Updated: May 6
Tuesday, Fourth Week of Easter
5 May 2020 / Ave Maria LiveStream
Romanus Cessario, O.P.
To belong to Christ means more than to hold membership in a society. To be sure, no one can enjoy outside the visible structures of the Church, the full benefits Christ brings. At the same time, Our Lord promises eternal life hereafter and spiritual flourishing here and now to those who believe in him. Faith then creates a relationship between the believer and God.
The Fourth Week of Easter puts before us the image of the Good Shepherd. By referring to the ways in which sheep adhere to their shepherds, Our Lord encourages us to think of him as a friend. We should know that Christ is our Best Friend and, to the extent God wills, experience that friendship in our daily lives. When we think about our relationship with Christ, one generated out of our believing in him, the practice of the Catholic religion grows sweet and easy. One only need to recall why we find human friendships so delightful.
Today’s secular culture does not favor the kinds of observances that the Catholic religion imposes. The Church’s moral teachings especially come under attack. Cultural dissonance can eventually upset even devout souls. Christ knows about our circumstances. This explains why he adds an important qualification about his role as the Good Shepherd. “No one can take them [believers] out of my hand” (Jn 10:28). The best way for Catholics to find security in the struggles that present themselves involves first of all their renewing belief that Jesus remains the Best Friend. As happens with all solid friendships, Catholic believers then should express their love for him.