Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Sister Breta Konzi, SNDdeN – Kenya
July 18, 2021
Mark 6: 30-34
Today’s readings speak to us about shepherds – those who mislead the flock and those who follow the path of the Good Shepherd.
Frequently in Scripture, God is seen as the shepherd who takes care of his flock. We are reminded of God’s incredible love in making us His children. Our God is a good shepherd who cares for, nurtures and protects us, his sheep.
Jesus is the leader of salvation. In the gospel today we are told that Jesus came to give us eternal life, life that is lived in and with God. Only he can lead us to fullness of life because He and the Father are one. If we want fullness of life then Jesus is our Shepherd and the gate to the Father. A question we need to ask ourselves today is, is Jesus really our Shepherd? Is he the gate through which we want to enter? What does the sheep do? Hopefully, he listens and follows the Shepherd’s voice.
At times we are tempted to listen to our own voice; we want to have things in our own way. In every decision we make do we consult Jesus or we consult ourselves? Is our shepherd the world? Do we consult the media but never consult Jesus? Why is that the world does not want to follow the Shepherd? Jesus says “because you do not believe.” If we do not believe Him, it means we do not trust Him. The question we need to ask ourselves is, when did I last listen to someone? Do I only listen to those whom I trust? In order to believe we have to know. That is why Jesus says “You do not know me”. Relationship with Jesus is what is critical. It is the key to trusting, to believing. The moment we stop listening to Him we will be stolen by the world and go astray. All of us are called to be shepherds but we cannot shepherd unless we are good listeners. The more responsibilities we have in life, the more we must pray. To pray is to love. We have to create intimacy with the Lord. The time we sacrifice to be with the Lord will help us to be much happier.
We are called to be shepherd in our own fields but with the heart of Christ. God sees in us special characteristics of shepherds that makes him to choose us to lead his people. These qualities are found in fullness in the person of Jesus Christ. One of these characteristics is sacrificial love, the kind of love that took Jesus to the cross where he died for his flock. Jesus knows and loves his sheep. Our responsibility as shepherds is to work for the well-being of those placed under our care. A good shepherd should exercise humility, patience and tolerance with God’s sheep.
Mark 6: 30-34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 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. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. 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.
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 Gospel of the Lord