Psalm 23: 1-6 The Good Shepherd “Yahweh is my shepherd, I lack nothing.”
Mark 6: 30-34 First Miracle of the Loaves “…and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.
As I read our first reading in Hebrews today, I couldn’t help but think about the effort being made by our great Pope, John Paul II as he is presently visiting the Americas at the time of my reflection. The reading’s message to “obey your leaders and give way to them” was magnified in light of the timing of Pope John Paul II’s visit to the Americas. The Pope’s message of peace and justice for the whole of society including the poor as well as his call to “Make Christ’s word reach those who still do not know him” was amplified as I reflected on the conclusion of Paul’s letter to the Hebrews.
This year like no other, we find ourselves looking forward to January 1, 2000 to the point we are almost living in the next year already, for all of the talk that surrounds us. If people aren’t writing or discussing the anticipated computer complications of this year arriving, many of the world’s religions are talking about the need to strengthen and preserve their faith into the next millennium. We are living in challenging times. Never has the significance of the actions I take today had more meaning than when these actions are compared and then challenged for their impact on the next 1000 years.
Just so we are not overwhelmed with all of today’s challenges and bad news stories, we are soothed with the beautiful words of Psalm 23. Despite life’s perils, Yahweh is all we need. If we but recognize this we will have nothing to fear. In Mark’s reading we find Jesus, despite a full day of attending to people returning to the crowd that finds him. He is fully present to them despite it having been a long day and eventually he feeds their physical needs too in that setting. We are reminded, we too will not find a day that Jesus will not be there to listen, to teach and to sooth. With all of today’s challenges, we understand we do not walk alone through the day.
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