16th Sunday in Ordinary Time
The readings about the good shepherd should be a wake-up call for all Christians to take up the task Jesus did as the "good shepherd" from the clergy to the laity.
The good shepherd "gathers" and not scatters. We are fond of gatherings. We have our own friends. But what are we gathering for? If it is not for the Lord or for some good effort, that gathering is useless. Secondly, are we gathering only for a few friends and families? Increase that to "all people". For the Lord wants everyone to be saved, not a chosen few.
The good shepherd "takes care of his flock." But before taking care of the flock, the flock has to "listen" to the voice of the shepherd. Jesus in the gospel felt pity for the crowd because they were like sheep without a shepherd. So, at the start, he taught them. To whom do we listen to? What area do we have more knowledge than the rest? Could we honestly say that despite the things we have, it is the Lord whom we listen to? Do we take time to reflect the gospels and share them with others? Do we engage in holy conversations? Do we influence others to "listen" to God? Do we heed to the call of the Church? In this present day and age, are people still attuned to the voice of the Lord in the deepest recesses of their hearts?
The good shepherd "offers his own life for his flock." We may not be able to offer everything, but we can at least offer a little bit of time, talent, and treasure to do God's work. We may be lacking in time simply because we are desperately trying to save our lives. But notice that we are also losing every opportunity to good to others. Let us multiply time, talent, and treasure for the Lord and for others. You'll see that there will be an outflow of graces from God!