Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: July 22nd. 2012
‘He took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.’ (Mark 6: 34)
‘Do you love me?… Feed my sheep!’ That question that the Risen Lord asked Simon Peter by the shore,-not once but three times, ‘Do you love me?… Do you love me?… Do you love me?’, and his saying to each ‘Yes‘ of Simon Peter, ‘Feed my lambs!…feed my lambs! Feed my sheep!’- the story of that question and that commission was at the heart of Alphonsus Liguori’s description of what his new Redemptorist Priests and Brothers were to be all about,- ‘Do you love me? (if so,) Feed my sheep!’
To be a shepherd who does not feed his sheep, and care for them, and bring them to pasture and to still waters,- that would be betrayal of the call of Jesus to care for his people. If we love the Master, then we will do our utmost to continually feed his disciples. Disciples will seek to ‘pastor’ one another, to lead each other to the water that is Christ. Without Christ, we are all of us ‘like sheep without a shepherd.’
Seamus Devitt C.Ss.R.