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. Oct 2018 .
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Doctrines & Morals
 
 
Homilies/Reflections

Woe to the Shepherds who destroy the Sheep.*
By REV. FR. PAUL ANIGBORO

Shepherds are expected to protect the flock. They are expected to lead them in the right path. They are expected to show good examples to their followers. Today's readings come down hard on shepherds who have failed in their duties as shepherds of flocks entrusted to them. Anyone of us who have people under us, we are shepherds, either pastors/priests, parents or guardians, Elder brother or sister, leader of any group or organization. We all have the role of shepherding. 
 
In the first reading, the prophet Jeremiah, thunders against Israel's careless leaders- the king, some priests and some court prophets, because they have shown no concern for the poor. The prophet also foretells the rise of a good, new shepherd in the family line of David. The second reading introduces Jesus as the shepherd of both Jews and Gentiles and explains how Jesus, the good shepherd, reconciled all of us with His Father by offering himself on the cross. 
 
The gospel reading from the Gospel of Mark presents Jesus as the good shepherd fulfilling God’s promise given through his prophet Jeremiah in the first reading. Here we see Jesus attending to his weary apostles, who have just returned from their first preaching mission, while at the same time expressing his concern for the people who, like “sheep without a shepherd," have gathered to meet him in the wilderness.
 
In the gospel, we see a caring shepherd who was ready to attend to his flock upon return from the work he sent them. The reading is a continuation of last week Sunday gospel reading. The apostles came back tired and hungry. Jesus too was in need of rest because he has been attending to people all day long. Thus he led his apostles to a place, to go and rest. In the other place of rest, Jesus saw some persons in need of shepherds. He was moved with pity towards them also. Today’s Gospel teaches that “the mission of the Church should be based on the. Gospel of compassion we seek to live and share.
 
A shepherd that is not compassionate cannot be said to be a real shepherd. As Christians,  we are called to be compassionate to others. We must be people of prayer and action. When people come for our help, it is not enough to say that God will bless and provide for you, it must move beyond that. We must be ready to look for a way to assist the person to get what he or she really wants. This is part of our call as Christians. 
 
Reflecting of today's readings won't be complete without calling on the priests or pastors also. The church today needs ideal pastors. Pastors who will understand the smell of the sheep. Pastors who will be ready anyday and anytime to attend to the needs of the flock under their care. Pastors who will sacrifice their time of sleep for the needs of others. Pastors who will let go of their comfort just to make sure that others are comfortable. These are the kinds of pastors we need in our world of today. It is a pity that many of us fail in these regard. Keep praying for your priests for the strength to carry on. 
 
Lord, give us good and ideal shepherds that will truly care for your sheep. Grant strength to those you have chosen in order to fulfill their ministry. Amen. 
 
Good morning and do have a restful Sunday. God loves you.
 
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