“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.
New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989, by the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. USCCB approved.
To be human is to hunger and keep pursuing. We constantly pursue more love, more growth, and more meaning. Throughout this life journey, there are times we do not know what we are truly hungering for or where we are going.
Jesus makes it very clear in the passage that all paths to abundance and eternal life go through him. Are we looking for him? Are we listening to him? The Jesuits talk about striving to be a “contemplative in action.” Perhaps as we continue with our busy schedules and daily activities, we can recommit to more prayer, reading scripture, receiving the sacraments, and simply to the inner silence needed to consider whether our life is what God desires for us.
Do we truly seek God in our day-to-day lives? Do we find Jesus in our relationships and activities? For Jesus knows each of us by name and he is the shepherd who will lead us always.
—Dr. Sajit U. Kabadi is Chair of the Theology Department and was recently named Assistant Principal for Mission, Ministry, and Diversity at Regis Jesuit High School in Colorado.
My Lord God, I have no idea where I am going. I do not see the road ahead of me. I cannot know for certain where it will end. Nor do I really know myself, and the fact that I think that I am following your will does not mean that I am actually doing so.
But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing. I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire. And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road though I may know nothing about it.
Therefore will I trust you always though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death. I will not fear, for you are ever with me, and you will never leave me to face my perils alone