John’s Gospel is sometimes referred to as the ‘spiritual Gospel,’ as it has beautiful, reflective passages. During the Easter season, we read and hear mostly from John. It is a lovely opportunity to meditate more deeply on the Word. Today, we are given the image of Jesus as the Shepherd and of his people as the flock. We hear the words ‘I know them.’ Jesus knows each person intimately. He knows our deepest desires, our worries and fears, our insecurities and pain.
Jesus is as close to us as our own breathing. Nobody can interfere with this intimate friendship, even though at times we may feel differently. We may experience discrimination because of our faith, or be attacked in some way. When things are not going so well, we may feel as if Jesus has abandoned us; sometimes we simply want to give up on the whole thing. We become distant. Let this passage be a reminder to us that Jesus is always very close to us and knows our struggles. We simply need to share those struggles and fears with Him, for ‘no one will snatch them [you] out of my hand.’ We may forget this from time to time.
This week, can you spend five minutes each day meditating on this passage? Focus on the breath. A phrase to repeat might be: ‘Jesus, I know that you are as close to me as my own breathing.’