16th Sunday: Jer 23:1-6. Eph 2:13-18. Mk 6:30-34.
The Gospel this weekend is this:
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.
31 He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while." People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat.
32 So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
33 People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
34 When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
The first reading is this:
Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the flock
of my pasture, says the LORD.
2 Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people: You have
scattered my sheep and driven them away. You have not cared for
them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
3 I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all
the lands to which I have driven them and bring them back to
their meadow; there they shall increase and multiply.
4 I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble; and none shall be
missing, says the LORD.
5 Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
6 In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
"The LORD our justice."
The second reading is this:
But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have
become near by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, he who made both one and broke
down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh,
15 abolishing the law with its commandments and legal
claims, that he might create in himself one new person * in
place of the two, thus establishing peace,
16 and might reconcile both with God, in one body, through
the cross, putting that enmity to death by it.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were far off and
peace to those who were near,
18 for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the
This Sunday is about the spreading of the Word of God… shepherding mankind. Also it combines that with the 'peace' of prayer.
Jesus sees a crowd that need his teaching, so he gets down to work, but it's interesting that beforehand, he brought his apostles to a deserted place to be by themselves. That was in order to get something to eat etc, but makes me think of how working with Christ on the mission also needs times spent in private personal prayer. Decent preaching needs decent prayer. It's as you pray that God inspires what He wants a missionary to preach, and what he wants from every Christian.
It says that Jesus' heart was moved when he saw the crowd in need. We're all in danger of doing our Christian duty with a cold heart just fulfilling rules and regulations. That includes the job of 'preachers' (and, I suppose, of writers of e-mails!). Our eventual long-lasting joy will come from having done it all with a heart - with love.
In the second reading Paul asks that the spreading of the Good News be to everyone (without drawing barriers between Jew and Gentile etc).
I can't be sure that I will always have the heart to love well, so that's why I will always try to attend mass to listen to what God is teaching and to take communion in the hope that I can then live in communion with his love… that we all can… Jew and Gentile!
Reflections of faith
Read and be inspired by the reflections and experiences of faith, based on the Word of God.