I don’t have to tell you, I am sure, that life on earth can be pretty uncertain on a daily basis. Wars being fought all over the globe, terrorism and natural disasters, disrespect for human life, antagonism toward Christ-like values, all of this makes us feel pretty uncertain, at best. Add to that the stuff that affects us directly: illness, death of a loved one, unemployment, family difficulties, our own sins – all of this may find us asking the question from time to time, “Where is God in all this?”
That’s why it’s so good to hear Jesus say today:
My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
This does not, of course, mean that life is going to be magically easier for us, or that we won’t still be challenged in this world. But it does give us confidence that we are on the right track, and that our ways are being guarded. And with this confidence, we are expected then to be disciples. We are expected to go forth and do what God asks of us, ministering to those in need, reaching out to the broken, preaching the Good News just by the way that we live our life.
We can live and preach the Gospel with confidence, we can be called Christians as our brothers and sisters in the first reading were for the first time, knowing that God has our back. Whatever we may suffer in this life for the sake of Christ will more than be rewarded in the life to come. And the good works we do here on earth, as small as they may seem to us in the face of such adversity, are never for nothing: God takes our efforts and makes them huge advances in the battle for souls.
Jesus says that the Father is greater than all, and that all of us, safe in the Father’s hands, can never be taken from him. Praise God for his providence and mercy and protection today.