4th Sunday of Easter Year C - 21/4/2013 - Gospel: Jn 10: 27-30
Stealing is a social problem that is wide spread at some popular holiday spots and places where the crowds gather. Some places used to be pick pocket free but apparently it was not now. Last week the Paris' Museum made sensational world news because the thieves were so bad that the Museum's authority decided to close its door to protect visitors. Stealing happens at different levels with different names but the purpose is the same that is trying to get access to what doesn't belong to them. An individual steals materials from one another and is regarded as a social crime. A company steals data from one another and is classified as a commercial crime. A nation steals warfare technology or economy knowledge of others and this is understood as spying. With hi tech popularity spy ware it attracts the international crimes. People can hack into other systems from at home or afar and gain access to information at national and international levels that they have no authorization to do so.

Material stealing happens when a person is wishing to grab unjustly for more materials or for more superiority. A spiritual stealing happens when our faith in Christ is secondary in life. A spiritual stealing has much to do with loosing from both within and without. From within there is lacking the commitment to follow and the refuse to acknowledge that Jesus loves him. The enthusiasm once had for Jesus has gone. The acceptance of the guiding of the Holy Spirit to live a good life is fading away.  On the outside there is lacking of commitment to serve. The relationship to other faith community members is disjointed. When our faith in Christ is inactive we remain a Christian, a Christian by name not by commitment and service. It means our faith in Christ is sleeping. We are being robbed of the spirit of serving, the spirit of commitment and the spirit of belonging. In other words we are being self focus on our own needs and wants and neglect the essential needs of other people around us. 

A spiritual stealing is a process of invading our inner life. It is slowly but very effective. It takes time to lead us to walk further and father away from the faith in Christ. It is the process of allowing our inner life to relax but it forces our physical body to work harder, to be busy with the work load in order to satisfy our world ambition.  Our life is being re- focused. It is a new outlook in life to re- prioritize the purpose life for the world.

Before the spiritual stealing happens there is an inward struggle between discerning to the voice of God and other voices. When the voice of God in us is suppressed we are not at peace with ourselves and constantly yearning for something else to substitute the peace of mind. 

Jesus tells us that the world has no real peace to offer. The only solution is to listen to his voice and place our trust in God. Those who place their trust in God will never be lost because God will protect that person from harm and give them real peace. Those who believe in God when they make mistakes and go astray the voice of the good shepherd will lead them back, calling them to come back to God. The good shepherd role is to provide comfort, protection, guidance and good care. Sheep rely on the voice of the good shepherd to return  them safely to the fold.

The sheep that belong to me listen to my voice, I know them and they know me....I give them eternal life and they will never be lost and no one will ever steal them from me Jn 10,27ff