SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Also Read: Mass Readings for 18 July 2021
First Reading: Jeremiah 23: 1-6
The Gatherers Guide!
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the Lord. (1)
Shepherds we all are! Shepherds and stewards of his kingdom within us and within those entrusted to us! Each of us baptized into Christ is his sheep and we belong to his pasture! So then, woe to us, if we do not gather ourselves and others into his pasture! The families we live in today, are the sheep entrusted to our care! Then, are we scatterers or gatherers?
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply.” (3)
Even though we are from the flock of God, if today we find ourselves in the minority; we have God’s promise! There is a gathering taking place as we speak, right now! Are we discerning enough to see and heed the directions?
If we desire to gather, we must stop scattering – our thoughts, plans, words, and deeds. We must stop dividing our own minds over trivialities. When our scattered minds come to rest in the Lord, we will be replenished beyond measure! The psalmist vouches for this! Once renewed, our minds are then set free to work on gathering more of ourselves and help others like us too! Amen!
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 23: 1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
The Textbook for Rejuvenation!
He makes lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul. (2-3)
When we abide by his Word, we will heed his voice as He leads us to restoration!
Second Reading: Ephesians 2: 13-18
The Master Gatherer!
“For through Christ Jesus, both of us have access in one Spirit to the Father.” (18)
St Paul lays it down very clearly today, speaking directly to us! He, St Paul, and us the gentiles and the ones from the distant lands; have one access! Earlier in this chapter, he clarifies this concept. We once had no hope, without God in the world. (12) Christ is! He lives among us today! Through His Cross, he has brought peace to each one of us here.
While God the Father is gathering us all, back into his fold now! Every human is called to be gathered back! I pray “Oh that today, we would listen to his voice.” Amen!
Gospel: Mark 6: 30-34
Call on the name of JESUS!
The apostles are sharing with Jesus, about their mission. While Jesus sees their labor and says to them “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest awhile.” (31) The Lord of all, knows our struggles. That is why when we call out his name, all our weariness, weakness, and sadness; just dissipate! Because there is power in his name itself. He understands the need for us to ‘rest’ and takes us to quiet pools of refreshing waters! If we listen closely, we would hear those streams of living waters bubbling away our anxieties! Faith does! Amen!
And oh yes, though a crowd may still be in want; Christ himself shepherds them even as we rest in Him!