What is the voice of the Good Shepherd?
On Divine Mercy Sunday this year, I had the privilege of serving Mass at a confirmation with a local bishop. At the Mass, my friend John’s daughter Rose was confirmed, so it was a great privilege for me to be there. I’ve known the family for 15 years, so I’ve had the chance to watch the kids grow up.
So afterwards I came over John’s house for the celebration party, and I met up with Rose and congratulated her. After a little bit, I asked her, “So Rose, what did you guys do this year in confirmation class?” “Not much. I didn’t really learn anything.” “Well, what do you think they should do? How would you do it?” So, that started a long response from her and her friend, and pretty soon I was telling her about how special she is, how special a day it is, with Divine Mercy Sunday and the beatification of Pope John Paul II, and the first day of May and the feast of St. Joseph the Worker, on her confirmation day. I shared some chilling stories about how I used the Ouja board and my experience with it, and explained what happens spiritually with it, so her friend can decide for herself if she should avoid it.
After about 20 minutes, I noticed, all the kids and adults were listening. Everyone. John’s wife said to me, “Look: you have all their attention.” And Rose said to me, “I learned more in the last 20 minutes than I learned all year.”
Now, I could talk till the cows come home about all those things and people wouldn’t necessarily respond. What made the difference?
I came as a servant.
Mercy comes to serve.
When the Lord fed the 5,000, why were so many people there listening to Him? What made all these people gather around Him and listen to His words? At the Sermon on the Mount, on the plain, with the 5,000 and the 3,000. Why could He gather everyone like that?
It’s because Jesus came saying, “What do you want me to do for you?” He came as a servant.
“For the Son of man also came not to be served but to serve.” (Mk 10:45)
If people are entrusted to you, the only way they will really listen to you is if you are their servant. You can have the most important and valuable thing to say, but they will not listen to you. You will be like ships passing in the night. But if you are willing to listen to them first, if you are willing to do what they want, then they will listen to you and follow you.
They will recognize your voice.
“He who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” (Jn 10:2-5)