YEAR B: HOMILY/REFLECTION FOR THE SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
THEME: HAVE CONCERN FOR WHAT IS ENTRUSTED INTO YOUR HANDS
BY: Fr. Christian Eze
First reading – Jer 23:1-6
Second reading – Eph 2:13-18
Gospel – Mk 6:30-34
The work of a shepherd like that of any care taker is to pay attention to the sheep entrusted into his/her hands. A good shepherd, a good care taker does not abandon whatever is entrusted into his/her hands. His/her greatest joy is in seeing that the flock is happy. The joy of the flock too, is in seeing that the shepherd cares. We are the flock of God. Psalm 95:7 says: “… Yahweh our maker, for He is our God. We are the people of His pastures, the flock that he guides”. We are God’s project, we are all in His hands and we desire always to be cared for.
There is no one who does not desire that God spares a thought for him/her. Our joy is in knowing that we are not abandoned by God. How happy could they have been, those who, in the gospel of today, received the attention of Christ when it seemed no one else cared – “[Jesus] took pity on them because they were sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at length” Mk 6:34.
Christ is the Good shepherd – Jn 10:11. He cares so well for all that is entrusted into His hands. He was able to declare in Jn 17 “I have watched over them [those entrusted to him] and not one is lost….” (Jn. 17:12). In those moments of our lives when it appears that we are like sheep without shepherd, when it seems no one else cares, when we feel abandoned even by our best friends and close relatives; the good news is that we are cared for at length by God.
If God so cares for us, we too are also expected to pay a reasonable attention to, nay, to care for whatever has been entrusted into our hands. There is no one without a responsibility. You may not be holding any leadership position in a public office or the Church; but you could be a father or mother, a son or a daughter in the family. All these are responsibilities we are called to take care of. Whatever there is that has been given to us; we have got to pay a reasonable attention to.
God frowns when we leave our responsibilities like sheep without shepherd. In today’s first reading we hear His words: “Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be destroyed and scattered” Jer 23:1. Your flock include your parents, your job, your office, your house, your duty post to mention but a few. Do your flock look like sheep without shepherd?