Gospel Reflection: “The keeper opens his voice; he calls each of his sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them and the sheep follow him for they know his voice.”—As a class adviser, I have this thing about names. I call my students not by their nicknames but by their real names. At the start my students would often go crazy because I am the only one doing that, they would insist on me calling them by their nicknames but eventually they learn to love it. In fact, after a while, they would feel funny whenever I will call them otherwise. So Bea is Beatrice in my class, Fides is Teresa, Mika is Monica, Gabby is Margarita, Maria is Maranatha and Sam is Samuelle etc. ‘Cause you see, when they get to my class, they have to leave behind their old self and the labels that they carry with them. When they become part of my flock, they get a fresh start. I am the sheperd in my class, I want that amidst the noise and the distractions around them, each of my sheep hear and recognize my voice when I call them. I want that in the middle of all the confusion, each one of them follows to where I will lead them. And it never fails, at the end of the year, all my 27 sheeps make it to that place where I want them to be. And what’s more, they manage to live up to the goodness and the promise behind their christian names.

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