Saturday, February 9, 2013

Gospel Reflection

February 9, 2013
Saturday – Year of Faith
by Rev. Fr. Christopher Kennedy, SDB, Rector and Parochial Vicar,
St. John Bosco Parish Church, Makati
7:30AM Mass, St. John Bosco Parish Church, Makati
Reading 1 Heb 13:15-17, 20-21

Brothers and sisters: Through Jesus, let us continually offer God a sacrifice of praise, that is, the fruit of lips that confess his name. Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have; God is pleased by sacrifices of that kind.

Obey your leaders and defer to them, for they keep watch over you and will have to give an account, that they may fulfill their task with joy and not with sorrow, for that would be of no advantage to you.

May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the Blood of the eternal covenant, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.

Responsorial Psalm Ps 23:1-3a, 3b-4, 5, 6

R.(1) The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
He guides me in right paths
for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk in the dark valley
I fear no evil; for you are at my side
With your rod and your staff
that give me courage.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
You spread the table before me
in the sight of my foes;
You anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.
Only goodness and kindness follow me
all the days of my life;
And I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
for years to come.
R. The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Gospel Mk 6:30-34

The Apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.

When Jesus disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.


We see Jesus shepherding His people with compassion, and an understanding of their needs. But we also see Jesus shepherding His own disciples by inviting them. In their assignment and return from their recent journey, where they felt the power of Jesus working in them in healing the sick and proclaiming the Gospel, Jesus wanted them to calm down, and to find time to reflect on what is happening in their lives, rather than just go and become very busy in the work that they were to do. 

This is a beautiful lesson for all of us. The Lords wants us to stop, to think and to reflect on what is happening in our lives, so that we may become better ministers of His Word. That we may become better Christians proclaiming what He wants us to be, through our particular shepherding in our particular situations in life. Wherever we are, we are all shepherds, like Christ. But Christ, first of all, found His own strength, His own sustenance, His own power, in His prayer to the Father. It was what sustained Him. It was what helped Him to remain faithful to His ministry, even to death on the cross. 

And Jesus wants that to happen exactly in the lives of His disciples. That they, too, may feel in themselves, the power of God in prayer. They are able to return to Him with gratitude, for giving them that power, and they are able to intercede with Him, for the strength to continue the journey of shepherding in this world. 

It is a wonderful Gospel passage, but it is for all of us. We, as disciples of the Lord, have to stop, rest a while, and pray a while, so that the power of God can work through us. Amen.