See I have God for my help; The Lord sustains my soul.
This Sunday’s readings celebrate the closeness of God to us. God is like a shepherd guiding and guarding his flock. We will never be alone. The Lord’s goodness and kindness will be with us all the days of our lives, whether we are in joyful, restful places or in the sorrow of the shadow of death (Psalm).
For this reason, God expects those who shepherd his people to care for them as he does. The prophet Jeremiah has harsh words for those who neglect their calling, and promises a true shepherd for Israel who will act with integrity (First Reading).
It is the role of the Shepherd-King Jesus to unite all his followers as one, bringing us to God and sharing his Good News of peace. Through him, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit who draws us into the Kingdom (Second Reading).
In the Gospel, we see Jesus as he cares in different ways for those entrusted to him: for the apostles by giving them time for rest and nourishment, and for the crowds by teaching them.
As we pray this week, we may like to ask for the grace to trust in God’s closeness, and to love others even more fully as Jesus loved.