Today’s readings are focused on how God is gathering His sheep, His children.
In today’s first reading, God promises the kingdom of Judah how He will raise up a true King and true shepherds. Judah have been misled by false shepherds who scattered and driven them away. But, the true King and the shepherds God will appoint will once again gather them:
“I myself will gather the remnant of my flock from all the lands to which I have banished them and bring them back to their folds; there they shall be fruitful and multiply.
“I will raise up shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear or be terrified; none shall be missing—oracle of the LORD.d
"See, days are coming—oracle of the LORD—when I will raise up a righteous branch for David;
As king he shall reign and govern wisely.” — Jeremiah 23:3-5
In today’s Gospel reading, the twelve disciples just returned from the mission that Jesus gave them, that is to preach repentance and cast away unclean spirits. This fulfills the promise of God that He will raise up shepherds for Judah and Israel:
“The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught.” — Mark 6:30
Jesus also fulfills the promise of God through the prophet Jeremiah by being both the King and the good Shepherd who gathers the people of Israel — a people hungry for truth, guidance, and love:
“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 6:34
In today’s epistle, St. Paul extends the mission of the disciples not only to the Jews and Israelites, but also to the Gentiles, giving all of us access to the One Good Shepherd:
“But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have become near by the blood of Christ. He came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near, for through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father.” — Ephesians 2:13,17-18
Today, we, the Church, are also being called to be shepherds, to look for the lost children, the lost sheep of God, and love and care for them.
But, at the same time, God is encouraging us through the readings today that He is the Good Shepherd and He is searching for us.
Are you feeling lost like a sheep without a shepherd?
Jesus is looking for you. He is the Good Shepherd who is willing to leave the ninety-nine and look for the one missing sheep.
And with Him as our Shepherd, we shall not want anything else as in today’s Psalm:
“The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.” — Psalm 23:1