Jesus alone is the gate we cannot do without to attain salvation.
He is the gate through which we come in and go out without arousing suspicion. That is to say, coming in through him, we access lawfully and unquestionably the safety of the sheepfold. And going out through him, we surely find green grass and restful water.
Indeed, Jesus wants salvation and full life for us. He seeks our good and even gives his life for us sinners. There is no love, then, that is greater than his love. Hence, he himself is the gate we cannot do without to find salvation. And he inspires trust, forbearance, kindness and tenderness because of his disinterested love to the end, the utmost.
And those who give free rein to the noble feelings Jesus awakens surely get to be on the same wavelength as he. That is to say, they listen to his voice and follow him. His familiar voice cuts their hearts, which leads them to repent.
Repenting and obeying now the shepherd and guardian of their souls, they no longer look out for their own interests. They look out, rather, for the interests of others. And they do not fail to lift up and feed those who lie helpless at the gate. They remember well that there is no surer and better way of attaining salvation than to live and die in the service of the poor, following Jesus Christ (SV.EN III:384). That is how they practice the untarnished religion. In other words, they care for helpless orphans and widows in their suffering and not let the world stain them.
Those who really belong to Christ neither come in nor go out through the dirty gate of worldly greed.
Yes, they guard against all greed. Their religious observance does not allow them to neglect justice, mercy, faithfulness. They are, then, not among those who worry only about their own interests and promotions.
Much less are they like those who do not enter the sheepfold through the gate but climb over elsewhere. These assaulting climbers only destroy and bring havoc. They are so hungry for the first seats of gain and power.
Not so are those who are faithful to Jesus. Humble and putting Jesus Christ at the center, they keep their lives hidden in him and full of him (SV.EN I:276). And living like the one who gives his body up and sheds his blood for others, they also die in the same way.
Lord Jesus, let us come in and go out through you, the gate of salvation.
7 May 2017
4th Sunday of Easter (A)
Acts 2, 14a. 36-41; 1 Pt 2, 20b-25; Jn 10, 1-10