I will give you shepherds after my own heart; and all nations shall gather to Jerusalem.
A reading from the Book of Jeremiah (Jeremiah 3: 14-17)
“‘Return, O faithless children, says the Lord; for I am your master; I will take you, one from a city and two from a family, and I will bring you to Zion. And I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding. And when you have multiplied and increased in the land, in those days, says the Lord, they shall no more say, “The ark of the covenant of the LORD.” It shall not come to mind, or be remembered, or missed; it shall not be made again. At that time Jerusalem shall be called the throne of the Lord, and all nations shall gather to it, to the presence of the Lord in Jerusalem, and they shall no more stubbornly follow their own evil heart. ”’
The word of the Lord.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM Jeremiah 31: 10.11-12ab.13 (R. see 10d)
R. The Lord will keep us,
as a shepherd keeps his flock.
Hear the word of the LORD,
O nations, and declare it in
the islands afar off;
say, “He who scattered
Israel will gather him,
and will keep him as a
shepherd keeps his flock.” R.
For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
and has redeemed him from hands
too strong for him.
They shall come and sing aloud
on the height of Zion,
and they shall be radiant
over the goodness of the Lord. R.
Then shall the maidens
rejoice in the dance,
and the young men and
the old shall be merry.
I will turn their mourning into joy,
I will comfort them, and give
them gladness for sorrow. R.
ALLELUIA Luke 8: 15
Alleluia. Blessed are those who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bring forth fruit with patience. Alleluia.
He who hears the word and understands it, bears fruit
A reading from the holy Gospel according to Matthew (Matthew 13: 18-23)
At that time: Jesus said to his disciples, “Hear then the parable of the sower. When any one hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the Evil One comes and snatches away what is sown in his heart; this is what was sown along the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no foot in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulation or persecution arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this is he who hears the word, but the cares of the world and the delight in riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful. As for what was sown on good soil, this is he who hears the word and understands it; he indeed bears fruit, and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”
The Gospel of the Lord.
God invites the Israelites to return to him with a renewed and contrite heart. He promised to raise up shepherds after his heart who will care for and nurture them with true knowledge and wisdom from above. For their part, their strong faith in Yahweh should attract all the nations of the earth to Jerusalem to worship God and exalt his name. As Children’s, we too are called to become transformed and transforming agents of God’s grace and love to all. We shouldn’t become indifferent to God’s word like the seed that fell on the footpath; or become superficial in our faith like the seed that fell on rocky ground; or become too attached to the world of money, fame, power or riches like the seed that fell among thistles. But rather, we should always be strong in faith, focused, persevering and capable of bearing abundant fruits of truth, goodness and beauty befitting God’s kingdom.