Jesus is the Good Shepherd and we are his sheep. His disciples and we are to respond to his voice calling us and leading us into our vocation. Not only do the sheep follow because they know His voice, but we are told they will not follow the voice of strangers. This speaks of the single-minded devotion that we are to have to our Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd leads us to green pastures, the pastures of life, this abundant life.
Why is it difficult to live this abundant life? False voices distract us from hearing the voice of the Good Shepherd and even compete with his voice and lead us astray. There are subtle, false voices that we experience that lead us astray.
Three areas that theses false voices promise happiness are:
Freedom – the false voice says do your own thing. Jesus only did the Father’s will. We need to live what we recite in the Our Father; Thy will be done.
Security – this false voice says you have the power, you take control of your life. Achieve your own security. But God is our only security. We put our trust in Him.
Pleasure – the false voice says go ahead, indulge in comfort and fun and avoid suffering at all costs. Jesus never promised a life of comfort or to eliminate suffering from our lives.
We can lean on God to get us through our suffering. He is the gate. Through his own suffering, death, and resurrection, He redeems suffering and gives it meaning. With single minded devotion we put our faith and trust in the Good Shepherd.