Jesus as the Good Shepherd

04-30-2023Pastoral ReflectionsFr. Brian Manning

Anti-Semitism often arises from the misuse of scripture and today’s passage in which Saint Peter informed the people before him that they had crucified Jesus has been used by such haters. Peter was trying to motivate the people to come to the waters of baptism and repent from any of their wrong doing ways. He was not preaching anti-Semitism nor laying the foundation for this hate for others to later adopt and use. The people responded to Peter’s invitation asking how they could make things right. They became eager to be baptized so that they could change their ways and lead a better life.

We find in the Letter of Peter that he told us that we should bear what we suffer quite patiently. Jesus did exactly this. He did not do wrong and He also was without sin. He did not attack his enemies or accuse them of bad things. Jesus offered them honorable and decent responses. Peter clearly told us that Jesus should be our model for behavior. Peter even told us that if we wander off the path, Jesus as the Good Shepherd will call us back to Him.

We all walk though doors in our lives. Some are automatic and open before us, some are locked, and some are even opened by others. And others are so secure that it takes special procedures to get them open. Most importantly in light of today’s gospel passage, we can say simply and clearly that Jesus created the door of peace for us. In life Jesus is always there, open for us, awaiting us when we approach and inviting us to enter.