Daily Thought For May 5, 2020
Through The Right Door
FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
«“I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber. The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep. The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.
“But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger’s voice”. Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them. Therefore Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep. All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full”».
The Gospel of John presents us with original and beautiful images of Jesus. He wants his readers to discover that only Jesus can fully meet the most fundamental needs of the human person. «He is the bread of life». Whoever is nourished by him will not hunger. He is «the light of the world». Whoever follows him will not walk in darkness. He is the «good shepherd». Whoever listens to his voice will find life.
Among these images there is one, ordinary and almost forgotten, which nevertheless has a deep significance: «I am the door». That is what Jesus is, an open door. Whoever follows him crosses a threshold that leads to a new world: a new way of understanding and living life.
The evangelist explains it with three details. First, «Whoever enters through me will be saved». There are many options in life. Not all lead to success or guarantee a full life. Whoever has some understanding of Jesus and tries to follow him enters through the right door. He will not lose his life; he will save it.
The evangelist then says something more. Whoever enters through Jesus, can «come and go». He is free to move around. He enters a space where he can be free, for he is guided only by the Spirit of Jesus. It is not the land of anarchy or licentious freedom. He «comes and goes», always passing through that door that is Jesus and he follows his footsteps.
The evangelist further adds another detail: whoever enters through that door that is Jesus will «find pasture». He will not hunger or thirst. He will find solid and abundant nourishment to live on. Christ is the door through which we Christians must enter today if we wish to revive our identity. A Christianity made up of Christians who relate to a badly known, vaguely remembered Jesus, occasionally acknowledged in a theoretical way, a dumb Jesus with nothing to say to today’s world, a Jesus who does not touch our hearts, is Christianity without a future.
Only Christ can lead us to a new level of Christian life, more firmly grounded in, motivated and nourished by the gospel. Each one of us can, in the coming years, contribute to a church in which Jesus is experienced and lived in a more zealous and passionate way. We can create a church more like the one Jesus wanted.
Pagola, J. A. (2010). Following in the Footsteps of Jesus: Meditations on the Gospels for Year A. (R. Luciani, Ed., V. de Souza, Trans.) (pp. 73–75). Miami, FL: Convivium Press.