Sunday 22 July 2018

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

The readings for this weekend's mass are:

First Reading Jeremiah 23:1-6
Responsorial Psalm 23: 1-6 Response 1
Second Reading Ephesians 2:13-18
Gospel Mark 6:30-34

The first reading begins with a warning: 

"Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!"

I cannot help but read that line and think about news headlines around the world in the last few weeks. With the clergy scandal exploding in America, Europe and even the Vatican. I am glad these past events are coming to the light. And I pray for repentance on the part of perpetrators. I pray for healing for the victims, and I pray for the faithful men of the cloth that their names and reputations will not be tarnished. 

As a father to three children I have failed many times. I have lost my temper, yelled, even upon occasion thrown something. I have more faults than I can count. So, I cannot pass judgement on these men who sin. But I can hope they repent. 

The passage from Ephesians speaks about what Jesus's life and death has achieved. It The reconciliation of both Jews and gentiles. Christ came to bring us peace, peace with the father and peace with each other. And he has given us access to the Holy Spirit. If we are living close to God and paying attention to the Spirit, we can avoid occasions of sin. 

In the gospel after a time of successful mission, the apostles were called away with Jesus. But being recognized Jesus had compassion on the people who were without a shepherd and he began to teach them.

This week I pray for our shepherds, for priests, deacons, bishops, and cardinals. We need to be praying for them. We need to encourage and support them. We need to recognize that they are men and they can fail. But when they do there needs to be accountability and consequences. As Jesus overturned tables and cast out the money changes, there needs to be a cleansing of the church Hierarchy so that the witness of the church is not tarnished any more. 

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