Fr. Thomas Colyandro
Open in Case of Emergency
Avoid those who, by slight of hand and tongue, try to reduce your faith so drastically that it becomes possible to leave it on a shelf in a glass bottle with a label that reads "Open in Case of Emergency." These people are the thieves Christ refers to in John 10:10 who come "only to steal and kill and destroy." In diametric opposition to this first image, Christ, in the latter half of the same verse confirms that He "came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
But what exactly does it mean to have an abundant life? For an answer to this, we only need to go one verse further. In John 10:11 Christ reveals, "The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep." In verse 15 He states "I lay down my life for the sheep." Then in verse 17 Christ educates us further, "For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life in order to take it up again."
Thus, living life abundantly means sacrificing in the service of helping others toward Christ, as a type of Christ. In other words, abundant life comes through intercession. This is the very heart of holiness.
So take that bottle off the shelf and smash it against the evil ministrations of people addicted to the temptations of a human existence. Live through Christ, live with Christ, and live in Christ; and lay down your lives for the sheep who need your help getting to The Good Shepherd.