Fourth Sunday of Easter (May 12, 2019)

Imagine being so secure that nothing has the ability to upset us - not natural disaster, disease, crisis, suffering, not even death itself. That may seem too good to be true, yet that is Jesus’ promise to us. “No one will snatch them out of my hand.”

Jesus’ words are meant to touch every aspect of our life, the smallest as well as the greatest.

Jesus and the Father are more powerful than anything we can ever come up against. God is greater than any natural disaster, any cultural uproar, and the most serious illness. Nothing escapes God’s loving and watchful eye. No matter how alone we may feel at a particular moment, God is with us, caring for us, strengthening us. Whatever is in our life cannot overwhelm us; God is with us.

We have been reminded that Jesus, our Shepherd, has given us eternal life through his death and resurrection. We must never underestimate the reality of that gift.

Satan would like to convince us that the cross was only a symbolic event. It’s not relevant to our daily struggles and fears. But Jesus has told us that he gives us eternal life, a sharing in his risen life. That life is no longer bound by sin, no longer under the domination of the lies of Satan, no longer subject to fear. Through repentance and faith and trust in Jesus, our Good Shepherd, we can overcome every temptation, every fear, and every anxiety that may crop up each day.

We can be secure in our position in Jesus’ hands when we make daily decisions that will keep us conscious of his presence and dependent on his grace as we go through our day. Every day we must ask Jesus to convince us more deeply of his love and mercy. Ask him to open us to the power of his life that is within us.

As we do this more frequently each day, we will find that our fears and anxieties are reduced, and temptations remain just that – temptations.

Thank you, Jesus, for giving us a share in your life. Thank you for being our Good Shepherd. Help us to be mindful of your wonderful gift within us. Help us to trust in your presence and care for us today and always.