do we gain the confidence of Paul and Barnabas to be a witness to the truth of the Gospel?
 
John: 10:27-30
Jesus said:  “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.”



By, Luke Knofczynski
 Luke's drawing of him listening to Jesus
Do you know His voice?  How do you learn to hear his voice?  These were questions that came up in our recent Kyrion meeting.  Kyrion is a prayer group for children that we have at our parish.   We are a small group under the umbrella of One Heart~One Fire.  The format for our small but faithful group starts with praise of God in song, an opening prayer, then we read, discuss, act out, meditate and journal on the Gospel for the upcoming Sunday.  We end with prayer.  We are trying to ignite a love for the Father in the hearts of the children, and to lead their hearts to know His voice.  And we are faithful and obedient to the teachings of our Church.  She is our guide into the heart of Christ.  Yet, it is a tall order.  There is an initial discomfort among all the children.  Jesus sometimes says strange things, challenging things.  It may be easier to keep a safe distance.   Even the children perceive this and our culture encourages it.

And this stirs up a bit of nervousness.  Truly, If you were to walk into our room in the middle of one of our meetings you would see what may look like chaos, in fact, it often feels like chaos to me (especially if I happened to have my toddler, Max, along).  To our eyes the rambunctious children do not seem to be ready or able listen and hear the Word of the Lord.  But our eyes miss a lot.   It is hard to perceive the very small movements of God in the ordinary messiness of our daily lives.

After my first few, very, very, VERY noisy and rowdy Kyrion meetings this year, I was tempted to give in to the feeling that it really was not worth the effort on a Friday afternoon, when I would much rather go home and relax with my family after a long week.  After all, we went to Mass that day, we will pray our nightly decade of the Rosary with the children before they go to bed…what more do we need to do?  Yes, Mass and devotion to our Blessed Mother are foundational to this ministry, but God has shown me, through many different means, how dangerous the attitude of "I have done enough" can be.  It can seduce you to compartmentalize faith.  It can induce a complacency in our soul and - I think we can see this in our culture - this complacency reduces our ability to love others with the passionate and fiery love of Christ; with a love that witnesses His love.  We will become lukewarm.  We will not be able to perceive evil, we will be easily deceived and truth will be inverted.  Thus I persevere with our other families. I have learned, over the course of the years how much He can do with a little perseverance on my part.  I am learning to notice the still,  small movements of His Spirit which reveal that the sheep are listening.

By: Sophia Knofczynski
Sophia's drawing of Jesus
In fact, on many Sundays, when the Gospel is read at Mass (or during the children’s liturgy he sometimes attends) my son Luke will comment on how we read that in Kyrion, or how he got to play the part of Jesus in that Gospel during Kyrion, or how he drew a picture of Jesus when we journaled on the Gospel.  He is engaged in the readings at Mass in a way that he would not otherwise be.  He is given permission to understand that the Word of God is written for him.  This is not selfish, it is learning to recognize the voice of the Lamb, the shepherd of His people.  In fact, it is giving him the courage to respond to His word in a way that will witness to others.   And he will need the courage; our children will need to know the voice of Jesus.  For some form of martyrdom awaits all of us who listen to and obey the shepherd’s voice, but we are assured that even if we suffer for His sake in this world the Father will not allow you to be lost.

I, John, had a vision of a great multitude, which no one could count, from every nation, race people, and tongue.  They stood before the throne and before the Lamb, wearing white robes and holding palm branches in their hands.  Then one of the elders said to me, “These are the ones who have survived the time of great distress; they have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb.  “For this reason they stand before God’s temple.  The one who sits on the throne will shelter them.  They will not hunger or thirst anymore, nor will the sun or any heat strike them.  For the Lamb who is in the center of the throne will shepherd them and lead them to springs of life-giving water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.”  Rev 7:9, 14 B-17

So it is imperative that we learn to hear His voice!  We need to teach our children that He is always speaking to us.  In our meeting, we ran a simple game with our children.  They were each blindfolded, and we (their mothers) scattered around the room and all called to them.  They had to listen and discern where their parent was.  They all succeeded.  Why?  Because they live with us, because they communicate with us.  They have learned to know our voices for their own safety, and for their individual needs for nurturing and love.  We learn to hear His voice by living with Him every day, in His Word, in prayer, by frequently coming to Him in adoration, in the Sacraments, in repentance.   Do you know His voice?  You must or you will be lead astray. You must know His voice and be prepared;  because sometimes He asks His followers to do hard things.  To love impossible people.  To forgive unspeakable crimes.  To proclaim Him in terrifying situations.  But in Him you can endure times of great distress, and confidently rejoice that your will be worthy of everlasting life where God Himself will wipe away every tear.

We are His people the sheep of His flock!  Amen!  Alleluia!

Heidi 

3 comments:

  1. That was very insightful: the concept that our compartamentalization and complacency starts with our being seduced, induced, and reduced. Brilliant!
    Easter blessings, Paul

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  2. What an inspiring catholic mother you are! Thanks for this beautiful post!

    ReplyDelete
  3. BEWARE OF DISTORTED SHEEP-TALK

    Do dead sheep have eternal security? Can sheep ever be lost? The favorite proof text of advocates for the erroneous doctrine of "once saved always saved" is John 10:27-28.


    John 10:27-28 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.


    Jesus said His sheep hear is voice. Jesus told us all how to become a member of His flock. (Mark 16:16 He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved.....) If you have not believed and have not been baptized in water, then you have not listened to the voice of Jesus. There is only one way to become a sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep follow Him, He did not say that He would force them to become sheep.


    Jesus said His sheep will be given eternal life and no one will snatch them from His hand.


    No one can snatch you from the hand of Jesus, however, you can choose to leave His hand voluntarily.


    Matthew 10:22 You will be hated by all because of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved.


    Why would Jesus instruct His sheep to endure to the end, in order to be saved, if the sheep were once saved always saved?


    DO DEAD SHEEP HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY?


    Acts 5:1-11.....3 But Peter said, "Ananias, why has Satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back some of the price of the land? 4 .....You have not lied to men but to God."5 And as he heard these words, Ananias fell down and breathed his last. (Did this dead sheep, who lied to God, have eternal security?)


    Acts 5:11 And great fear came over the whole church, and over all who heard of these things.(Why would the whole church be in fear because of two dead sheep, if all the sheep were once saved always saved?)


    SHEEP HAVE FREE-WILL!


    1 Timothy 5:14-15 Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; 15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan.


    Satan did not snatch these widows from the hand of Jesus, these sheep made a choice to follow Satan.


    1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all sorts of evil, and some by longing for it have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.


    The love of money can cause sheep to wander from the faith. Satan has no power to force people from the faith. Men have a choice.


    1 Timothy 4:1 But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith.....


    The Holy Spirit says some sheep will fall from the faith.
    Who do you trust, the Holy Spirit or John Calvin?


    DO UNREPENTANT SHEEP, WHO HAVE GONE ASTRAY, HAVE ETERNAL SECURITY? NO!


    YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http://steve-finnell.blogspot.com

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