“I have come that they might have life
and have it in abundance”
John 10:10

During these lockdown days many of us found us unexpectedly savouring life’s graces.

In my early 20’s I was fortunate to live in a lively (seminary) community, with a diverse group of men and women of all ages. I’m very grateful for those years in which I was challenged and stretched by some great teachers and inspiring formators, and where the company of other students was equally robust.

I now look back on some of the more difficult moments of seminary days as great graces, albeit not recognised as moments of divine activity at the time.

I also have many memories of the laughter, sometimes laughter to the point of tears, as a group of us enjoyed a moment or saw the funny side of a situation.

Even as I write I am remembering a dozen great laughs, but one especially comes to mind when I read today’s gospel. I’ll say more about the gospel in a moment.

First let me share the laugh.

Most of us were in our late teens or early-mid 20’s, but Pat was 20 years older than most of us and he seemed to appreciate the upper-class English lifestyle and spoke with a rather proper English accent. One Evening Prayer when we had the opportunity to share our personal intercessions Pat asked us to pray for “my sister who is in confinement.” It was several hours before we less-intelligent students realised that she wasn’t in jail.

In these lockdown days we have felt confined, deprived of our usual freedoms. But I’ve heard from many people who are surprised at how at-home they have become within the confinement of their homes and without their usual distractions.

To merge the metaphors a little, many of us have come to see that the confinement that has been imposed on us has forced us to consider different ways of thinking and acting. Our confinement has for some been an environment that has given birth to new possibilities, new ways of living and of thriving that are even more satisfying than the way we existed before.

For many years I have referred to the verse that concludes today’s gospel reading not by explanation but by ‘code’: John 10:10. This verse is worth remembering by heart so that we can hear Jesus reminding us especially in the most challenging circumstances: I have come that you might have life and have it in abundance!




LECTIO DIVINA FOR SUNDAY OF EASTER WEEK IV (Good Shepherd Sunday) (3 May 2020)

Sacred Heart Church in Dargaville thanks to Bob who writes: “I felt urge to send you photo that I took this glorious Easter morning, taken from our “bubble” ”     
Pics received of any of your local churches will be included as the images on the daily Lectio Divina links. Send to john@fff.org.nz.

Sunday Easter Week IV (15 minutes)

Sunday Easter Week IV  (25 minutes)

7 Responses to "abundance"
  1. A lovely picture of Sacred Heart Church, fond memories of my Northland life.
    I find myself so comfortable and safe in my bubble that I struggle with the idea of leaving it… but as Jesus said today, I can come and go freely… I just need to listen for His voice calling me by my name.

  2. I too, find peace in the bubble. Been a lot of time for personal faith growth. Watching online Mass, hearing lots of different homilies. Lots of links on YouTube to faith filled things. Of course, be good to receive all the sacraments when we can.

  3. Found myself thinking of Ignation teaching of consolation & desolation.
    When we are trapped by the thief at stages we experience desolation, when we come back to the shepherd, oh such sweet consolation

  4. Lovely to see our church here although we are enjoying EWTN masses here in our home. Very special one from Lourdes today.

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