One Flock, One Shepherd
Maria von Trapp
I want to tell you about still another discovery which we made when we had already become quite familiar with our Lord. This happened one blessed day we seemed to understand what Paul meant when he exclaimed, Jesus Christ is the same today as he was yesterday and as he will be for ever; and in another place: I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me. These two statements were linked with the tremendous statement the mysterious voice had made to Paul when he was still Saul, I am Jesus, and you are persecuting me (Acts 9:5).
From that day on these words became the whole pattern for our life. If he can be identified with each one of us and if he is the same yesterday as today – then he continues his very life in every one of us until the end of time. It is a big moment when one realises that. One feels like saying, “All right, dear Lord, here are my hands and feet, eyes and ears, my lips and my heart – they are yours.” I suppose this is the first step towards the final goal; I live now not with my own life but with the life of Christ who lives in me.
As soon as one becomes familiar with the fact that he is the same today as yesterday, one will meet him constantly . . . He really is the same. Nothing has changed. The Good Shepherd is still going after the lost sheep; the Father is still waiting for the Prodigal Son; Mary Magdalene is still sitting at his feet after he had freed her from the seven devils. It may be that not everybody will come across Mary Magdalene or the Good Shepherd in a drastic way. But as soon as we have awakened to what the words mean: Jesus Christ. . . today as he was yesterday, and as soon as we want to meet him today, we can always find him unerringly as Jesus, a man of sorrows and familiar with suffering (Is 53:3).
Once he would talk about the persecuted Christians of the first decade: I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. This is true throughout the centuries. All we have to do is to learn to think about our fellow men in that term: “I am Jesus,”
Maria von Trapp
Maria von Trapp (†1987), with her children and stepchildren. The Trapp Family Singers, inspired the musical film The Sound of Music.