Sunday, May 03, 2009

Monday of the 4th Week of Easter

Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter (Year 1)
*Good News Reflection*
Monday of the Fourth Week of Easter
May 4, 2009
*Today's Readings:*
Acts 11:1-18
Ps 42:2-3, 43:3-4
John 10:1-10
*The gate that leads to breakthroughs*
Are you at an impasse in your spiritual growth or emotional healing or a difficult relationship? Do you need a breakthrough? Do you feel stuck behind a fence that's keeping you on the outside of peace, joy, satisfaction, or healing?
Today's Gospel reading tells us that Jesus is the gate in that fence. He's an open gate. He opened himself to you 2000 years ago. He wants you to reach the heavenly side of the fence, where you can live outside the realm of earthly restrictions — not only when you die and enter eternal life, but now, here, so that you "might have life and have it more abundantly."
What breakthrough are you hoping for? What's frustrating you and seems hopeless? What's causing you to think that a problem you're facing might lead to disaster and destruction?
What will you do this week to follow Jesus more closely so that you can get through this with more abundant peace?
When our paths seem blocked, we can only make progress by letting Jesus shepherd us around and through and over the obstacles.
For example, when a relationship is hurtful and we try to improve it but the other person doesn't want to do the work that's required for growth and healing, Jesus is our open gate. Not only does he comfort us and cry with us, but he also gives us what we don't receive from the other person. Sometimes he leads us to a different pasture, especially if that other person is more like a dangerous wolf than a sheep who's following him.
When God commissions us to do something but others shut the door on us, Jesus is our open gate. He will lead us into a new opportunity for accomplishing the work. When a holy desire seems to have no outlet, instead of complaining or quitting, we must stay close to Jesus so we can follow him through the gate that he's opening wide, even though it will be in a location that at first is not what we expect. Until we get all the way through his gate, we must follow like dumb sheep.
There's a journey to take before we can reach the other side of the fence. The thief that comes to steal and slaughter can only reach us when we quit following Jesus because we've taken our eyes off of him.
Despair and worry are two common thieves. They rob us of peace, joy, satisfaction, and healing. But they're not as powerful as they pretend to be. They do not speak the truth. They are merely trying to make us forget that Jesus is our Good Shepherd and that he's safely guiding us into a life of abundant victory.

© 2009 by Terry A. Modica
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