Posted by Paul Edwards (Fr. Paul) on Apr 19, 2012 | Comments (0)

EASTER IV John 10:11-18

"I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. They will come in and go out, and find pasture.  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full"

We learn with Rational Thinking and discover with Spiritual Understanding. The rational studies the physical evidence that is seen to understand the spiritual meaning. The spiritual studies the unseen evidence to understand the rational meaning. An example of this is in the Scripture for this Easter week four.

The rational evidence is the Good Shepherd and not the hired hand gives His life for the sheep. He is the Door and the gate. End of the story as it has been told most of the time.

Now wait a minute! You should know better. Especially when reading John's Gospel. Let's go back and start over. First of all, for starters we know this is about Jesus who is grace and Truth.

Secondly, always put it in context; meaning we go back to verse one of Chapter ten. Jesus says, "Very truly I tell you Pharisees." The Pharisees included the spiritual leaders of their time. They were known not to be sharp with spiritual understanding.

What is the common thread with a Shepherd, the sheep, His life, and the gate? They all have to do with grace. The gate and the door both give us the freedom to move about, free from bonds of the law. The Sheep are like us when we are in His Presence. We hear His voice of Truth and we follow Him. If we are out of His Presence we do not hear His voice nor do we know the Truth. The Shepherd is Jesus who controls the gate, the sheep and His life. Life can be either physical or spiritual. In this case it is spiritual. His Life is the grace He gives to us. Our Life is abundant when we live in His unconditional and inclusive Presence.

Like it was mentioned, the Pharisees are not spiritually sharp. They do not get the fact that they are the hired hands who desert the sheep in times of difficulty.

Rational thinking will see the hireling in some past role in Jesus' time. Spiritual understanding knows the hireling is for today. When our lives get into turmoil, it is a sign we are being led in the wrong direction. Wonder what difference being in the Presence of the Love of the Good Shepherd would make. Who do you depend on to open the gate to your life the hired hand or The Shepherd?

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