Today’s Gospel is a longer version of this past Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus the Good Shepherd. As today’s Gospel begins Jesus is walking in the Temple in Jerusalem during the feast of Dedication, Hanukkah. Hanukkah was an eight-day festival of lights. Jesus has already proclaimed that He is the true light of the world: “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12). In chapter 10 Jesus proclaims “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep” (John 10:11). Not all are ready or willing to accept this testimony of Jesus. Some Jews do recognize that Jesus is the Messiah, the Light of the World, and the Good Shepherd: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”
Jesus’ words are also directed to us who hear and know the voice of Jesus. Every day we are bombarded with many different voices from the Internet, from the media, from political and religious leaders. All claim to know and proclaim the truth and some even claim to speak for God. We must discern and judge all these voices through the voice of Jesus, the Good Shepherd. We know the voice of Jesus. The voice of Jesus speaks against lies, violence, racism, and hatred in any form. Jesus is truth and calls us to be people of truth and integrity.
Each day we are called to listen to the voice of Jesus. He speaks to us in the Gospels and shows us by His actions the way and the will of God. We need to listen carefully to Jesus each day so that the many voices in our daily life do not distract us from the voice of Jesus. We are the sheep and Jesus is the Good Shepherd. We follow the way and teachings of Jesus: “My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.” As Jesus speaks to us today and each day let us respond: “Speak, Lord, your servant is listening!”