REFLECTION CAPSULE – July 18, 2021: Sunday

“Being a Good Shepherd, like Jesus, to all!”

(Based on Jer 23:1-6, Eph 2:13-18 and Mk 6:30-34 – 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time)

The French have a proverb, which states: “A good meal ought to begin with hunger.”

It is usually pretty hard to enjoy a meal when one is not yet hungry.

But, when one is hungry…
… anything tastes good.

This hunger is of course, not only about physical hunger.
There are many other areas of life where we experience hunger…

Hunger for love…
Hunger for being wanted…
Hunger on emotional counts…
Hunger of the spiritual order…

These aspects of hunger…
… may never have a scientific statistic
… may never have flowcharts and pie diagrams to measure them

But these areas of hunger are a great reality and challenge, especially in our world today!

The Gospel of the Day presents Jesus who addresses not just “statistical” hunger but also such hunger of human needs which “may never get numerically counted”…
… with an invitation to always “hunger for God and to serve His people!”

“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 He began to teach them many things” (Mk 6:34)

The Apostles, who were sent on the mission (Mk 6: 7-13) had returned back and reported all that they had done (Mk 6:30)

They had driven out many demons…
They had anointed many with oil who were sick and cured them… (Mk 6:13)

They would have rejoiced greatly, but they were also physically tired.

They would have been satisfied with their works, but they did not have even the time to eat (Mk 6:31)

The Apostles had done many works, but Jesus sensed that they were tired

The Apostles were happy with their ministry, but Jesus sensed that they were hungry.
And so the Good Shepherd invites them to come away to a deserted place and rest (Mk 6:31)

Like these Apostles, many times, this can be our case too…

We may be doing a lot of things…
… but are we still feeling spiritually tired?

We may be happy with what we are doing…
… but are we still hungry deep within?

The Good Shepherd invites us…
… to take some rest in Him
… to relax in His Holy Heart

As in the case of the Apostles, so is the case of the people…

The people had seen many miracles, but Jesus sensed that they were still not truly filled
The people had witnessed many wonders, but Jesus sensed that they were still lost and unguided.

And so the Good Shepherd, with a moved Heart, feels compassion on them (Mk 6:34)

Like these people, many times this can be our case too…

We may have witnessed God’s wonders…
… but are we still spiritually found wanting?

We may be glad to doing the minimum in our spiritual life…
… but are we still missing something?

The Good Shepherd encourages us…
… with His Divine Word
… by His Compassionate Love

There is indeed a great hunger in the world.

Saint Mother Teresa said: “Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty, than the person who has nothing to eat”

We may be people who hunger for love and acceptance…

Let us go to Jesus, the Supreme Lover of our lives

We may be people dejected and depressed in life…

Let us go to Jesus, the Ultimate Happiness of our lives

We may be people feeling unlucky and ill-fated in life…

Let us go to Jesus, the Absolute Destiny of our lives

In turn, we also meet people who go through such “hunger”…
…for love, for acceptance, for encouragement, for hope, for basics of life etc…

Do I recognise, in the first place, such requirements of needy people?

Does my heart move in loving compassion for them?

Can I be a Good Shepherd, like Jesus, to them?

God Bless! Live Jesus!

Discovering the beauty of the Catholic Church through the Catechism:

Like the prophets before Him, Jesus expressed the deepest respect for the Temple in Jerusalem. It was in the Temple that Joseph and Mary presented Him forty days after his birth.
At the age of twelve, He decided to remain in the Temple to remind His parents that He must be about His Father’s business.
He went there each year during His hidden life at least for Passover.
His public ministry itself was patterned by his pilgrimages to Jerusalem for the great Jewish feasts.
Jesus went up to the Temple as the privileged place of encounter with God.
For him, the Temple was the dwelling of His Father, a house of prayer, and He was angered that its outer court had become a place of commerce.
He drove merchants out of it because of jealous love for his Father: “You shall not make my Father’s house a house of trade.
After his Resurrection his apostles retained their reverence for the Temple (Cf. CCC # 583-584)

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