I remember having a conversation, a number of years ago, with a little boy, a bit of a troublemaker. He always seemed to be in trouble. And many times, despite the teacher being right in front of him, he would boldly proclaim that he did not hear her give the instruction to sit down, or get out different work, or whatever. Finally, an astute nurse arranged for him to have a hearing test. The test showed that he had a profound loss of hearing in one hear. Indeed, he was being punished for telling the truth! He probably did not hear the teacher. Today in the gospel Jesus tells us that we can know the shepherd and hear his voice. But often we find ourselves, like the little boy, unable to hear. It can be due to sadness, loss, stubbornness, or a desire not to hear. Yet, when we are able to recognize our deafness and seek to hear the voice of the shepherd, we experience the true care of one who loves us more than we can imagine.
Homily given on Sunday, May 12, at Christian Brothers College High School, in Town and Country, Missouri.