My dear friends,

In John 10:27a, Jesus said: My sheep hear my voice. Where does God speak in our world? How does God speak? “Whenever you hear a voice that sounds coercive, threatening, overbearing, that is somehow loud and in your face, you can be sure that no matter how religious and holy it might claim to be, it is not God’s voice. God’s voice in this world is never coercive or overbearing in anyway, but it is always an invitation and a beckoning that respects you and your freedom in a way that no human institution or person ever does”. (Ronald Rolheiser)

True, God’s voice does judge and it does condemn but it judges and condemns not by coercive force but in the way that generousity exposes selfishness, bigheartedness reveals pettiness, in the way that light makes darkness flee and in the way that truth shames lies. God’s voice judges not by overpowering us but by shining love and light into all those places where we find ourselves huddled in fear, shame, bitterness, hostility and sin.

We need to view God’s voice always as non coercive, as an invitation, as beckoning, as encouragement towards love, forgiveness and reconciliation. Sometimes we are hearing so many voices and we tend to yield to the ones that are loudest and forceful. Jesus says, “My sheep hear my voice,” a voice that offers peace and calm to the soul.

                                                       Fr. Christopher Roberts