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16th Sunday of the year in ordinary time

Readings: Jeremiah 23:1-6 Ephesians 2:13-18 Mark 6: 30-34

Theme: Be a good shepherd

On this 16th Sunday of the Year B, the emphasis is on the good shepherd.  Looking at the first reading of today we see the prophet Jeremiah lamenting and equally admonishing the people, on what it means for us as children of God to be true shepherds. Today the prophet Jeremiah laments because the shepherds are devouring the sheep that is placed under their care. And as such he tells the people that God is going to raise a true shepherd, and that true shepherd is Jesus Christ.

Interestingly when we look at the Gospel reading, we see what it means to be a true shepherd, Jesus Himself with His apostles, even though they were tired, they were still ready to reach out to the people who were in search of them for one need or the other. His mercy supersedes His own comfort. And as such He was willing to go the extra mile to ensure that those who came to Him were able to get their heart desires from him, even at his own expense.

My brothers and sisters in Christ on this 16th Sunday of the Church’s year, we are called to be true shepherds like Jesus. Irrespective of our position in the society and in our families, we are all called to be good shepherds. We are children of God, and we are supposed to be guided by God’s Love in all our actions, and our dealings with people. We are not called to plunder the sheep that is placed in our care; we are rather called to help the sheep that has been placed in our care, and lead them to greener pastures.

The question we need to answer is, “what type of a shepherd am I?” am I the type of shepherd that the prophet Jeremiah was lamenting about or true shepherds after God’s heart? Or am I the shepherd that works like a hireling without commitment? It is for us to answer these questions sincerely because we are all called to be good shepherd; we are all called to live a life that is pleasing in the sight of God.

We are encouraged to emulate Jesus and his disciples who were selfless in their service to the people. That is what it means to be a true shepherd, to be selfless, to think about others, not always about our personal comfort, then to go beyond ourselves and look at the comfort of the others. The more we do these the more we get closer to God and attract blessings to ourselves. We are all encouraged to live our lives like true shepherds that we are called to be as children of God.

That is what God encourages us to do in our lives, to live a life that is worthy of that name Christian by been true shepherd.

We pray that God may grant us the grace to live like true shepherd’s at all times. Peace be with you.


Homily for the 16th Sunday in the ordinary time Year B, by Fr. Jude Ifeanyi Ifezime, C.S.Sp