The Perspective of Justice

The True Shepherd

The risen Jesus is the true shepherd, “the one who enters through the gate, who walks in front of them, and the sheep follow him because they recognize his voice.”

True Christians follow the true shepherd: they recognize his voice and they obey his commands. They hear his message about loving enemies, about seeking first the kingdom of God, about forgiving seventy times a day.

They hear him talk of concern for the poor, of selling all that one has, of being perfect as their heavenly Father is perfect. They listen to him say that they should not worry about tomorrow, that they should turn the other cheek, that they should lose their lives.

They hear and obey, following their shepherd through the gate.

There are false shepherds who speak other words, who talk of defending one’s rights, of accumulating wealth, of achieving social prominence. Some Christians listen to them rather than to the true shepherd.

Both the true and the false shepherds lead one to death. The difference is that the true shepherd leads beyond death to resurrection.

In Christ and through Christ God has revealed himself fully to mankind and has definitively drawn close to it; at the same time, in Christ and through Christ man has acquired full awareness of his dignity, of the heights to which he is raised, of the surpassing worth of his own humanity, and of the meaning of his existence.

Pope John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis, 1979:11.

Gerald Darring

Now published in book form, To Love and Serve: Lectionary Based Meditations, by Gerald Darring This entire three year cycle is available at


**From Saint Louis University

Kristin Clauson