Last Sunday, we heard Peter who for three times publicly confessed that he loved Jesus. After each confession, Jesus assigned Peter a task, to care for His sheep. This week, we hear about the relationship between the shepherd and the sheep: 'My sheep listen to my voice Jn 10,27'. Voice recognition is the sign of the strong bond between the Shepherd and his sheep. It means the sheep hear his voice calling, and recognize the identity of the Shepherd. Through the water of baptism, we are responding to the call to follow, and become God's children. God has called us and continues to do so. We pray to be faithful to the Baptismal call, the call that we profess every time we recite the Creed.
The creation accounts tell us that, at the end of each day, 'God saw that it was good, Gen. 1,10'. We discern God's voice by choosing what is good, supportive and promoting life. When God's word is anchored in our heart, we will avoid, or even better, combat anything that is bad or evil. Tidal waves or strong currents of life can sway a boat's anchor. To keep 'our boat' firm we constantly need to listen to the call. Jesus listens to the Father's voice, and is united with the Father. We too, are united with the Father when we listen to Jesus' voice. The apostles listened to Jesus' voice, we listen to Jesus' voice through them, because Jesus established the Church, and appointed Peter to be head of the Church. Today listening to the Church's voice means we belong to the minority, especially when that voice is unpopular to many, and is being scrutinized by the media. When we listen to God's voice, we are his true disciples, while listening to other voices, we are apart from God. Our Christian status depends on how strongly Jesus' voice is heard in our heart. Recognizing His voice means recognising Jesus, Who is our God. By following Jesus' way of life we receive eternal life. We receive Jesus' protection, enjoy His love, and have eternal life in God's kingdom (Jn. 10,27). Following the voice of the Good Shepherd, we say 'No' to other voices. Jesus' voice is not an ordinary voice, but it is the voice of the Risen Lord, who has defeated the power of darkness, and won salvation for us Jn 11,25-26. Salvation is a free gift when we profess Jesus as our Lord. We belong to Him, have His blessing and protection. Eternal life is real because no other power is able to take us away from God's love when we listen to God's voice. God gives us wisdom and grace to follow God's way, and at the same time, God also gives us a free will, that enables us to make choices. We are free to chose: God's way or our way. Choosing God's way we are united with God the Father "The Father and I are one" (10:30). Choosing our own way, we do it alone without God's blessing.