Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Fr. Ivan Olmo
“For they preach but they do not practice.” When I hear the voice of Jesus, the voice of the Good Shepherd, that beautiful voice calling me to greatness, inviting me to holiness of life, drawing me ever so close to the glorious freedom of the beloved children of God, I simply come for he calls me by name and at times calls me brother, son, and friend. The call of that heavenly voice that resounded over the waters at the dawn of creation with such authority and yet with such simplicity, elegance and gentleness. The loving invitation of that voice that covered the void and the darkness with the immensity and resplendency of his own glorious light. That voice that graciously created the heavens, the earth and caused all living things to have life and purpose and meaning drawing me to newness of life. When I hear that voice, my interior life shivers and shakes, my senses respond with undivided attention, my tears fall quickly, my soul rejoices and my heart waits with eager expectation at what may happen next. I await a word, a gentle touch, a caring caress, a healing, a teaching, a challenge, a gentle correction for it is all good, all gift, all grace. Jesus’ word preaches directly to my heart and ministers directly to my life. I listen to what he has to say because what he has to say is certainly more important than what I have to say and more important than what you have to say or have to share. Jesus, our master and teacher has shown us by his own humility and example that what he offers and suggests what he commands and requires what he teaches and shares is trustworthy and beneficial for our spiritual and temporal life for he practices what he preaches. Jesus only asks us to do what he himself has done like be baptize, be faithful, not to be afraid, to love God with all our being, to love one another, to honor our parents, to give all glory and praise to God, to pray always, to deny ourselves and live out the Father’s will. This is great advice. When it came to those spiritual teachers and guides who were not trustworthy or failed to recognize the Good Shepherd’s voice, Jesus said, “do and observe all things whatsoever they tell you, but do not follow their example” for by their own words and example they say to us, “do as I say, not as I do.” Who would follow bad advice?