Lectio Divina: 2021-04-23

Lectio Divina for this Friday took the Gospel for the 4th Sunday in Easter Year B.

John 10: 11-18 The good shepherd is one who lays down his life for his sheep.

One

John 10:14 &15 says “I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me———–and I lay down my life for the sheep.” This is a beautiful comforting statement for all of us as the term sheep here is plural.

I am encouraged and uplifted that I have a Father/Brother in Jesus and that He loves me that much. He is my protector, corrector, guide, comforter, provider, teacher, friend, carer.

The Lord is my shepherd therefore I shall not be in want of anything. Psalm 23.

He knows everything about me and you even before we were born. He knows our sitting down and our uprising, He knows our thoughts, weaknesses and faults and still He loved us enough to die for us, even while we were still sinners so as to set us free and reconcile us back with our Father and His Father, our God and His God, the Almighty. Really, this is too wonderful for me to comprehend. God’s love for us is immeasurable. Lord teach us to recognise your voice and to learn to know you as you know us.

Since I know that my salvation is through grace and not by the works of my hands lest I should boast, I pray that the Holy Spirit will help me to be a good disciple of Jesus and to preach the Good News of the Gospel by my words, thoughts and my actions to reach those who do not yet know. How can they hear without a preacher Romans 10: 14. It is Jesus’s wish that we and those who do not know Him yet should become one flock and He, the one shepherd.

May the Lord kindly lead us to do His wishes. Amen

Pax et Bonum

Two

“I am the good shepherd.” A good shepherd devotes himself to his sheep, he nurtures them, he protects them and he looks for them when they go astray and doesn’t rest until he finds them and brings them back to the flock. That is what Jesus does for me. He loves me so much that when I stray, when I hurt him and turn my back on him through my sins he still wants me back and comes to search for me and doesn’t stop until he finds me. Jesus does even more than that he dies for us. He died for me, an unworthy sinner. There is no greater love and I am so thankful.

“There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheepfold. I must bring them too; they will listen to my voice and they will become one flock with one shepherd”. I pray, every day for the members of my family who have left the flock or who have got lost along the way. I ask the Holy Spirit to open their eyes, their ears, their minds and their hearts to God’s love, word, truth and goodness. I pray that he will bring them home. I know He will not stop looking until he finds them and returns them to the sheepfold. I rest in that knowledge and know that God loves them unconditionally.

Three

“I know my sheep and my sheep know me.”

Jesus is speaking to an audience that will fully understand his references to shepherds.

I remember reading an article about Eastern shepherds and it said that they intimately know their sheep. The shepherd is deeply interested in every single one of his flock. He counts them each evening as they enter the fold but the shepherds are also able to feel the absence of any one of their sheep.

Reading this passage this morning I became aware of a deep sense of God’s love for me – of feeling being safe, secure, loved and protected. I may wander away from the flock and become “lost” but the shepherd will know that I am missing and bring me back into the fold.

Jesus knows me intimately and still chose to lay down his life for me. Jesus has an intimate relationship with his Father and he is offering us the same – a deep mutual knowledge of each other.

How well do I know Jesus?
How do I recognise his voice in the midst of all the other voices in my life?
Am I being asked to be the “voice”of Jesus calling others to come to the flock?

Four

‘I lay it down of my own accord’ = Accord means to grant or give especially. I have not enough courage or bravery to give up my life. My human instinct would let me sacrifice my life for my immediate family. But would I do the same for a stranger? His ultimate act of love was to save me. It shows just how much Jesus loves me. His love is without beginning and without end. Help me Lord to truly know you. In you Jesus I trust and hope.

Five

By evissa from sheffield, england

Happy St. George’s day

I know my own and my own know me.
They too will listen to my voice and there will be only one flock and one shepherd.

Perhaps we are scattered now as a result of the Covid wolf but we know the good shepherd. We listen to his voice and he will lead us as one flock.

I have work to do to know Jesus as he knows the Father but that is my task.
I am also struck by how much God the Father loves and wants his sheep.

Blessings to you all

Six

Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He knows his sheep and his sheep know him. He is willing to give his life for his sheep.

There is nothing that Jesus will not do for his sheep. He won’t always give us what we want but he will meet every need that we have. He is the Good Shepherd.

Jesus knows us by name. Jesus sees us the way we really are. He knows our strengths and our weaknesses, our triumphs and our failings. He knows us as closely as He knows his father. Jesus wants us to know Him in a deeply, personal way; to have a strong and unbreakable relationship with him. Jesus wants us to seek His face.

Jesus loves us. What a wonderful friend we have in Jesus !

Seven

By reading this gospel passage I must say how beautiful it is to know that the Lord and Jesus Christ care so much for us that he would die and indeed he died for us. But I find most appealing is that at the end of the passage he was talking about his resurrection.

Eight

Jesus is inviting us into a deep intimate relationship with him. He is loyal, protective, gentle and trustworthy. He gives us our freedom and no matter how far we may wander his watchful eye is always on us.

Sometimes we listen to the wrong voice only to discover that we are wandering down the wrong path. Oh no, how did I get here again? But all is not lost, Jesus is there with open arms welcoming us back into the fold.

The more time we spend in his company the deeper the love we feel and the easier it is to discern his voice. He is challenging us to become more like him. We all have the potential for compassion, kindness and trustworthiness, but sometimes those attributes are hidden under layers of hurt that have become a protective barrier to keep others out and keep us in. Jesus wants to set us free from everything that is standing in the way of becoming who he wants us to be. How else can he build communities that are rooted in love. Am I willing to trust him today to lead me down the path that will make his vision for the world become a reality? Yes.

Here I Am Lord, Is It I, Lord?
I Have Heard You Calling In The Night.
I Will Go Lord, If You Lead Me.
I Will Hold Your People In My Heart.

Nine

“I am the Good Shepherd.”

Impossible to penetrate the goodness of my God, the goodness of Jesus, coming now to me through the Holy Spirit. Oh! how he wants us to know him! How he wants to lead us, calling us out of our grime, ever more deeply into his merciful love!

This morning I had a brief glimpse into my interior. There were lots of tiny silver doors. I feel the delight as the little doors open and my Shepherd finds and shares with me something very beautiful within. Then I feel a little stab of pain as I resist the key wanting to be turned in the tiny silver lock in the tiniest silver door.

Why do I resist his goodness to me? For it is in his goodness he wants to show me the treasures he has put in my heart. Do I say, in a choked whisper: “It is enough.”? Do I fear that in unlocking this tiny door there will be no going back? Do I fear that this will truly be death -to self, beyond which is land unknown, without boundaries, or protective walls? Do I fear total exposure? Or is it fear of the excruciating pain of his love for which he laid down his life that I might have? While I have said I long for this death, opening into a New Life I have barely glimpsed, my fear, for now, it seems, keeps the tiny door shut.

My head and heart still swim with the Easter Treasures glimpsed through nature in the waterfalls, the blossoms, the carpet of pure white sorrel in the woods, reflecting his grace in me and yet…

I pray: ” Let me hear and deeply listen to your voice, Lord. Let me clearly understand there is no harm for me in following you in every step. Let me not shut my ears as you call me by my name, as you seek permission to open the door. Let me feel the gentleness of your delicate, sensitive fingers, as, with full permission, you turn the tiny key in the tiny lock in the tiny silver door to my deepest heart and your deepest beauty in me.”

“I shall not die, I shall live …and recount his deeds.” (Ps.118 v. 17)

I pray this with all people of every time and place in your holy and Divine Will.”

Ten

Friends:

“I have other sheep that are not of this fold”

Perhaps in its day this was a recognition of “sheep” that the Jews would prefer not to be accepted into their exclusive fold – Samaritans, Arabs, Greeks, Gentiles…

In our day, and certainly for me, it is a reminder not to be exclusive – either within the Christian church – about other denominations, or outside, seeking to exclude those of other religions or none.

Jesus’ fold offers shelter and sanctuary to all.

“God so loved the world”, not selective bits of it.

Blessings

Eleven

It is such a beautiful day, that I decided to swap my usual place for Lectio for my garden; leaving the Creation be my focus and my music the singing of the birds. What a joyful and peaceful feeling!

Some words pop out after reading this Gospel: ‘I know my own’, ‘other sheep I have that are not of this fold’, ‘there will be one flock and one shepherd’.

Jesus said ‘I know my own’, I wonder if everybody has awareness of how amazing this it; Jesus knows me intimately, I am His. I certainly have not always understood it properly. Being born and raised a Catholic, this was assumed, taken for granted maybe, never questioned neither that I know, recognise Him. It was so obvious that I wasn’t marvel at it. What a foul I was!

Though this ‘my own’, for me, doesn’t refer to a few privileged people, no, we are so many the baptized in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. And since that very moment we belong to Him, we become his flock. Thanks be to God for this Gift.

Nevertheless, I visualize Jesus in sadness praying in the Garden of Gethsemane ‘that they may be one’ (Jn 17:20-22 ), knowing His flock will split. Thus is telling his disciples, us, that ‘other sheep I have that are not of this fold’ that Jesus must lead too. Who is in that fold? All of us, divided? I wonder if it could include also the many baptized people that, by any reason, have abandoned the Church. Or if that include as well the many that still haven’t heard of Him.

Therefore, I feel called to be an instrument of: unity among my fellow brothers and sisters Christians, in love and the fellowship of the Spirit; of reconciliation with those who have forgotten Your voice, Lord; of welcoming for those that don’t know You yet. For as You so well pointed, there only can be One flock, and One Shepherd, You, our Lord and Saviour.

Please Lord, send your Spirit to all of us, for we feel ‘the same love, being of one accord, of one mind”, (cf Phil 2:1-2), so that we can love each other with the same love you loved us all.

In Jesus name I pray.

Twelve

 ‘I know my sheep’ 

God knows me better than I know myself, he’s known me longer than I have been alive because In Jeremiah 1v5 it says before I formed you in your mother’s womb I knew you, and he has seen all my days. Wow !

In the text it says that to the hired shepherd the sheep don’t matter, but to Jesus we matter, so much so that he gave his life that we might be free. He dealt with everything at the cross so that we could receive everything from him. 

Thank you Jesus , I don’t have the words to describe my gratitude. 

God bless you all