Jesus and the Father are one and of one mind and heart. And to be a Christian means to have Christ’s mind and heart.
Jesus walks about in the temple area on Solomon’s Porch or Colonnade. It is a place many people go to, especially in winter. For there, due to a wall, one whose mind and heart are about not feeling so cold can take cover from the wind.
It is also a place where even Gentiles are allowed. But they cannot enter the temple itself.
Yes, Jesus is there when fellow Jews gather around him. They say to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly” (Jn 10, 24).
And he answers that he has already told them, but they have not believed. The works he does in his Father’s name give witness to him. Still, they do not believe as they are not his sheep.
Maybe it is hard for them to grasp what he says since they seek a messiah who will free them from the rule of Rome. And there is no doubt that they are more aware of their being Jews. For they are observing Hanukkah, the Feast of Lights (Jn 10, 22). That is to say, they recall the Dedication or, better, the cleansing of the temple from the “shame from the Gentiles” (1 Mac 4, 58).
One mind and heart; same wavelength, salvation and security
Anyway, Jesus explains right away: “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” That is to say, the Shepherd and the sheep are on the same wavelength. They are attuned to each other; they are of one mind and heart.
But the sheep do not only enjoy rapport with their Shepherd, but also salvation and security. For he gives them eternal life, and so they shall never perish. They will be secure besides, since no one can snatch them out of his or his Father’s hand.
Jesus makes clear, yes, that the plain marks of his sheep are such oneness, salvation, security. That is to say, the sheep are of one mind and heart with the Shepherd. This, of course, means to listen to his voice and to follow him.
And we who say we are his sheep today should be good listeners and doers (TWVDP 150). Like St. Vincent, we shall see to it that we put the whole of the Good News into the whole of our lives (Jacques Delarue). And we will not tire of trying to get to the core of both.
Hence, we will strive to make the Good News the foundation of our lives and to read daily the New Testament (CRCM II:1; X:8). But we have to see our lives in what we read and translate what we read into our lives.
If we do not do so, there is no way we can be of one mind and heart with our Shepherd. And what is in his mind and heart is clear (Phil 2, 1-11). It is obvious he is not a liberator who throws out the Gentiles, but a servant who suffers for all, and makes peace between enemies (Eph 2, 14).
Lord Jesus, feed us from the table of your word and of your sacrament, and let us have your mind and heart. And give us the light and peace like those you gave St. Louise (SLM 1).
8 May 2022
Fourth Sunday of Easter (C)
Acts 13, 14. 43-52; Rev 7, 9. 14b-17; Jn 10, 27-30