16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac A.  Mensah

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16th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B by Fr. Isaac A.  Mensah

1st Reading: Jeremiah 23:1-6
Responsorial Psalm: Psalms 23:1-3, 3-4, 5, 6
2nd Reading: Ephesians 2:13-18
Gospel: Mark 6:30-34

Theme: Leadership is everything


In this world there are two things; it is either you lead or you are led. When we witness success in any avenue of life individually, corporately, personally or professionally that success is directly credited to leadership. No person or institution acquires success or failure by mistake; someone led them there because leadership is everything. Indeed the buck stops with the leader. This is what we reflect in the three readings of today.

Explanation of the text

The theme of leadership is made evidently clear in our first reading where the Prophet Jeremiah speaks of irresponsible shepherds at his time. In the Old Testament, the word “Shepherd” is used broadly to include the king as well as priests and prophets; in fact the term is synonymous to leadership. However a cursory look at the first reading reveals leadership crisis which stems from the unwholesome connivance and unrighteous collaboration between the prophets, priests and Kings resulting in heinous crimes and sacrileges against God.

God is so disappointed with the shepherds for reneging and failing in exercising their duties and so He promises to take charge of the sheep by Himself. It is instrutive to note that in this pericope He uses the first person pronoun “I” seven times and seven is the number of completeness and perfection ( confer Gen 1:1, 22, 27, 2:3; 2:4). This means that He is totally going to take hold of the sheep and He will do that perfectly. In fact the whole text makes allusion to Jesus who will come from the family of David as the true Shepherd to the rescue of those perishing.

In the Gospel, Christ was moved to compassion upon seeing the crowd because they were like Sheep without Shepherd. Christ has demonstrated that he is that promised Davidic King. He is so concerned about the Sheep that he and his disciples had to terminate their vacation and attend to them. In the second reading, Paul reminds us that: “…You that used to be so far apart have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ.” This simply means that Christ is the fulfillment of the messianic prophecy. He is our peace. If we submit ourselves unto His leadership he will lead us to the greener pastures.

And for us too who hold leadership positions let us remember that leadership is everything. This is because when a leader doesn’t address the problem, the problem becomes the leader and the leader becomes the problem.



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