by Pope Francis.
Jesus wants to establish a relationship with his friends that is the reflection of the one he himself has with the Father: a relation of mutual belonging in total confidence, in intimate communion.
Jesus uses the image of the shepherd and his sheep to express this profound shared understanding, this relationship of friendship.
The shepherd calls his sheep and they recognize his voice. They respond to his call and follow him. This is a beautiful parable.
The mystery of the voice is suggestive: we think about how from our mother’s womb we learn to recognize her voice and our father’s voice. From the tone of someone’s voice, we can perceive love or scorn, affection or coldness.
Jesus’ voice is unique. If we learn to distinguish it from others, he will lead us along the path of life, a path that stretches even beyond death….
—From an address to the faithful in St. Peter’s Square, April 21, 2013
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