Listen

Jesus said:
‘I tell you most solemnly, anyone who does not enter the sheepfold through the gate, but gets in some other way is a thief and a brigand. The one who enters through the gate is the shepherd of the flock; the gatekeeper lets him in, the sheep hear his voice, one by one he calls his own sheep and leads them out. When he has brought out his flock, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow because they know his voice. They never follow a stranger but run away from him: they do not recognise the voice of strangers.’
Jesus told them this parable but they failed to understand what he meant by telling it to them.
So Jesus spoke to them again:
‘I tell you most solemnly,
I am the gate of the sheepfold.
All others who have come
are thieves and brigands;
but the sheep took no notice of them.
I am the gate.
Anyone who enters through me will be safe:
he will go freely in and out
and be sure of finding pasture.
The thief comes
only to steal and kill and destroy.
I have come
so that they may have life and have it to the full.’



Today is known as Vocations Sunday. In church we would be praying for a calling to the priesthood and religious life. In many parishes we would also be reminded that we laity have a vocation too - mothers, fathers, husbands...And often the list goes on and on - covering every 'type' of person you might be - just to make sure that we leave no-one out. We are reassured that God has given everyone of us something to do. 


But we are not called 'to do'. We are called to listen. We are called into a relationship with a God whose love is so tangible that we will never feel afraid. A God who will pick us up and wrap us round their shoulders if need be. We are called to know the 'sound' of God so well that we will never be distracted by that which wishes us ill. 

One of the observations of the present lockdown is the increase in natural sounds, birdsong often so loud it seems artificial, and a realisation that we had become used to the engineered whine of aircraft overhead or the droning hum of traffic and rattle of trains. Instead we notice the bee among the dandelions and the shapes of birds as they cross overhead.

Rainbows, always magical, have become a symbol of these times. In the song 'I can sing a rainbow' are the lyrics 

'Listen with your eyes, Listen with your ears, And sing everything you see'

Perhaps this is how to follow your vocation. 'Listening' to the Lord so as to move closer, to lean in, to become absorbed, sometimes lost, and to find joy. To find 'life and have it to the full'.






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