Working with the Word

Focusing the Gospel

Key words and phrases: hear his voice, calls … by name, follow him, rec- ognize his voice, I am the gate, have life … abundantly

To the point: Jesus states clearly that he came so that his followers might have abundant Life. Jesus uses the metaphor of a caring shepherd and sheep to indicate how his followers might receive that Life: by hearing his voice and their name, by following the Good Shepherd, by recognizing whose voice calls them. Hearing, following, recognizing: we are to open our ears in faith, open our hearts in trust, open our minds in love. This is the way to abundant Life. The Gate is wide open. Will we enter?

Connecting the Gospel …

… to Second Reading:  The shepherd “walks ahead” (Gospel) of the sheep who are to “follow in his footsteps” (Second Reading). Following Jesus leads to insult, su ering, judgment, and the cross (second reading). But it also leads us even further—to abundant Life (Gospel).

… to experience: We encounter gates in many areas of our lives. There are gated communities, entry gates for theater and sporting events, toll gates. These gates separate, close o , keep out. Jesus is the Gate who excludes no one, calls each by name, o ers abundant Life.

**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson