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The 4th Sunday of Easter, which we commemorate today, is devoted to Jesus the Excellent Shepherd. The Gospel states that: “The sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out” (Jn 10: 3). The Lord calls us by name, He calls us due to the fact that He loves us. But, the Gospel then tells us, there are other voices, not to be followed: those of complete strangers, burglars and brigands who indicate damage to the sheep.These various voices resonate within us. There is the voice of God, who speaks kindly to the conscience, and there is the tempting voice that leads to evil. How can we identify the voice of the good Shepherd instead of that of the thief, how can we differentiate the motivation of God from the recommendation of the evil one? One can learn to discern these two voices: they speak two

different languages, that is, they have opposite ways of knocking on the door of our hearts. They speak various languages. Simply as we understand how to differentiate one language from another, we can also identify the voice of God from the voice of the evil one. The voice of God never ever requires us: God proposes Himself, He does not impose Himself. Rather, the wicked voice seduces, assaults, forces:

it arouses spectacular impressions, feelings that are tempting however transient. In the beginning it flatters, it makes us think that we are all-powerful, however then it leaves us empty inside and accuses us:”You deserve nothing”.

The voice of God, rather, fixes us, with terrific perseverance, but always motivates us, consoles us: it constantly nourishes hope. The voice of God is a voice that has a horizon, whereas the voice of evil leads you to a wall, it backs you into a corner. Another distinction. The voice of the enemy sidetracks us from today and desires us to concentrate on fears of the future or sadness about the past– the opponent does not want today– it brings to the surface the bitterness, the memories of the wrongs suffered, of those who have harmed us, many bad memories. Rather, the voice of God talks to today:”Now you can do great, now you can exercise the creativity of love, now you can renounce the regrets and remorse that hold your heart slave”. It inspires us, it leads us ahead, but it speaks in today: now. Again: the two voices raise various questions in us. That which originates from God will be:” What benefits me?”Instead the tempter will insist on another question:”What do I seem like doing?”What I

feel like: the evil voice constantly revolves around the ego, its impulses, its requirements, whatever quickly. It is like the tantrums of a child: whatever, and now. The voice of God, instead, never ever promises joy at a low rate: it welcomes us to go beyond our ego to discover the true excellent, peace. Let us remember: evil never ever gives us peace, it causes frenzy very first and leaves bitterness later on. This is the style of evil. The voice of God and that of the tempter, lastly, speak in various”environments”: the opponent chooses darkness,

fallacy, and chatter; the Lord enjoys sunlight, fact, and genuine transparency. The opponent will state to us: “Close yourself up in yourself

, besides no-one understands and listens to you, do not trust anyone! “Goodness, on the contrary, invites us to open up, to be clear and relying on God and in others.

Dear siblings and sis, in this time a lot of ideas and worries lead us to turn inwards into ourselves. Let us pay attention to the voices that reach our hearts. Let us ask ourselves where they come from. Let us request the grace to

acknowledge and follow the voice of the good Shepherd, who brings us out of the enclosures of selfishness and leads us to the pastures of real freedom. May Our Woman, Mother of Good Counsel, guide and accompany our discernment.