Bishop Robert Barron: Daily Gospel Reflection – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Bishop Robert Barron
Daily Gospel Reflection – Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
Gospel: Jn Ga 10:1-10
Jesus said: “Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber. But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep. The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as the shepherd calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice. But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers.” Although Jesus used this figure of speech, the Pharisees did not realize what he was trying to tell them.
So Jesus said again, “Amen, amen, I say to you, I am the gate for the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture. A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
*United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
Bishop Robert Barron
Friends, in today’s Gospel, Jesus identifies himself as the sheepgate and says, "Whoever enters through me will be saved." Well, does this mean that only explicit Christians will be saved? Does it mean that unless you are baptized, you don’t receive the Holy Spirit?
There are two extremes to be avoided here. On the one hand, the exclusivist claim that only baptized Catholics can be saved. That is not the teaching of the Church. But the other extreme (I think more prevalent today) is that one’s religion is finally a matter of indifference, as long as one finds himself on a spiritual path.
This second view doesn’t give nearly enough weight to the uniqueness of Christianity. With Jesus Christ, something altogether new has entered the world, something that is deeply pleasing to God and therefore of salvific significance to us.
This is the power and message of the cross, that dynamic into which we the baptized have been drawn. Redemptive suffering is what Jesus did on the cross: putting up with suffering for doing what is right. This is pleasing in God’s eyes, precisely because it is redemptive for the world, precisely because it takes away something that God hates.