Sunday Mass: Jeopardy

May 10th
In the long-running television game show called Jeopardy, the answer is given first, and the players must come up with the corresponding correct question.
Imagine for a moment the category was religion, and the answer given was, "He is the Good Shepherd." Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Christianity, would most likely respond, "Who is Jesus Christ?" And they would be right!
In the Gospels, Jesus speaks of himself as the Good Shepherd who cares for those in his flock, protects them, and seeks those who stray. As he says, "I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.....I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me." (John 10:11, 14)
However, if the Jeopardy answer was "They are the Good Sheep," many contestants might hit the buzzer and blurt out "Who are Christians?" But that would be wrong.
The correct question, according to this Sunday's Gospel (John 10:27-30) would be "Who are they who listen to the shepherd?"
In that Gospel Jesus describes the sheep he identifies as being part of his flock, as being good sheep. They are the ones who hear his voice and follow him. They are the sheep who will be blessed with a life-giving relationship with him that will last forever. As he says, "I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish."
It is evident Jesus has certain expectations of all those who think of themselves as part of his flock.
The Lord expects his followers to set aside some time each day to shut out the noise and distractions of life. And in the silence, to listen to his voice as he speaks through the scriptures and in the teaching of the Church.
The Lord expects his followers to reflect daily on the choices they make and things they do to be certain they are in line with the Gospel and with the example he has set.
It is easy to think of ourselves as the good sheep. But if we not are doing our best to truly listen to the voice of the Good Shepherd and to faithfully follow him, we are deceiving ourselves. We are putting ourselves in eternal jeopardy!
© 2019 Rev. Thomas B. Iwanowski
May the Risen Lord bless you with his presence and peace
during this Easter Season!