16th Sunday in ordinary time, year B

Theme: "SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD"

1st. Reading (Jeremaih 23: 1-6). In this reading the shepherds who neglected the flock are severely mentioned by God. At the same time God promises to send shepherds who will care about His sheep. 

2nd reading (Ephesians 2: 13-18).  By his death Christ broke down the wall that divided Jews from the Gentiles and He united all peoples as children of the one Father.

Gospel (Mark 6:30-34). In this Gospel we see the care of Christ for his apostles as well as his compassion for the people who were " like sheep without Shepherd "

.Every Christian ought to be a person who cares about others. We sometimes tell people that we care about them yet we fail to prove it by our deeds.

We sometimes see people in great need and our first reaction is to judge them. To say that it is their fault or perhaps we do genuinely feel sorry for them. It just ends there. We turn our backs and walk away.  We do not want to get involved.  Not so Jesus.  He felt sorry for them and immediately decided to do something for them. 

First, he taught them at length that is Jr gave them food for their minds.  Then, seeing that they were hungry, he fed them with bread and fish. In doing so, he did something more import. He showed them that he cared about them. He made them feel that they were worthwhile.  

The works of mercy should be done with great love, gentleness, understanding and compassion. Efficiency alone is not enough. 

We are all in need. At times our minds are confused, our hearts restless and our soul’s empty. 

Above all we need love. At heart we all yearn to love and to be loved. We need not just to be admired but be loved.  There is a great hunger at the centre of our being for someone who will understand us and accepts us, with all our weaknesses.  Hence, we need the care of Jesus Christ- the good Shepherd.

Today there are many people Inn our world who are like sheep without a shepherd.  Such people are very vulnerable.  Those who are unable to think for themselves are very vulnerable and can be led astray.  The most vulnerable of all are the unwanted and the unloved.  Those who have no goal or aim in life and for whom life is therefore meaningless. We think especially of certain young people who have known no love at home and who have little possibility of worthwhile employment.  Such people will soon end up locked up away in prison unless someone takes an interest in them. The Christian community should be alert to them and their needs. 

May the Lord look upon us and take pity on us, for at times we too are like sheep. Save us from blind following of the herd. Help us to follow you even if it means leaving the crowd and walking a lonely path.  Lead us from death of corona virus and other sickness to life.  From error to truth, from despair to hope, from fear to trust, from hate to love, from war to peace.  

Help us to listen to your voice, to trust you and to follow you. May you carry all our hopes and dreams, you alone can give us what we hunger and thirst for.

Fr. Mubangizi JohnBosco 


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