John 10:11-21

When someone shares their convictions, how do we know if we’re
hearing truth or deception? How do we test the motives, authority,
and calling of whoever claims to speak for God (even when those
speakers are us)? Hearing what Jesus is telling us requires more than
just keeping our ears open and registering the words we hear. We
need to practice that deeper kind of listening that relies on what

St. Benedict called “the ear of the heart.” Listening with our heart
helps us develop the skills to discern what we hear.

In today’s text, Jesus challenges the discernment skills of those
religious leaders who surround him. They question his authority,
mistrust his leadership, and create division. Using the metaphor of
a shepherd who protects his sheep, Jesus suggests that anyone who
speaks for God will live out that message by protecting the vulner-
able through personal sacrifice and bodily commitment. Deceptive
leaders, though, will run the other way when the going gets tough.

Jesus claims that his authority comes from God and not from
earthly powers. He willingly pays the price for what that politically
unpopular claim will surely cost him. Discerning Christ’s voice in
our daily interactions can be tricky, especially when everyone in the
conversation claims to have religious or biblical authority. How do
Christians discern God’s true authority in all that noisy confusion?

Jesus says to listen for the voice that calmly challenges us to love God and others courageously and selflessly, not succumbing to fear or suspicion. Especially when everyone is running in the other direction, alarmed by the wolves at the door.

Consider

What do you hear Christ saying to you today? When has Christ called you to love, to reconcile, and to sacrifice for the good of the whole?

Pray

Lord, above the din of chaos and confusion in our world, help us to hear your voice. Teach us to discern your call to servant leadership and sacrifice and then answer it. Even if it means speaking truth to power. Amen.



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