Commentary on the Gospel of

Tamora Whitney - Creighton University's English Department



It’s Easter! New Life, new beginnings. In the Acts, the disciples are spreading the good news everywhere. They recognized that Jesus was Christ and wanted to share the news. They follow him and know him. They are the first to call themselves Christians because they recognize and follow Christ. It’s a new beginning and a new faith. But not everyone recognized and not everyone believed. There was a lot of persecution and not everyone wanted to hear about what had happened and who Jesus was.


In the gospel, the story is recounted of the Jews asking straight out if Jesus is the Christ. He says that he has told them that he is and that he has shown them in many ways, but they will not see and they will not believe. Jesus says that they are not his followers because they do not believe, and because they do not believe they are not his followers. His followers recognize him and believe him and believe in him. Like sheep recognize their shepherd and follow him, his people recognize him and follow him. We see them in the first reading now calling themselves Christian. And likewise, like a shepherd recognizes his sheep, Jesus recognizes his people and gives them life everlasting.


If I were singing Mass today, (and I am going back to Mass in person this week but I know it’s still not safe to sing), I would sing Bob Dufford’s beautiful song “Like a Shepherd.” I’ve been humming it the whole time I’ve been working on this reflection. “Like a shepherd he feeds his flock and gathers the lambs in his arms, holding them carefully close to his heart, leading them home.”


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