Scripture Reflection for the Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
by Rod Hetherton
Reading I: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Reading II: Ephesians 2:13-18
GOSPEL: Mark 6:30-34
The Reason You Shouldn’t Be Afraid
When my oldest child was about two-and-a-half, he went through that stage where everything was scary. The dark was scary, noises were scary, storms were scary — even people were scary. At one point I told him that Jesus was in his heart so there was no reason to be afraid. It didn’t take long before he was telling us that all the time and even tried to tell his little brother, “Jake, don’t be scared. Jesus is in your heart!”
Jesus is Our Peace
One night my son refused to go to bed until we hung up a crucifix that his grandmother had bought for him months before — so both of the boys finally got their crucifixes hung. Even at that tender age, Jesus had become a source of comfort for him. And that is basically what this week’s readings are trying to tell us. Jesus is to be our comfort.
In the second reading it states, “For he is our peace”. Often we forget this. For example, where I live in mid-Michigan, we often think to ourselves, “If I could just drive up north (through the dreaded I-75 construction) and sit at some lake — or river, or cottage, or something — then I would have peace.”
It is great to take a break now and then, but why do we always have to “get away”? And what exactly are we trying to get away from? If we remember that Jesus is in our heart, we will realize that we can have peace wherever we are.
To Find Peace, Look Inside
In his Gospel, Mark tells us, “His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd”. The people flocked to Jesus. This week’s Gospel theme is continued next week with the story of feeding the masses with loaves and fishes — enough food for five thousand people.
The people needed Jesus. They wanted Jesus. They followed him around like sheep listening to his stories and teachings. He was and is the ultimate shepherd. But do we flock to him today with the same passion and yearning that the people had two thousand years ago?
Jesus is the “righteous shoot to David” that Jeremiah foretells in the first reading. Jesus is “our peace” as described in the second reading. Jesus is the “shepherd” of the people as portrayed in the Gospel. Sometimes we just need to be reminded to turn to him.
So be like my son and don’t be afraid. Jesus is in your heart!
What do you flock to when trying to “get away” from it all?
How easy is it for you to trust that Christ will be there to take care of you?
How does Jesus bring you a sense of peace and comfort?
Copyright 2003-2015 by Rod Hetherton
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