18 April 2016
Monday, 4th Week of Easter
Acts 11:1 – 18 / Jn 10:1 – 10
Gospel Reading: Jn 10:1 - 10
Jesus said to his disciples, "Truly, I say to you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate, but climbs in some other way, is a thief and a robber. But the shepherd of the sheep enters by the gate. The keeper opens the gate to him and the sheep hear his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, rather they will run away from him because they don't recognize a stranger's voice. . . .
"Truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came were thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved; he will go in and out freely and find food. The thief comes to steal and kill and destroy, but I have come that they may have life, life in all its fullness."
Jesus once said: "unless the Father draws him, no one can come to me on his own". The calling of Jesus as the shepherd is a call to his sheep. The sheep respond because they recognize his voice.
Those who hear God's "calling" recognize and acknowledge by responding. Those who do not, are not the "sheep" of his flock. Only the sheep can enter through the "sheep gate", which is Jesus himself. Not all can enter, as Jesus had once said: "Many are called but few are chosen." Only those that heed the call and make the great effort to enter can be part of the sheepfold.
The great effort to enter entails overcoming a lot of obstacles and giving up of comforts zones and leisurely lifestyles. To them the mission to build God's kingdom is of utmost priority.
In the encounter with Jesus, many have been disappointed: The rich young man who was asked to sell all his property and follow Jesus; the industrious farmer who puts his hand to the plough and longed to return to his profession; the man who had to bury his father first before joining; the man who had to say goodbye to his parents and be with them one more time; the businessman who wanted to build more barns for his produce before dying the following day, etc. There are other examples.
However, Jesus assures us that we can learn from all of this because his burden is light and the rewards are overflowing because these are not based on human standards.
Take courage because God does not intimidate with impossible demands. We are all called to join the effort to free the world of the great obstacle to realizing God's plan for us.
WE PRAY FOR MTQ DAILY PRAYER DIARY INTENTIONS:
Michael P. Del Carmen
Forest Francis Tan
Mike P. Del Carmen
Terence Gotamco Tan
IN MEMORIAM (+)
Finally, we pray for one another, for those who have asked our prayers and for those who need our prayers the most.
Have a good day!
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