It is interesting to look at the structure of today’s Gospel passage in that it begins by telling us that the sheep who belong to Jesus, “listen to His voice.” This puts a lot of the onus onto us as regards whether or not we belong to Jesus. Do we listen to His voice or do we listen to the voices of others in our lives? It is the answer to this question that will tell us where we stand with God regarding being His sheep or sheep of another fold or shepherd.

We live in a world full of noise and full of different voices, each with their own philosophy and understanding of life. Some are plausible and some are not; some are exciting to follow and others mundane; some are here today and gone tomorrow and others endure to the end … Which of these voices does you listen to? This is the million dollar question, or should I say the question of eternal life? There are times when I experience the temptation to exchange the voice of God, the voice of truth and love for something else. This is the temptation of which we all must be wary to avoid as it is the first step towards sin.

Quite often the various voices in the world will seem to be quite reasonable with what they have to say, but on deeper reflection and examination we will always find there is something lacking. If we are truly honest with ourselves we will acknowledge that there is only one voice that never strays from the truth; that never strays from what is good and holy. This is the voice of the Good Shepherd. We need to learn this voice and take it to heart so that we will always listen to it. God has promised He will never abandon us and it is through the gift of His Word that He keeps this promise. Let us pray that we will be sensible sheep and always keep within earshot of the voice that will lead us to everlasting life in heaven.

How often do I sin simply because I like to listen to different ideas and thoughts? Yes we have to be able engage with the world but this does not mean we have to take on its values and way of life!

Jesus, you made it your constant care to keep in touch with your Father’s voice through prayer. Help me to follow your example.