May 12, 2019
4th Sunday of Easter
We all face obstacles in life. Perhaps it’s a lost job, the death of a loved one, a sudden accident that places an unexpected dent in our finances. Sometimes the challenges are of our own making. Perhaps we’ve developed patterns of sin in our personal lives or our family relationships. We’ve all felt the jolting shock of, “This is all my fault.” How do these things affect our relationship with God? Or, perhaps more poignantly, how do we now view God’s relationship to us?
In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus’ words to us are encouraging ones. “No one can take them out of my hand.” Did you catch that? In case you didn’t, Jesus reemphasizes the point again a few verses later. “My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.” God’s grip of providential care and mercy is so strong that nothing can separate us. We might think things take us out of God’s hand – life circumstances, tragedy, our lukewarm attitudes towards faith – but Jesus tells us otherwise. Nothing, no one, can take us out of the Father’s hand, and we can’t take ourselves out! We can’t remove ourselves from Him, not entirely. Even when grievous sin hardens us to grace, His love is still sustaining us in existence. And His mercy is always awaiting our repentance.
“My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” This Sunday, let us heed the voice of the Good Shepherd. Whatever we feel might take us from God’s hand, we can turn back to Him. God is always inviting us to follow Him and to trust in His care and be sustained by His hand.