Fourth Sunday of Easter (Rosalino Dizon Reyes)

Ross Reyes DizonHomilies and reflections, Year ALeave a Comment

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You have now returned to the shepherd and guardian of your souls (1 Pt 2, 25)

There is no salvation outside Jesus. He is the only gate through which we humans enter to abide with God and God goes out to dwell among us. Through Jesus alone do we find life-giving pasture.

St. Teresa of Ávila, faithful to apostolic teaching, affirmed as much. Experience left her convinced of this: Jesus is the gate by which “we must enter” to penetrate the “great mysteries” of God and through which all blessings “come to us.” The saints and the great contemplatives took this path, and there is no other. If we are, then, not on it, we need to change our thought patterns and turn around.

We are not few, those of us already baptized but still needing to repent. We have yet to leave the path of self-interests to follow after Jesus and look out for others’ interests. We have not renounced altogether worldly thinking to have Christ Jesus’ own attitude. We have reason to take to heart what Pope Francis said in his April 29 homily at St. Martha’s.

According to Francis, to be born again from above means to live together in peace (which fosters forgiveness, for love covers everything, and forbids internal, doctrinal and power struggles as well as envy and gossip), to give witness to the Resurrection, to be poor and to care for the poor. This papal vision must be ours, but let it be out of conviction, and not because we know which side of our bread is buttered, making a 180- degree turn and exchanging, outwardly, our lifestyle for Francis’, so as to be in the good graces of the one who is now in-charge of promotions.

Should the latter be the case, we would be the worst traitors, worse than those who reportedly do not hide their disdainful opposition to Pope Francis.   We would be behaving like the thief who does not enter through the gate but climbs over elsewhere, to obtain gain by ruining others. In order not to be motivated by shameful profit, we have to let our Shepherd tame us.

Jesus instructs those who live with him and, above all, infects them with his way of being and his manner of living. The disciples, in turn, get to know their Master so intimately that there is no mistaking him for any malevolent impersonator, even with a voice like his. Just like Jesus, they do everything, from morning till evening, for the sake of God’s will, and thus they show they keep ever before them God, to cite St. Vincent de Paul (Coste XI 319), and Jesus.

United intimately with Christ and living off the table of his body and blood, they become one body and blood with him. Like him, they sacrifice themselves for others so that these may have abundant life.

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