In today’s Gospel reading from John 10, Jesus says, “I have other sheep that do not belong to this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So, there will be one flock, one shepherd” (v. 16). Given that Jesus was speaking to Jewish disciples, the sheep from another fold are best understood as the Gentiles, non-Jewish peoples who had previously been excluded from God’s covenants with Israel. The Gospel of salvation in Christ is for people of all cultures and ethnicities (Ephesians 2, Acts 10), and Jesus wants us to come together under his voice to become one flock with one shepherd.
In our Lenten book study of The Apostles’ Creed: A Guide to the Ancient Catechism, we read that confessing faith in the “holy catholic [universal] church” and the “communion of saints” means that “every division between believers is a denial of the gospel.” So, Ben Myers continues, “A Christian community is catholic to the extent that it is always uniting. Wherever we identify a line of division within the human family, the risen Jesus calls us to step across that line in the power of the Spirit” (pp. 105-106). As we enter into prayer this week, let’s invite the Holy Spirit to search our hearts and reveal any division within us that denies the Gospel. Then let us pray for our One Shepherd to make us truly catholic: to draw us together as One Flock, united in hearing and responding to the voice of our One Shepherd, Jesus Christ.
Grace and Peace,