We are supposed to be one Church PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 07 May 2017 14:54

REFLECTION

BY FR. ROY CIMAGALA

 

THAT’S what we are reminded of, if we bother to take seriously the gospel of the fourth Sunday of Easter. It’s about Christ presenting himself as the gate of the sheepfold through which the sheep should enter. (Jn 10,1-10) He wants to gather us into the one people and family of God, which is what the Church is.

“I am the gate for the sheep,” he said. “All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy. I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”

Many practical considerations can be derived from these words that definitely express to us some basic truths about us. We have to follow Christ. We have to know him well, his doctrine, and avail of all the other means he has made available for us to get to know him—the sacraments, his teachings, the Church, the amazing life-testimonies of all the saints, etc.

We need to be familiar with his voice, which means that we have to exercise our faith and develop an authentic and functioning life of piety. Our eyes can see him properly, our ears can hear him truly if we live fully by our faith. To be sure, Christ has given us everything so that we can be his brothers and sisters, and therefore all children of God, our Father and creator.

This can be evidenced by what Christ himself said: “The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in His hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life. Whoever rejects the Son will not see life. Instead, the wrath of God remains in him.” (Jn 3,35-36)

This gospel also tells us that whoever has the task of bringing us to that gate of the sheepfold should be conformed to Christ and carry out that task as Christ would do it. In other words, we should avoid being “thieves and robbers” who only “steal, slaughter and destroy” the sheep.

We can ask ourselves if indeed these considerations we derive from this gospel are clear in our mind and motivate us to act accordingly.

I have my doubts. But this is precisely the challenge we have to tackle.

We should little by little form the appropriate attitude and dispositions for this purpose, and cultivate the relevant skills and virtues. We should aim at nothing less than developing a culture that is aware and compliant of this duty that is incumbent on everyone of us, albeit in varying ways.

We have to feel responsible for one another. Let us inculcate that sense of responsibility in every opportunity we have—at home, in schools, offices, and in the different fields of human endeavors, be it in business and politics, or sports and entertainment.

We need to explode the myth that this sacred duty and the character of our human affairs are incompatible. They definitely are not. In this era of rampaging secularism, when our religious duties and God himself are not only disregarded but also are attacked, we need to have sustained effort and campaign to proclaim the truth about our responsibility for one another in making ourselves the people of God.

We should do all this with a lot of charity and patience, willing to bear all the difficulties that we can expect. In fact, we should expect to be treated like Christ who became a sign of contradiction.

That should not be a big deal to us, if we want to truly follow Christ.