Thought of the day
Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Tuesday of the Fourth week of Easter
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"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me"

Saint Cyril of Alexandria (380-444), Bishop, Doctor of the Church
Commentary on Saint John’s Gospel, 7, 10, 26 ; PG 74, 20 (trans. ©Friends of Henry Ashworth)

"My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me"

The mark of Christ’s sheep is their willingness to hear and obey, just as the sign of those who are not his is their disobedience. We take the word “Hear" to imply obedience to what has been said. People who hear God are known by him. No one is entirely unknown by God, but to be known in this way is to become his kin. Thus, when Christ says, “I know mine,” he means, "I will receive them, and give them permanent mystical kinship with myself." It might be said that inasmuch as he has become man, he has made all human beings his kin, since all are members of the same race; we are all united to Christ in a mystical relationship because of his incarnation. Yet those who do not preserve the likeness of his holiness are alienated from him… .

“My sheep follow me,” says Christ. By a certain God-given grace, believers follow in the footsteps of Christ. No longer subject to the shadows of the Law they obey the commands of Christ, and guided by his words rise through grace to his own dignity, for they are called children of God. When Christ ascends into heaven, they also follow him.