Gospel Reflection – Tuesday, April 23, 2024 – John 10,22-30 – Catholic Bible

First Reading (Acts 11,19-26)

Reading of the Acts of the Apostles.

In those days, those who had been scattered because of the persecution that followed the death of Stephen, reached Phoenicia, the island of Cyprus and the city of Antioch, although they did not preach the Word to anyone who was not a Jew. However, some of them, inhabitants of Cyprus and the city of Cyrene, arrived in Antioch and began to preach to the Greeks as well, announcing to them the Good News of the Lord Jesus.

And the hand of the Lord was with them. Many people believed in the Gospel and converted to the Lord. The news reached the ears of the Church in Jerusalem. So they sent Barnabas to Antioch. When Barnabas arrived and saw the grace that God had granted, he was very happy and exhorted everyone to remain faithful to the Lord, with firmness of heart.

He was a good man, full of the Holy Spirit and faith. And a great multitude adhered to the Lord. Then Barnabas went to Tarsus, looking for Saul. Having found Saul, he took him to Antioch. They spent a whole year working together in that Church, and instructed a large crowd. In Antioch the disciples were, for the first time, called Christians.

– Word of the Lord.

– Thank God.

Gospel (John 10,22-30)

— Proclamation of the Gospel of Jesus Christ according to Saint John.

— Glory to you, Lord.

The feast of the Dedication of the Temple was celebrated in Jerusalem. It was winter. Jesus walked through the Temple, in Solomon’s portico. The Jews surrounded him and said: “How long will you leave us in doubt? If you are the Messiah, tell us openly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, but you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name bear witness to me; but you do not believe, because you are not of my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice, I know them and they follow me. I give them eternal life and they will never be lost. And no one will pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave me these sheep, is greater than all, and no one can. snatch them from the hand of the Father. I and the Father are one.”

— Word of Salvation.

— Glory to you, Lord.

Reflecting the Word of God

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ,

Today, I would like to start our reflection with a question: how many times have you felt lost? Who here has faced moments of uncertainty, of darkness, when hope seemed distant? I’m sure each of us has been through these situations at some point in our lives. And it is exactly in these everyday experiences that we find a deep connection with today’s biblical readings.

Our first reading, taken from the book of Acts of the Apostles, tells us about the persecution faced by the first Christians. They were thrown into a storm of uncertainty and challenge, where life seemed to be in constant danger. Just like them, we also face our own tribulations, our own moments of trial. But the message that resonates in this reading is this: even in the midst of darkness, divine grace is present.

Imagine yourselves as boats sailing in rough seas. The waves rise, the winds blow hard, and everything around you is chaos. But in the midst of this storm, there is a bright light that guides your path. This light is the presence of God in your life. He never abandons them, never leaves them adrift. In every moment of trouble, divine grace is at your disposal, ready to bring hope and comfort.

And that is exactly what Jesus reveals to us in today’s Gospel. He tells us: “No one can take you out of my hand.” What powerful words! This is a promise made to us, a promise of divine protection and care. Just as a good shepherd protects his sheep from danger, Jesus protects us with unconditional love. He knows each of us by name, knows our weaknesses, our struggles, and is always ready to support us.

But, my brothers and sisters, this protection does not exempt us from the responsibilities we have as followers of Christ. Jesus tells us that we must listen to His voice and follow Him. We must be attentive and obedient sheep, ready to follow the path He shows us. This requires a daily commitment, a constant search for God’s will in our lives.

Here, we can use an analogy to illustrate this concept. Imagine yourself as a gardener, responsible for taking care of a beautiful garden. You must water the plants, remove weeds, prune dry branches. It’s constant and demanding work. In the same way, we must take care of our relationship with God, nourishing it with prayer, meditation and attentive listening to His Word. We must cut the dry branches of sin in our lives and remove the weeds of envy, selfishness and unforgiveness. Only in this way can we flourish and bear abundant fruit.

But, my dear ones, do not forget that divine grace is always available to help us in this task. When we feel weak, when the journey seems too hard, we can count on God’s strength and guidance. He gives us his Holy Spirit, who empowers us to live a life of holiness and love.

Therefore, today I invite you to reflect on how these biblical passages apply to our lives. In the midst of tribulations, remember that divine grace is always present, even in the most difficult situations. Seek the voice of Jesus in your lives and be faithful sheep, ready to follow Him. Cultivate your relationship with God, taking care of him with diligence and love. And, above all, trust in Jesus’ promise that nothing can take us out of his hands.

Dear brothers and sisters, life is a journey full of ups and downs, but we are not alone. We have each other as a community of faith and we have God’s love and constant presence with us. Let us learn from each other, support each other and cultivate hope, even in the darkest moments.

Before concluding, allow me to share a story that illustrates the importance of trusting God and seeking his will in our lives. There once was a brave climber, determined to reach the top of an imposing mountain. He faced challenges, adverse weather conditions and moments when he thought about giving up. But he continued to climb, trusting in his skills and equipment.

However, at a critical moment, a violent storm quickly approached. The rain fell heavily, lightning lit up the sky and the winds howled dangerously. The climber, now exhausted and afraid, realized he was in danger. He clung to a rock, struggling to keep himself safe, but the situation seemed hopeless.

It was then that he prayed to God, asking for help and protection. In the midst of the storm, he heard a still, small voice saying, “Trust in Me, I am with you.” With these words, an inexpressible peace enveloped him and he felt renewed strength. He got up, continued his climb, and finally reached the top of the mountain.

My brothers and sisters, just as the climber trusted God in the midst of the storm, so we can trust His love and protection on our own journeys. When we face challenges, difficulties and uncertainties, let us remember Jesus’ words: “No one can take you out of my hand.” Nothing can separate us from God’s love, and He is always present, ready to guide and strengthen us.

At this time, I invite each of you to pause in silence. Allow the words we hear today to penetrate our hearts and lead us to personal reflection. Let’s think about how we can apply these spiritual truths to our daily lives. Where do we need to trust God more? In what areas of our lives do we need to seek his will and follow his teachings?

As we reflect, let us also remember that we are called to act. Faith without works is sterile, and God invites us to be living witnesses of his love in the world. May each of us become a beacon of hope and compassion in our families, workplaces, and communities. May our actions speak louder than our words, showing the world the transforming love of Christ.

Dear brothers and sisters, as we conclude this homily, I ask that we take with us the spiritual truths we find in today’s Scriptures. Let us remember that divine grace is always present, even in the storms of life. Trust in God, follow His voice and take care of your relationship with Him. Be living witnesses of His love and hope.

May the grace of God be with each one of you, today and always. May He guide you, strengthen you and bless you abundantly. In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.