“How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered them, “I told you and you do not believe. The works I do in my Father’s name testify to me. But you do not believe, because you are not among my sheep. My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish.” // John 10:24-28
Many years ago as a college seminarian, my husband Peter and three classmates gathered for the weekend at his family’s cabin to seek the Lord.
They prayed, listened, and talked, but nothing seemed to be happening. In their last few hours together, they stood in a circle, praying quietly and piously with eyes closed and folded hands.
In Peter’s words: “Suddenly I heard a loud thump, and opening my eyes I saw Jim on his knees with his face and hands lifted to the heavens. Jim yelled out, ‘God, we are just a bunch of dumb sheep down here, bumping into each other. We don’t know what we’re doing. Oh c’mon, God, we desperately need your help!’ Within a few minutes, God responded to that radical heart cry, and His tangible presence and power filled the room. Jesus revealed His personal love and mercy to us ‘dumb sheep’ and that deep encounter, stirred by simple faith and desperate need, set the course for our lives, vocations, and ministries.”
Jesus loves when we act like His sheep—listening, following, and crying out to Him in humble dependency. And yet, we can often be like those cynics and doubters in today’s Gospel who repeatedly asked Jesus: “How long are you going to keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly.”
Perhaps like me, you’ve had similar nagging thoughts: How do I really know You love me, that You will keep Your promises? Can I really trust You? Just tell me plainly, and I will believe!
Sister, join me in being sheep who know our Shepherd’s voice and follow Him unconditionally. Let’s stop looking for, asking, and seeking proof of His love. It doesn’t mean we can never question or doubt—believing is not easy—but it means that we are no longer trying to understand Jesus on our own terms.
A priest once told me when I confessed doubts that Jesus does not rebuke the struggle to believe but rather the lack of effort when we stop believing. I want to be a sheep who deeply and fundamentally believes that my Shepherd is truly good.
Each time we gaze at the crucifix, receive Him in the Eucharist, spend time in Adoration, and cry out to Him for help, faith gives us the blessed assurance that the One Who hung on the Cross has not left us hanging in suspense. He has definitively shown us that He loves us, He gives us eternal life, and we shall never perish.Follow Him unconditionally. // Debra Herbeck Click To Tweet