Readings and Reflection for Sunday July 18, Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time


“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.

Today’s Reflection

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.


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