Why do animals trust their masters?
Why do children trust their parents?
Why do we pray?
The answers to the above are obvious: Trust. There’s a timely message in the readings for this Sunday, in that it talks about one of the, if not the most important quality needed for relationships to flourish. Whether it be in our relationship with God as His follower, as a spiritual advisor, spouse, parent, partner, friend, leader, or the like, trust is the most essential element for our connections to thrive and flourish.
“You pray for supplication not because you are holy but because you trust God will grant your petition”, says Fr. Armand Robleza, S.D.B. in his homily today.
In the Gospel (Jn. 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.”
We hear in the Gospel proclamation that “the sheep hear his voice” as the “shepherd calls his own sheep by name”. Wow. Imagine that during those times, we’re not talking of a couple or a dozen of sheep, we’re talking about even a hundred in a flock. His relationship with the sheep is personal and intimate. The sheep knows him and follows him, because “they recognize his voice.” In contrast, they will “not follow a stranger, they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers”.
To be effective in your relationships, you must gain the trust of your spouse, parent, partner, friend, and people. Without trust, all the efforts and work that you do will fail. Nobody will respect you. Others won’t take you seriously either.
Our relationship with God isn’t different either; we have to build on our relationship with Jesus before we can expect the action of the Holy Spirit to open our minds to the truth about God through the reading and reflection of the Scriptures, which will enable us to have a deeper and more intimate relationship with Him. This will restore the bonds which we have before sin entered into our world. This bond restored is one in which Jesus calls us by name, even calling us “His own”. You are not just any of the sheep, but rather one who is unique and one whom He loves dearly on a deeply personal level.
When we are in an authentic relationship with Jesus, we are encouraged to listen to His words. Listening also means hearing what Christ is telling us each moment of our lives. As our Good Shepherd, He leads us through the gate and we follow. Through Jesus, we enter into a new relationship that brings us into unity with Him.
Do you trust Jesus, as your Good Shepherd?
As we go on the coming week, let us pray that the Holy Spirit open our hearts and minds to know and love Jesus in a more personal level. One good thing you can do is to pray the Holy Rosary. Fr. Armand is suggesting you commit a day each month wherein your family prays the Holy Rosary, offering it for the intentions of the Holy Father, the Church, and your Parish, among others.
“I am the good shepherd, says the Lord;I know my sheep, and mine know me.” (Jn. 10: 14)