16th Sunday of ordinary time – Shepherd as model of leadership

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.

 

By Fr. Aldo, SX

 FIRST READING

  • In the first reading, Jeremiah warns the leaders, who are negligent of their duties as shepherds.
  • They scatter their flocks. They have no affection for them. They don’t care.
  • God will soon punish them for their evil deeds.
  • God will replace them with better ones who can provide more food on the table.

PSALM

  • Like the psalmist, we must be able to affirm God’s leadership.
  • We can do it only if we allow ourselves to be led by him.
  • His words give us direction.
  • He keeps us away from danger.
  • We can imitate God’s leadership.

SECOND READING

  • In the second reading, Jesus, as a leader, brings peace and reconciliation through his blood and crucified flesh.
  • He chooses to suffer himself in order to bring about peace.
  • We can never experience peace if we are divided within.
  • We become one, complete, and integrated persons by accepting the cross (the ways, the person) of Christ.
  • Only by following the ways of Christ shall we have peace.

 

GOSPEL

  • Like the people in the gospel, we must draw closer to Jesus to listen to him.
  • God will speak to us if we constantly seek him.
  • We will not go home empty handed, when we encounter him.
  • As we listen to his voice, we will be filled with wisdom and assurances of God’s love.
  • We will be strengthened; we will be transformed.
  • Jesus is a leader par excellence.
  • How shall we evaluate leadership in our context (workplace, community or church)?

THREE READINGS TOGETHER

  • The first reading warns bad leaders who victimize their constituents.
  • The psalm affirms God as the good shepherd.
  • The second reading affirms Jesus as a good leader, who makes you integrated and at peace.
  • The gospel reading describes Jesus’ leadership in terms of non-stop preaching to the people who are hungry for his words.

Jesus knows how to take care of his disciples. He gives them rest (to regain their energies). For this, people flock to him for his words, not for material food. As a leader, Jesus guides them to the right path. May we allow him to guide us too! And may we learn from him!

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