Sunday Says Podcast: July 22, 2012 Mass Readings and Reflection

16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

(New Jerusalem Bible Translation)

Skip to 3:50 minute mark to go to reflection.

 

1st reading – Jeremiah 12:1-6

This week’s readings start with a stern warning. Jeremiah, a true prophet of God, speaks with anger against those that are misleading the people they have been entrusted to lead. God almost seems to be in disbelief of how much damage they have caused.

In the Revised New American Bible Translation read at mass, the wording says “ You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.“ God has more than strong words for these shepherds. The term shepherd here is going beyond the ones that work with sheep, but it can apply to all that support and promote evil with the lie that God will bless it anyways.

It’s Jeremiah’s job to show God’s people that the consequence of sin is death, and it doesn’t make God happy.

God then changes the tone and promises restoration and reunion. Where the shepherds brought disorder, He will renew order. God speaks in comfort and reassurance to give hope to His people.

 

It’s important to point out a poignant wordplay at the end of the reading. His warning goes specifically against King Zedekiah who namesake is “The Lord is Justice.” Jeremiah turns it around and points the promise of a great king of the line of David whose name will be “The Lord our justice.”

 

Responsorial – Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6

The Lord Is my Shepherd, there is nothing I shall want

 

2nd Reading – Ephesians 2:13-18

In this reading, Paul shows us the true shepherd of unity. Christ’s death paid the price for all of us, it unites us. By abolishing the need to follow the old Mosaic law, the Gentiles and all the world gained access to the Lord. His life, death, and resurrection preach the promise of eternal life that is available to all those that choose to follow Him.

 

Gospel – Mark 6:30-34

Returning again to the image of the Shepherd, the closing of this Gospel shows the compassion of our Lord on those that are lost. When He saw how lost they had become, He didn’t hesitate to teach them.

This week’s readings give us hope. Even when human leaders fail us, including within the Church, the Eternal Shepherd will not abandon His flock. Time and time again, we have seen leaders of ministries, teachers, coaches, and even priests and bishops fail us. People lose hope and are often hurt by these situations, as is understandable. Still, we believe that we follow the One True God that has revealed His Truth through His Church.

Fear not, where man fails, God will prevail.

These readings remind us that in order to follow the true shepherd requires that we recognize our place as sheep. Our selfishness and pride often blinds us to think we know our own way, but it only leads to confusion and gets us lost.

We pray for a faithful heart that recognizes and responds to the voice of our Shepherd through the presence of the Church here on earth.

Mother Mary, pray for us.

 

Reflection done by Cristobal Almanza @SoulPainter

Theme song – Ignite – Soundwave soundwave.cc 

Background music from JewelBeat

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