Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time 18 July 2021

What a week for shepherds, be they civic or religious!

Take a moment to add your addition to these:

#the riots in South Africa

# the enormous floods in Western Europe

# the scandals unfolding in Brazil

# the growing Covid crisis in Indonesia…and elsewhere

# the decision about the Tridentine Rite by the Pope, these and many others make our fifth lockdown in Victoria seem “small beer”.

Where are the shepherds?

What are they doing?

Against the big picture we are alerted to the ancient warning, “Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be destroyed and scattered” in Reading One.

Then we are given another idea in the gospel. Tired, weary, seeking solitude. He, nonetheless, “took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd.”

We are often given for reflection the baptismal “priest, prophet and king” line. Sometimes we add “shepherd” with a small “s”. We are all called to be shepherds, in our family at our workplaces, when leading the flock on the sporting fields let alone at the supermarket. We are part of a Church that invokes the name of Jesus, hence, we must be concerned about the spiritual and physical hunger of all people today. For many see our need today to be of crisis proportions. Let us deal with what we can at our local level.

There are some words from Pope Francis in the book “Let Us Dream.”

“We have to see clearly, choose well, and act right”. Echoes of another shepherd of blessed memory.

Crises have come and been met before by our predecessors. As he set himself to teach them at some length so, too, must we.


Mons Frank