John 10: 27-30
Jesus answered, “I told you, but you don’t believe. Everything I have done has been authorized by my Father, actions that speak louder than words.
"You don’t believe because you’re not my sheep. My sheep recognize my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them real and eternal life. They are protected from the Destroyer for good. No one can steal them from out of my hand.
"The Father who put them under my care is so much greater than the Destroyer and Thief. No one could ever get them away from him.
"I and the Father are one heart and mind.”
My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.
I was about 7 years old when I felt called to be a priest. I was certain that this is what I wanted to be. It felt normal, it felt good, I was perfectly happy with this feeling. Not everyone felt as I did.
As the years passed voices encouraged me to rethink what I was doing. I was giving up on life. I needed to keep my options open. I was too young to know what God was asking of me. I could do much better work for God ‘in the world’.
I listened to the voices that encouraged me to ditch the idea of becoming a priest; I listened to the voices that made fun of me every time I did something wrong, ‘you can’t do that, you’re going to become a priest’. I needed to be perfect. I wasn’t.
I gave up on the idea of priesthood. It wasn’t what I wanted, I told myself.
The calling went away.
Like hell it did!
It would go quiet for long periods at a time and then, when I was least expecting it, I would be called again. The voice would be a feeling, a ‘coincidence’, advice from an unexpected person all pointing me in the way of religious life.
However, the other voices were louder, more attractive, made more sense…but the voice of the Shepherd resonated deep within me.
Where ever you find yourself, listen out for His voice and let Him guide you.
Fr Andrew Ebrahim SDB
Lord, help me to pick out Your call from the noise of all the other calls in my life; and grant me the courage and generosity to comply with whatever You ask of me.