Today’s Gospel: John 10:11-18 – 4th Sunday of Easter
Jesus is the perfect example of how to be human. I often find myself wishing that life came with an instruction manual. When I find myself wishing for instructions, I would be wise to turn to Jesus and see if my question can be answered through his perfect example. In verses 17-18 from today’s Gospel, I am reminded of a very important lesson. God gave me my free will out of His deep love and respect for me. He wants me to use my free will to choose Him and His plan for my life willingly and with my whole heart, just like Jesus did. Unfortunately, for me, that is easier said than done. I’m so quick to cling to my own plans and my own ideas about how my life should go. I spend more time than I care to admit wrestling with God instead of willingly surrendering my life and my plans to Him.
St. Paul teaches that God loves a cheerful giver (2 Cor. 9:7), but many times I do not give my life cheerfully to the Lord. I grumble and complain and pout and ask God to change His plans to more closely match my own. In today’s Gospel, Jesus models the perfect self-donation that is so pleasing to God. No one takes His life from Him; He lays it down on His own. He acknowledges that He is free to make any choice, yet He desires to do what He ought. In these verses Jesus shows me what it means to be fully human – to be free to choose anything, yet to desire obedience to the Father.
Am I willing to surrender my plans so that I may obey God’s plan for my life?
Lord Jesus, thank You for showing me how to properly use my free will. Teach me to be more like You. Help me to cheerfully surrender my life and my plans so that my will may be more perfectly united with Your will for my life.
Copyright 2018 Mary Swafford
Mary Swafford is a homeschooling mama and is expecting her seventh baby in May. She is a former youth minister and has been a catechist for fifteen years. Mary has a Master of Theological Studies from Ave Maria University’s Institute for Pastoral Theology. Her passion is helping people encounter Christ through His holy Church.
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