“I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.” (Jn 10:10)
Today’s Passages: Jn 10:1-10; Act 11:1-18
Meditation: Today’s mediation verse is really a gift from God our loving father and calls you and me personally for a particular mission. It is apparently connected with the salvific mission of our Lord Jesus Christ. In order to understand this we have to go back to the first chapters of the Book of Genesis. There we read that the Garden of Eden was given to Adam with a specific mission as “to cultivate and guard it.” (Gen 2:15) Of course, he was not simply given a zero balance account as we read in the second chapter.
The narrative goes like this: “God made all kinds of beautiful trees grow there and produce good fruit. In the middle of the garden stood the tree that gives life and the tree that gives knowledge of what is good and what is bad.” (Gen 2:9) How beautiful and worth-living the Garden of Eden is! In the second instance we find that God is giving to Adam a fitting and perfect life-partner: Eve. As the narrative progress we find Satan the intruder comes to the life of man in the form of a serpent.
Serpent the tempter deceived man through eternal lies. Man lost appreciation for God the creator and his commandments and promises. As a result, he failed to respond to God’s love faithfully and was thrown out of the Garden. “The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy.” (Jn 10:10) From there on what we find is God’s continuous and loving chase after man as to redeem him from the clutches of sin.
In the fourth gospel we read, “For God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not die but have eternal life.” (Jn 3:16) In his letter John will explain it more clearly and say, “This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.” (1 Jn 4:10) From this we know for sure that out of his love only God created, promised, provided and redeemed everything and everyone.
It is against this background we can read and reflect on today’s meditation verse, “I have come in order that you might have life – life in all its fullness.” (Jn 10:10) It is God’s will that we might have life in its abundance. However, Satan doesn’t want the same and moreover, tries to misguide man through eternal lies. Eventually, man becomes slave of Satan and sin. St. Paul says, “For sin pays its wage – death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom 6:23)
In the second reading we find that the Gentiles too are given abundantly the gift of the Holy Spirit and the church rejoices over this gratuitous gift: “God gave those Gentiles the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Acts 11:17) Let us also proclaim this abundance of love and life in and through our lives. Let us not become robbers but the good shepherds in the life of our brethren.
The word of the Lord says, “Today I am giving you a choice between good and evil; between life and death. If you obey the commandments of the Lord your God, which I give you today, if you love him, obey him, and keep all his laws, then you will prosper and become a nation of many people.” (Dt 30:15) It is to me, after knowing God and Satan, the Good Shepherd and the robber; to decide whom should I follow.
Prayer: Lord God, we thank you and praise you for your daily eternal bread. How true it is that man is often cheated and destroyed by robber, the Satan. However, he is not coming to Jesus the good shepherd who lays down his life for him and be saved. Lord, have mercy on us sinners. Let us pray in a special way today for all those who are under the influence of sin and Satan the liar. We ask for this grace through Christ our Lord. Amen!
Greetings: God is with you! Wish you a blessed and fruitful Easter Monday!