Dear Brothers and Sisters,
That sheep need shepherds no one will doubt. Why? Because sheep tend to go astray as they seek food. In addition, sheep aren’t sensitive enough to danger and so may find themselves easy prey to wild animals. It is in that light that Jesus calls himself the Good shepherd in another Gospel, and in that light that today’s Gospel says of Jesus that when he looked at his people, “…he felt sorry for them because they were like sheep without a shepherd…”
That we are plagued by all sort of wild animals no one will doubt either. We are troubled by the present violence which keeps rearing its head from time to time, then there are the economic challenges that continue to trouble us together with the general vulgarity and confusion in family life among other problems. These challenges can cause us to feel a sense of hopelessness so much so that we appear as “sheep without a shepherd.”
Today’s first reading from Jeremiah and Gospel of Mark tell us clearly that “…I(God) shall raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them.” Jeremiah 23:5 and “…as Jesus stepped ashore he took pity on them (the people), because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach…” Mark 6:34.
As Christians, therefore, we have the responsibility to remind people that our Nation does have a shepherd. That shepherd calls himself the Good Shepherd. The Good shepherd has empowered his church to be a sign of that he the Good shepherd is among us. Please let’s be the ones to live that message.
Fr. Clement Paul