Jesus said: “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold by the gate but climbs in by another way is a thief and a bandit. The one who enters by the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens the gate for him, and the sheep hear his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. They will not follow a stranger, but they will run from him because they do not know the voice of strangers." Jesus used this figure of speech with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them. So again Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and bandits; but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters by me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”
Today is Monday the 13 May in the fourth week of Easter.
Bless the Lord, my soul, who leads me into life. The most important thing for me to do now, as I enter into prayer, is to let go for a moment, to let go of my own concerns, my own worries and fears and reluctance, and let myself be led by God, trusting that God, who loves me, will lead me into life.
Today’s reading is from the Gospel of John.
Jesus in this Gospel sees himself as one who cares for us, nurtures us and give us life. Think back; when did you most feel full of life, most vibrant, when life was particularly good?
We all experience times under the influence of the 'thief of life' – the one who comes to steal and destroy. Sometimes we are down, quite understandably, because of events, like bereavement or sickness, but at other times it is of our own making. Think back now on the times when you felt least full of life, when you were desolate or depressed, when you felt the life drained out of you.
As you hear the reading again, notice the purpose of all this, the words Jesus ends with, about the reason for his coming...
How can you maximise that sense of vibrant, abundant life and minimise the deadness? Why not talk to the Lord about this – to Jesus who calls himself the Gate, the way to life. How do you want to respond to his desire that you have life and have it abundantly?