(It can be found at John 10:27-30)
“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.”
We are the sheep, Christ is the shepherd who speaks to us the words of truth. In responding to the love of Christ, we can follow it as a priest, religious, generous single life, or married. Right here, right now, we are called to follow.
As a shepherd from the time of Christ and even nomadic shepherds could tell, the sheep need to be guided by shepherd's voice. They hear it, and while about the tasks at hand (for sheep, that means eating), and follow the voice. When they do, they are kept safe. Jesus, the good shepherd, promises that if we follow, he will hold us in his hands, and no one can take us out of them. But we can walk out (like so many of the hearers of the Bread of Life discourse who walked away from salvation). It is not enough to listen to the voice of Christ once, and then think that we are safe. No, we follow daily, hourly, and perhaps even every second!