Catholic Daily Reading + Reflection (Homily), Sunday 18 July 2021 – Like Sheep Without A Shepherd
Mass Readings, Reflection – Homily for Sunday July 18, 2021
16th Sunday of the Year
Today’s Rosary: Glorious Mystery
Theme of the Sunday: LIKE SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD. In the first reading Jeremiah condemns the political leaders of his time who are leading to ruin the sheep that God has entrusted to their care. He then promises an upright, wise king from the house of David who will truly be a shepherd of his people. The gospel tells us that this shepherd is Jesus of Nazareth. The second reading shows us who the members of the flock are. They are not only Jews, but all people, without distinction. Jesus has pulled down all the barriers that divide.
“I will gather the remnant of my flock, and I will set shepherds over them.”
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 23:1-6)
“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” says the Lord. Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the Lord. Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, says the Lord. “Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness. ”’
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps 23:1-3a.3b-4.5.6 (R. 1)
R/. The Lord is my shepherd, there is nothing I shall want.
The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.
Fresh and green are the pastures
there he gives me repose.
Near restful waters he leads me;
he revives my soul. R.
He guides me along the right path,
for the sake of his name.
Though I should walk in the valley of the shadow of death,
no evil would I fear, for you are with me.
Your crook and your staff will give me comfort. R.
You have prepared a table before me
in the sight, of my foes.
My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing. R.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life.
In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell
for length of days unending. R
“He is our peace, who has made us both one.”
A reading from the Letter of Saint Paul to the Ephesians (Ephesians 2:13-18)
Brethren: Now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who has made us both one, and has broken down the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law of commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new man in place of the two, so making peace, and might reconcile us both to God in one body through the cross, thereby bringing the hostility to an end. And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near; for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.
The word of the Lord.
ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice says the Lord, and I Know them, and they follow me Alleluia
“They were like sheep without a shepherd.”
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark (Mark 6 :30-34)
At that time: The apostles returned to Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a lonely place by themselves. Now many saw them going, and knew them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns, and got them ahead of them. As he landed he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
The Gospel of the Lord.
PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL
Christ, shepherd of the people.
PRIEST: God our Father has appointed Christ as the Shepherd of his people. Let us pray to the Lord for the graces for our world, by which everyone may look to Christ as their leader.
FOR THE PRIEST OF THE CHURCH, (pause) let them be true shepherds of their flock, feeding them on the word of God, and on the body and blood of his Son. (pause) Hear us, Lord; and keep us in your loving care we pray Oh Lord.
FOR THOSE WHO TEACH RELIGION TO THE YOUNG, (pause) let them be attentive not only to doctrine, but to the personal needs of their students, with their unique talents and weaknesses. (pause) Hear us, Lord; and keep us in your loving care we pray Oh Lord.
FOR THOSE WHO FEEL LOST DISCOURAGED, (pause) Let those who are despondent and faint of heart, Because of the difficulties they encounter daily, Be encouraged by their knowledge That Christ gave his live for them. (pause) Hear us, Lord; and keep us in your loving care we pray Oh Lord.
FOR CHRISTIAN UNITY AND WITNESS, (pause) let Catholics and other Christians seek their peace in Christ, so that together they may witness to the world, and proclaim the power and love of the Lord. (pause) Hear us, Lord; and keep us in your loving care we pray Oh Lord.
We pray in silence for our own intentions to God our Father, who cares for us.
Father, you gave us your Son as our shepherd, and we trust that you will answer the prayers we have made to you. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Today’s readings compare the people of God and their leaders to sheep and shepherds respectively. Jeremiah the prophet speaks of Yahweh’s disappointment with the shepherds: “You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken care of them.” But Yahweh would not abandon them. He says, “I myself shall gather from all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; they will be fruitful and increase in numbers.” To gather his sheep he would raise up for David’s branch an upright and just shepherd. It was a prophecy about Jesus, the Son of God. Saint Paul refers to him thus: “He is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier… and through the cross, to reconcile them both to God in one body; in his own person he killed the hostility”. Jesus the good Shepherd appears in today’s gospel as having compassion for the crowd, “because they were like sheep with a shepherd and he set himself to teach them at some length.” In Jesus we have the shepherd who laid down his life for us in order to save us and lead us to the green pastures of Heaven.
Today’s Saint and Quote: St Camillus – July 18th
Think well. Speak well. Do well. These three things, through the mercy of God, will make a man go to Heaven.
I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me. – Philippians 4:13
– Ask for mercy for the times you doubted God’s ability to supply all your needs
– God for the gift of faith to trust Jesus as the shepherd of your life.
– Tell God about the things you need in your life.
Let Us Pray
Dear Jesus my shepherd, give me courage to overcome my fears, to stand firm in my faith, to live in accordance with your word, to walk the path of truth and love even when it is dangerous. Grant me courage to have dogged trust in your care and protection over me even in the midst of darkest situation.