16th Sunday in Ordinary Time – July 18, 2021

16B21.    Jeremiah 6:1-6.   The leaders or shepherds of God’s People had not led the people well.  The Lord says, “You have not cared for them, but I will take care to punish your evil deeds,” “I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble.” “I will raise up a righteous shoot to David; as king he shall reign and govern wisely.”  “This is the name they give him: ‘The Lord our justice’.”  As Christians, we understand that shepherd to be Jesus.

Psalm 23.   “The Lord is my shepherd.”  He cares for us so that we live securely in his gracious love.  “Only goodness and kindness follow me all the days of my life; and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for years to come” in heaven.

Mark 6:30-34.  His disciples had just returned from a very demanding but wondrously fruitful mission.  Now Jesus wants them to retreat to a restful place so to grow spiritually in prayer.  However, people arrived there on foot ahead of 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 began to teach them many things.”  We must be hungry for what only the Lord has and not lost in the consumerism of this world.  What this world gives does not satisfy and is only good to the grave.

Ephesians 2:13-18.  Through Jesus’ sacrificing himself on the cross both Jews and Gentiles are united in Christ.  Jesus “came and preached peace to you who were far off (the Gentiles of Ephesus) and peace to those who were near (the Jews), for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.”  Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 12:13: “For in the Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, slaves or free persons, and we were all given to drink of one Spirit.” The same God who created us so that we may a life of love in him wishes us to be all united to one another in love of him.