Weekly Missionary Reflection
Sunday, 08 May 2022
Easter Week IV
59th World Day of Prayer for Vocations
Acts 13:14,43-52; Ps. 100:2,3,5; Rev. 7:9,14b-17; John 10:27-30
Today’s Gospel is the continuation of Jesus’ revelation of Himself as the Good Shepherd (John 10). Jesus indirectly answered the question from the curious Jewish people: Is He the promised and expected Messiah? In a brief and concise way, Jesus explained His relationship with His followers as well as His Father. In other words, this text aimed to present and introduce: Jesus, His people, and his Father. Jesus wanted to reveal Himself, His Church, and His Father. This is not a theory but about a relationship, not about knowing but about the willingness to be involved in God’s mission.
First, who are we, His people? We are the sheep who recognize the voice of Jesus, the Shepherd (v. 27). Starting from John 10:1 Jesus introduced Himself as the good Shepherd. Nevertheless, the Jews couldn’t know Him, so they rejected Him. Why? Because they didn’t relate with Him. Without a deep relationship with the Shepherd, how can the sheep listen to His voice and calling? So, our identity as His sheep can only be assured and maintained by continuously being in a relationship with Him: opening ourselves to His voice and getting involved in His mission. Without a deep relationship with Jesus, and if we only rely on our human power and ability, we will follow or be confused by various voices and callings offered abundantly by the present world. However, Jesus gives a joyful assurance: we are the “gift” from the Father (v. 29). Our relationship with Jesus, the Shepherd, does not come from our own effort, but from the work of the Father’s “hand”. Therefore, our relationship with Jesus can not be broken or annulled by anything or anyone! Suffering, threat, evil, rulers, and the darkness of the world have no power to take us out of Jesus and Fathers hand (v. 28 and 29).
Second, who is Jesus, the Shepherd? Jesus emphasizes that He’s the Shepherd who knows His sheep (v. 27b). He knows and calls each of our names. Not only that! He even gives eternal life to us, His sheep (v.28). With that gift of eternal life, our relationship with Him is eternal. The life we are living now will be more meaningful and true. We spend our daily life as sheep who always listen and seek Shepherd’s voice and guidance. We live a qualified routine, focusing on Him and directing by His calling.
Third, who is the Father? He is the foundation and initiator of all! He is the one who gives us to Jesus, the Shepherd. We are Fathers gift to the Son. For us, Jesus is presenting the Father, the Shepherd to His people (Ps. 23). Jesus and Father are one: He is deeply and inseparably united with the Father. He talked and acts in unity with the Father. In Jesus, the Father speaks and works, leads, cares, and gives eternal and true life to His sheep.
(Hortensius Mandaru – Indonesia Bible Society)
DAILY DEDICATED PRAYER
Lord, our Father, I present my today prayer, thought, word, work, joy, and sorrow in the unity with Your Son, Jesus Christ, who always presents Himself in the Eucharist for the salvation of the world. May the Holy Spirit animating Jesus, also be my guidance and strength today so that I am ready to be the witness of Your love.
Together with St. Mary, Mother of Jesus, and the Church, in particular, I present my prayer for our Pope and apostle prayer of the Indonesian Church this month:
For Universal Churches: For the faith of the youth
We pray for the called young people to live life to their fullest; hope they can learn to listen, to have deep discretion, to have the courage of faith, and to present themselves in the service.
For Indonesian Churches’ intention: To live the rosary
With Mary, we hope to be enabled to feel the simplicity and depth of the rosary and be willing to pray it for those who need our prayer.