“Human beings, while capable of the worst, are also capable of rising above themselves, choosing again what is good, and making a new start.” (Pope Francis) We have a difficult time figuring out what is true and best for us. There are many voices talking and so many trying to get our attention. We wrongly convince ourselves that the true voice is the voice of progress, the one that speaks of contemporary wants and desires, enticing us with the latest trends and causes. We are taught, by listening to the voices around us, that truth is found in feelings and thought, and ideals must match current and popular human wants. Because we feel a particular way it must be true. Then, we find a shepherd who empathizes with us and affirms us. We follow that voice even though listening to that voice will render us powerless and lead us to harm. There are many with me in this procession to this pasture. I must be on the right path and listening to the right voice.
We are very confused. What can keep us safe and from harm? Where do we go to find life, love, and happiness? Jesus tells us that he is the way, the truth, and the life. The only way to get to Truth, who is God, is through him. There is no other way. The Church, the gate around God’s pasture of life, is charged with the mission of directing us where God desires that we go. In the midst of all of the conflicting voices around us, the voice of truth is often muffled in all of the noise, but it beckons us to a life of virtue and grace. Helping us understand who we are and where we have to be, it discerns the voice of God, providing us with the safety net we need to stay straight on our path to life eternal.
We have to trust the voice of God, the true Shepherd, even when it does not mirror what we want and what others may believe. Faith goes way beyond feeling and involves a radical trust in Someone who can lead us and form us. At day’s end, if we do not know to find our way home, we will be truly lost.
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