Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B

“Sheep without a shepherd.” This is the simple theme of today’s readings. It is interest­ing that Jesus’ reaction to the crowd is one of pity – as he sees their great thirst for his teach­ings. This is, in a sense, a clear fulfilment of the prophecy we hear in the first reading, where God promises a true shepherd who will care for the people of Israel. Shepherding is a particularly suitable im­age of God’s love and care. The dependency of the sheep on their shepherd, their wandering and drifting without someone to guide them, is also a suitable image of the people God loves. Our own age also displays sheep without shepherds – a great wandering crowd, seeking something, but not knowing what they are seeking. It is to this flock that the present day followers of Jesus are sent as shepherds.

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