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Friday, 20 July 2012

Reflection/Homily: Sixteenth (16th) Sunday of the Year B (July 22 2012)

Theme: Leading According to the Examples of Christ.

In today’s first reading (Jeremiah 23:1-6), God through the prophet Jeremiah rebukes the bad leaders of Israel who through their bad leadership allowed the Israelites to be destroyed, scattered and taken into captivity by the Assyrians. They could not take good care of the people under their care and perhaps were also unavailable to attend to their needs. As a result, the people became lawless, turned away from God and were taken into captivity.

But God did not abandon His people as their leaders did. Instead, He promised to bring them back from captivity, to gather them into one people again and to raise another leader for them. This time, a leader who would be available for them, a leader who would be compassionate and merciful, a leader who would teach them the right things to do and a leader who would attend to all their needs, both spiritual and temporal.

In the gospel reading (Mark 6:30-34), we see the fulfillment of this promise in the person of Jesus Christ. He is the new shepherd of Israel, the good shepherd who will rather lay down his life for his sheep instead of allowing them to remain under the captivity of sin and death. He is the shepherd to gather the scattered people into one flock and feed them with his body and blood.

Beloved friends, we may have also been disappointed by our leaders. We have been taken into captivity by sin, anarchy, terrorism, political instability, religious syncretism, war, etc and we have been scattered all over the place that there is no longer peace among us. Like the crowd in the gospel reading, we are like sheep without a shepherd. So let us hurry to meet Jesus our shepherd. He will take pity on us. He will be our shepherd, teach us and provide for us for the psalmist in today’s responsorial psalm assures us that if the Lord is our shepherd, then we shall lack nothing.

Today, Jesus the Good Shepherd and leader is represented by our religious leaders and through them, we encounter the compassionate Jesus, the Good Shepherd and the reliable leader. Therefore, our religious leaders should follow the examples of Jesus to make themselves available for the people seeking God. They have to sacrifice their comfort and rest when genuine pastoral needs call for that.

However, most of us are also leaders in various capacities; some are leaders as managers, directors, class prefects, landlords, parents, elders, politicians, teachers, etc. We most often have some persons receiving directives from us. Therefore, as leaders, let us also be conscious of the caveat in the first reading. Be conscious of your position and work for the good of the people under your care or expect the wrath of God to befall you.

Like the second reading (Ephesians 2:13-18) exhorts us, let us after the example of Christ promote peace among the people under our care. As leaders, let us not create barriers between people, nations or races instead let us break down all barriers between people. Let us lead with unity, love, equality, justice and peace.

More so, do not be fast to forget that as a leader, on the last day, at the completion of your work, you will give an account of all you did and taught just as the apostles did in the gospel reading. So work well so that at the last day, you will have something positive to report to the Lord.

Finally, in all your endeavours, do not forget to keep communion with the Lord who sent you. Always return to him occasionally to give him a report of your work and to have your strength renewed. Always have some genuine moment of rest and prayer when you will be alone with the Lord of work to receive the unction to function more effectively. As we strive to lead according to the examples of Christ, may he keep assisting us. Amen. God loves you.

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  1. Anonymous11:21 am

    Your reflections have been great and I am sure you will make a good priest with regards to your homilies.

  2. Anonymous1:23 pm

    it sure helped alot on my assignment


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