The Nazareth Page - A gospel meditation for your home
May 3, 2020 – Fourth Sunday of Easter - John 10:1-10
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We are living at a time of closed gates. Think about the magnificent stadiums and other gathering places where we enjoy exciting sports events and musical concerts. These venues are symbols of our times, often dwarfing other buildings in our cities. That’s where our teams play. That’s where we find so much excitement and entertainment. And diversion. But today the gates are closed. Which allows us to more fully appreciate this Sunday’s gospel about open and closed gates.
Jesus used everyday examples to explain the deep truths he wants us to know. In his time the most common farm animals were sheep. It was usual for small villages to have a few sheepfolds, enclosures where sheep could be kept safe and secure. Every sheepfold had a gate, which allowed the sheep to enter or depart when needed. Never were these gates (or sheep) unattended. Should the gate accidentally open, the sheep could slip out and this could be catastrophic for their owners.
When Jesus was asked about his using the example of gates and enclosures by the local religious leaders (the Pharisees), he told them that he was the gate and he was the good shepherd. Further, a gate for Jesus was made not to keep us out, but to allow us entry into God’s kingdom. And that gate was always open. And once we entered, we would be given the opportunity to have a more abundant life. No ticket required. People only needed to appear at the gate, and they will be welcomed inside. And all are invited to enter. God’s love and generosity to all is being shown in today’s wonderful gospel.
Because of the current pandemic, we are more aware of our environments. We live much more these days in a world of limits and restrictions. For very good reason, we can easily feel confined, gated in so to speak.
But it’s also
©David M. Thomas, PhD