Gospel – 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.

Reflection on the Gospel

Let us remember that we are in the holy presence of God.

We recall the many attributes of Jesus that reflect the great love which he poured out for us by his life, death, and resurrection. Jesus identifies himself in the universal and beloved image of the Good Shepherd. “I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”, St. John quotes him as proclaiming.

On Sunday, April 12th, Pope Francis took that image to himself, and in that office he proclaimed that not only he but all of us need to be good shepherds amid the realities of our time. Pope Francis spoke courageously in his homily during a celebration of the Eucharist with a large gathering of Armenians on the day of Remembrance of the Great Massacre of Armenians in 1914. He acted with great courage and truth by specifying the perpetrators of that massacre to be the Turkish governments and armies of that time. This has caused a reaction from the present day Turkish Government. That country has never accepted the responsibility for the massacre. Many Middle Eastern and European Countries have thanked and given praise to Francis for speaking that reality in public, and requesting Turkey to admit their responsibility.

Pope Francis also spoke of the great number of genocides which have happened during and since the two World Wars, and are happening at the present time throughout the world. In penetrating words he said: “Today too we are experiencing a sort of genocide created by general and collective indifference, by the complicit silence of Cain who cries out: ‘What does it matter to me? Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Jesus, The Good Shepherd, says to us: “This is the second greatest commandment; You must love your neighbor as yourself”! In our present world of rampant inhumanity we are called to be Shepherd, Relative, and Neighbor to all in our human family.

Brother James Loxham, F.S.C
The De La Salle Community

Saint John Baptist de La Salle – Pray for us.
Live, Jesus, in our hearts – Forever.