In the Gospel reading today from John 10, Jesus talks about shepherds and sheep. He goes on to say, “I am the gate. Whoever enters through me will be saved.” The Gospel passage today ends with, “I came so that they might have life and have it more abundantly.”
What does this abundant life look like? A great thing for us to think about each day. Let me start by talking about what it DOESN’T mean. In the consumeristic culture in which we live today, the word “abundance” automatically makes us think of things. This abundant life has nothing to do with money, fame, power, possesssions, celebrity, accolades or anything of the sort. There are some who would lead you to believe otherwise. That being said, are there some who have money, power, fame, etc. who enjoy this abundant life? Certainly there are. But all these things are not the source of the abundant life.
This “abundant life” to which Jesus refers is a life filled with peace. As St. Paul calls it, the peace that surpasses all understanding. And this true peace, this abundant life can only be lived when we are living within God’s will. Many of God’s commands are difficult for us to accept and live by. But when we surrender our will over to Him, He gives us the grace to walk in His ways. Only then can we truly experience this abundant life.
Father, help us to stop striving for abundance in the eyes of the world. Give us the grace to seek out Your will, and to follow it, that we may have peace, and truly live the abundant life. Amen.