1st Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
God the Shepherd
“Woe to the shepherds who mislead and scatter the sheep of my pasture!”
This is the message of Yahweh, God of Israel, to the shepherds in charge of my people, “You have scattered my sheep and driven them away instead of caring for them. Now I will deal with you because of your evil deeds.
“I will gather the remnant of my sheep from every land to which I have driven them and I will bring them back to the grasslands. They will be fruitful and increase in number. I will appoint shepherds who will take care of them. No longer will they fear or be terrified. No one will be lost.”
Yahweh further says, “The day is coming when I will raise up a king who is David’s righteous successor. He will rule wisely and govern with justice and righteousness. That will be a grandiose era when Judah will enjoy peace and Israel will live in safety. He will be called Yahweh-our-justice!”
2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:13-18
Christ our peace
In Christ Jesus and by his blood, you who were once far off have come near.
For Christ is our peace, he who has made the two peoples one, destroying in his own flesh the wall-the hatred-which separated us. He abolished the Law with its commands and precepts. He made peace in uniting the two peoples in him, creating out of the two one New Man. He destroyed hatred and reconciled us both to God through the cross, making the two one body.
He came to proclaim peace; peace to you who were far off, peace to the Jews who were near. Through him we-the two peoples-approach the Father in one Spirit.
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34
He pitied them
The apostles returned and reported to Jesus all they had done and taught. Then he said to them, “Go off by yourselves to a remote place and have some rest.” For there were so many people coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a secluded area by themselves.
But people saw them leaving and many could guess where they were going. So, from all the towns they hurried there on foot, arriving ahead of them.
As Jesus went ashore he saw a large crowd, and he had compassion on them for they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began a long teaching session with them.
We need not think that legalism gives up easily. It continually tries to make a comeback. What is the difference between the Pharisees measuring our tithes of “mint, dill, and cumin” (Mt 23:23) and Catholics up to the 1960s weighing food by the ounce on fast days? The difference is that we had no excuse. We had been hearing the Gospel all our lives, and we knew that it was the Pharisees’ kind of religion that sent Jesus to death. When he has spoken the truth, there is nothing else he can do. Someone can shout at you, but understanding is a silent, subtle movement, like a bud opening in the mind. At a certain point there is nothing to do but wait. He gives us time to ripen
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