4th Week in Ordinary Time, Saturday (Year I)
Hebrews 13:15-17, 20-21; Psalm 23; Mark 6:30-34
The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” People were coming and going in great numbers, and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them. When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.Mark 6:30-34
Jesus, a spring in the desert for the thirsty and bread for the hungry, was moved with compassion at the sight of the lost and weary.
My sheep hear my voice; I know them, and they follow me.John 10:27
Here was a shepherd and high priest who loved his flock and was ready to set aside his own need to get away and rest in order to feed others. The burdens and troubles of his brothers and sisters did not weigh him down; no one was too mangled or misshapen to receive his healing touch. The ineradicable image of God radiated from every person he encountered.
Jesus invites us to come to him just as we are, and he will lift us up like a lamb on his shoulders.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.Psalm 23:1-2
In verdant pastures he gives me repose.
Beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
Jesus is the model for all shepherds and priests. May our leaders drink deeply from the wellspring of Christ, in the living waters of the Holy Spirit, and lead us to the Father.
May the God of peace, who brought up from the dead the great shepherd of the sheep by the blood of the eternal covenant, Jesus our Lord, furnish you with all that is good, that you may do his will. May he carry out in you what is pleasing to him through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever [and ever]. Amen.Hebrews 13:20-21