April 25, 2021: Fourth Sunday of Easter
John Chapter 10:11-18
Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. A hired man, who is not a shepherd and whose sheep are not his own, sees a wolf coming and leaves the sheep and runs away, and the wolf catches and scatters them. This is because he works for pay and has no concern for the sheep. I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I will lay down my life for the sheep. I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. These also I must lead, and they will hear my voice, and there will be one flock, one shepherd. This is why the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again. No one takes it from me, but I lay it down on my own. I have power to lay it down, and power to take it up again. This command I have received from my Father.”
There is one line from this passage that has rolled around in me. “I am the good shepherd, and I know mine and mine know me.” The “knowing” that is mentioned is a deeply resonant feeling that I understand. I KNOW this knowing. When I am quiet and listen with attention, I experience this knowing and being known. It feels like safety, love, encouragement, trust and joy. It feels warm, gentle, spacious and comfortable. I feel heard, honored, challenged and comforted. Isn’t it interesting that at the same time I feel comfortable, I also feel challenged? I think that is the way of Providence moving in my life. The creative and good Creator of all calls into use all that is available in and for me.
Each of us probably has a space, place or posture where we have experienced a deep awareness of KNOWING. Take time to be there this week. When present, allow these words to come: BE. STILL. AND. KNOW. Spend time with each word. What images surface? Does one of the words resonate with a physical feeling? Are there colors associated with one of the words? Does a memory come? Is there a desire to avoid or ignore one of the words?
Author’s Note: Be sure to consider the word AND as a valid, single word! Don’t skimp on this one! I find it to be a powerful and opening word in my prayer life.
Thanks Alice for this beautiful, consoling and challenging reflection.