“My sheep hear my voice;
I know them, and they follow me.
I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.
No one can take them out of my hand.
My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all,
and no one can take them out of the Father’s hand.
The Father and I are one.” Jn 10:27-30
“My sheep hear my voice” – Obedience would be this important? According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia:
Obedience, obeidencia comes from the Latin word obaudire: listening to. According to the Catholic Encyclopaedia it is a moral virtue that makes the will ready to fulfil the will of the one who gives the order. The opposites according to the Encyclopaedia are: servitude and disobedience. Disobedience seems to be an obvious counterpart to obedience. But it is surprising that being servile would count as an opposite to authentic obedience. In the eyes of the always rebellious 68- generation any sort of subjection to authority counts as servitude, if not slavishness, but at least a great leap towards it. It is suspicious. „Do not believe anybody over 30” – was their slogan. With time, of course, they themselves passed the magic (age) limit. But they remained chaotic forever and expected and expect the same of others. Then the X-generation followed, and they were known for their obedience. They followed rules. Can it be true, that obedience is a passing phenomenon, the meaning of which changes from generation to generation?
The Hebrew language does not have a special word for obedience. It is expressed it through the verb ’listening to somebody’ (Gen 22,18), ’meet somebodies’ expectation’ (Is 66,4), or ’to fulfil an assignment, execute and order’ (Ex 7,6). The word, which is used in today’s Gospel for obedience, emphasises the aspect of dialog. ’Listening to my voice’ is the prerequisite for communication. The Y-generation which follows have faith in themselves. They do not rely on their surroundings or the world. They rather have expectations towards the word. Would they be able to listen if the Lord speaks to them? And then, of course follows the vibrant Z-generation. According to sociologists, they believe in the omnipotence of the internet. What happens if Jesus is not trendy? And eternal life? Maybe one can ’dislike’ it like a Facebook or a Twitter post? The good news is that they think in communities. They are not individualists like their parents. They would have to ponder what it means ’the father and I are one’. What if Jesus is the real community portal?
Fourth Sunday of Easter – 12.05.2019
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