Working for the Word
Focusing the Gospel
Key words and phrases: all they had done and taught, coming and going in great numbers, They hastened there, shepherd, he began to teach them.
To the point: The crowds are relentless in pursuing Jesus and the disciples. They do not even give them time to rest. What, however, are the crowds really pursuing? And what is it that Jesus begins to teach them? Jesus knows there is more to satisfying human needs than miracles. Physical healing is a sign of salvation, an invitation to take up a new way of thinking and living. Jesus responds to the crowd as their healer, yes. But even more he reveals himself to be their Shepherd and Teacher who challenges the crowd about what they are truly to pursue.
Connecting the Gospel …
… to the First Reading: When authority is misused, the sheep are scattered, driven away, not cared for; the shepherd will be punished. Jeremiah foresees the coming of a good and righteous shepherd, Jesus, who teaches us all we need to know to come to salvation.
… to experience: We are driven to do whatever is necessary to overcome physical difficulties. We must be equally relentless in overcoming whatever keeps us from growing spiritually and coming to fullness of life in Christ.
**From Saint Louis University