"My Sheep Hear My Voice"

Who are the people you do not listen to? Or let me phrase the question differently. Who are the people you do not respect? Who are the people you cannot stand being around? Who are the people you think are not as "good" as you? Who has less to offer? Who is that person (or people) that just makes you cringe, just makes you get really angry, just makes you (if we are being totally honest) wish bad things upon?

We all have those sorts of people in our lives - in varying degrees of course. It may be because of a simple clash of personalities. It may be because of a person's actions toward us. It may be because of a person's affiliations or friends or vices or lifestyle. Or it might be because of a person's race or economic class or religion or ethnicity. Some people we really just want nothing to do with.

Anyone who is not in our group or tribe or religion can be seen with quite a bit of suspicion. Often looked down upon as "inferior" or in some cases "evil". The world can be a rough and dangerous place, and knowing who was "in" and who was "out" was often a matter of survival. Embracing Gentiles, reaching out to them in friendship and in faith caused much conflict in the early Church. Some Jews could not wrap their heads around it and refused to get on board with welcoming them into the community. And yet, that was precisely what they were called to do - proclaim Jesus to the whole world, Jew and Gentile alike. Jesus was a Jew but He came for all, died for all, and loves all. In doing so, he has invited us to meet the Good Shepherd and become more and more like him.

So, who don't we love? More so, how are we challenged to respond?

Rev'd Fr. Colin Humes