John 10: 27-30

“I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand”

The setting for this Gospel passage is in the temple area. The Jews gather around Jesus questioning him and pushing him to answer if he is the Christ. They want a simple yes or no. But Jesus responds by saying that as they do not believe in all he has done in the Father’s name then they are not his sheep. A simple yes or no would not have them believe that he is the Christ. Their failure to believe comes from what they are, they are ‘not his sheep’.

Those who listen to the voice of Jesus, who believe in all that he did and does in the Father are granted security and live in that certainty that no one can snatch them or take them from the shepherd. Those who have listened and heard will live in eternal life, never to perish. To live in this knowledge enables us to live in God’s love and so reach out to all with that love. The gift of God’s care for all is not ours to hold onto for ourselves alone but rather we are strengthened to hold and nourish this gift inviting others to come into the love and mercy of God.

Edel Murphy O.P