One Minute Reflection – 29 December – “The Month of the Divine Infant and the Immaculate Conception” – St Thomas à Becket (1118-1170) Martyr – Hebrews 5:1-6, John 10:11-16 – Scripture search here: https://www.drbo.org/
“I am the Good Shepherd and I know Mine and mine know Me.”- John 10:14
REFLECTION – “I am the good shepherd. I know My Own—by which I mean, I love them—and My Own know Me. In plain words – those who love Me are willing to follow Me, for anyone who does not love the Truth, has not yet come to know it.
My dear brethren, you have heard the test we shepherds have to undergo. Turn now to consider, how these words of our Lord, imply a test for yourselves also. Ask yourselves whether you belong to His flock, whether you know Him, whether the Light of His Truth shines in your minds. I assure you that it is not by faith that you will come to know Him but, by love, not by mere conviction but, by action. John the Evangelist is my authority, for this statement. He tells us that anyone who claims to know God, without keeping His commandments, is a liar.
Consequently, the Lord immediately adds: ‘As the Father knows Me and I know the Father and I lay down My life for My sheep.‘ Clearly, He means that laying down His life for His sheep, gives evidence of His knowledge of the Father and the Father’s knowledge of Him. In other words, by the love with which He dies for His sheep, He shows, how greatly He loves His Father.
Again He says: ‘My sheep hear My voice and I know them; they follow Me,and I give them eternal life.’ Shortly before this He had declared – ‘If anyone enters the sheepfold through Me, he shall be saved, he shall go freely in and out and shall find good pasture.‘ He will enter into a life of faith; from faith, he will go out to vision, from belief to contemplation and will graze in the good pastures of everlasting life.
So our Lord’s sheep will finally reach their grazing ground, where all who follow Him in simplicity of heart, will feed on the green pastures of eternity. These pastures are the spiritual joys of Heaven. There, the elect look upon the Face of God with unclouded vision and feast at the banquet of life, forever more.
Beloved brothers, let us set out for these pastures ,where we shall keep joyful festival with so many of our fellow citizens. May the thought of their happiness urge us on! Let us stir up our hearts, rekindle our faith and long eagerly for what Heaven has in store for us. To love thus, is to be already on our way. No matter what obstacles we encounter, we must not allow them to turn us aside from the joy of that heavenly feast. Anyone who is determined to reach his destination, is not deterred by the roughness of the road that leads to it. Nor must we allow the charm of success to seduce us, or we shall be like a foolish traveller who is so distracted by the pleasant meadows through which he is passing that he forgets where he is going.” – St Gregory the Great (540-604) Bishop of Rome and Great Western Father and Doctor of the Church (An excerpt from his Homily 14).
PRAYER – O God, for Whose Church Bishop Thomas, now in glory, fell by the swords of wicked men, grant, we beseech Thee, that the prayers of all who implore his assistanc, may be effective and may lead to salvation. Through Jesus Christ, Thy Son our Lord, Who lives and reigns with Thee, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, God, world without end. Amen (Collect).