From the Pastor's Desk
When has my compassion for someone or for others pushed aside my own needs? How can I put others’ needs first more often?
16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today's readings explain how God, like a good shepherd, redeems His people and provides for them. The readings also challenge us to use our God-given authority in the family, in the Church, and in society, with fidelity and responsibility.
In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah (sixth century B.C.), thunders against Israel's careless leaders - the king, some priests, and some court prophets – because they have shown no concern for the poor. The prophet also foretells the rise of a new, good shepherd in the family-line of David. Then he consoles the Israelites enslaved in Babylon, assuring them that God will lead them back to their original pasture in Israel.
Today's Good Shepherd Psalm (Ps 23) affirms David's Faith and trust in God, the "Good Shepherd."
The second reading introduces Jesus as the shepherd of both the Jews and the Gentiles and explains how Jesus, the good shepherd, has reconciled all of us with His Father by offering Himself on the cross. Paul also speaks about another reconciliation between Jews and Gentiles, brought about by Jesus' accepting both into the same Christian brotherhood.
The reading from the Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the good shepherd fulfilling God's promise given through His prophet Jeremiah in the first reading. Here we see Jesus attending the weary apostles, who have just returned, jubilant, from their first preaching mission, while at the same time expressing concern for the people who, like "sheep without a shepherd," have gathered at their landing place in the wilderness.
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