FIRST READING      
“Give your servant an understanding mind to govern your people.”
A reading from the first Book of Kings 1 Kings 3 :4-13

In those days: Solomon went to Gibeon to sacrifice there, for that was the great high place; Solomon used to offer a thousand burnt offerings upon that altar. At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon in a dream by night; and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and merciful love to your servant David my father, because he walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart towards you; and you have kept for him this great and merciful love, and have given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of David my father, although I am but a little child; I do not know how to go out or come in. And your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, that cannot be numbered or counted for multitude. Give your servant therefore an understanding mind to govern your people, that I may discern between good and evil; for who is able to govern this great people of yours?” It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, behold, I now do according to your word. Behold, I give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. I give you also what you have not asked, both riches and honour, so that no other king shall compare with you, all your days.”
The word of the Lord.

RESPONSORI AL PSALM   Psalm119:9.10. 11.12.13. 14 (R. 12b)
R/. O Lord, teach me your statutes.

How shall a youth remain pure on his way?
By obeying your word. R.

I have sought you with all my heart;
let me not stray from your commands. R.

I treasure your word in my heart,
lest I sin against you. R.

Blest are you, O Lord;
teach me your statutes. R.

With my lips have I recounted
all the decrees of your mouth. R.

I rejoice in the way of your precepts,
as though all riches were mine. R.

ALLELUIA John 10:27
Alleluia. My sheep hear my voice, says the Lord; and I know them, and they follow me. Alleluia.

GOSPEL
“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 there 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
The Apostles came back from their mission and briefed Jesus about all they taught and did. Jesus wanted them to go to a lonely place and have some rest as they were tired. But the crowd reached the destination before they could. This is typical of people. They are eager to make sacrifices and take risks to get whatever they dearly cherish. This they did and deprived the apostles of their rest. Jesus, who wanted to have privacy with them, rescinded his decision. He had compassion on the crowd and began to teach “for they were like sheep without a shepherd”. Sometimes we have to set aside our programmes and schedules to reach out to humanity or to God. For in giving we receive, and with the Lord by our side, we can rest assured of our strength being renewed. Don’t lose hope.

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