A minor clarification is called for. In the Easter Sunday reflection I emphasised the eight weeks of the Easter Season. In fact it is only

SEVEN weeks. Pentecost arrives at the end of the seventh week. Somehow or other the eight days of the Easter Octave became misplaced in my slowly degenerating mathematical skills (never one of my strong points) as also applying to the number of weeks in this season. I apologise for any confusion which might have resulted in more agile minds. So, get your acts together – we only have seven weeks to take it all in.
This week it is suggested that we adopt the invitation extended to the Risen Lord by the two disciples on the road to Emmaus – “Stay with us.”

{see last Sunday’s Gospel} However, we need him to stay with us for much, much, longer than seven weeks.
This fact is emphasised for us in words from

TODAY’S PSALM [23 or 22]. “He leads me … revives my soul … you are with me … all the days of my life.” When he stays with us – “there is nothing (we) shall want.”

provides a clear reminder of the fact that he will stay with us if we have a daily awareness of the fact that “you have God’s approval … you have been called … he trusted … you have been healed … you were straying, but have now returned.”
In whatever ways or manner (no matter how small this may be) in which we returned during the Lenten season must be maintained and developed. This is only achieved if, on a daily basis, we issue the invitation –

STAY WITH US! It is impossible on our own. Frank Sinatra’s famous ‘I did it my way’ simply does not build a solid foundation for faithful and fruitful Christian discipleship! The two on the road to Emmaus only recognised him in the breaking of the bread because they invited him to ‘stay with us’ – and because HE STAYED!
The invitation to stay and the Lord’s acceptance climaxed in the recognition and acceptance of the Risen Christ. In

OUR FIRST READING [ACTS 14a. 36 – 41] we hear that this fact became an essential part of the very first preaching of the Good News – “let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made him both Lord and Christ, this Jesus …. .” This crucial and central fact of the Christian faith was the promise the Father had given to the world. The same reading from ACTS puts it like this – “for the promise is to you and to your children and to all that are far off, every one whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
Our celebration of Easter must be a clear and strong reminder of the basics – (i) God our Father promised us something which was in fact

SOMEONE; (ii) this ‘someone’ has been made both “Lord and Christ”; (iii) this Lord and Christ is Jesus, and (iv) “this Jesus” is our “Shepherd and Guardian.” {as stated by Saint Peter in our second reading} It is so important for us to see behind the immediate truth of Resurrection to the deeper fact that it was SOMEONE who rose from the dead. The Christian is not a person who merely believes in Resurrection but, rather, believes in the RESURRECTION OF JESUS CHRIST.
It is because

JESUS rose from the dead that we have faith and sure hope that we are able to believe in life after death AND our own personal resurrections. In simple words this means that no Jesus, no life after death and no personal resurrections.

TODAY’S GOSPEL [JOHN 10: 1 – 10] now comes into play. In exactly the same way as Jesus’ whole life on earth was an essential part of the Father’s promise of the resurrection so is our life on earth. As far as Christian disciples are concerned the living of life on earth is essentially linked to the manner of our following of “this Jesus.” Hear clearly words from our Gospel extract – “when he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice.”
We who are brought out by him are, in fact, brought out by his resurrection. Our challenge in living our faith is to be seen in our acceptance of the fact that he goes before us, that we follow and know his voice. The Risen Lord is our way both in and out.

There is no other door

! We must ensure that our life regime and routine empower us to ensure that we are able to discern with some real facility the voice of those who enter our lives by very dubious means. Very often what “a thief and robber” offers may sound plausible but we have to intelligently ask: what ARE your REAL credentials?
Are they able to point out their own empty tomb?

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