Peace in christ
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
July 18, 2021
We hold any and every position in stewardship. To say that implies at least two things, namely: we will be called to give an account of our stewardship someday and, we labor on behalf of the master, the owner of the vineyard. This second point is indeed the central message of the first reading. In it, the prophet Jeremiah denounces the evil deeds of the prophets who mislead the flock of the Lord. They exploit the flock, scandalize them, take advantage of them and enrich themselves at their expense. He promises them that their evil deeds will not go unpunished. Yet, in place of human inadequacy, there is always God’s providential care for His own. And so, God promises to take care of His flock misled and abandoned by the false prophets. He will bring them back to verdant pastures, to a place of rest and peace. Both the second reading and the gospel underscore the infinite providence of God in gathering and taking care of His own. In his letter to the Ephesians, Saint Paul talks about how those who were once far off have been called to a place of peace in Christ. His ministry was a devotion to those kinds of people, the excluded, the outcasts, those left on the margins of society, and those discriminated against. All have a place in Christ. At the end of their assigned mission, the disciples return to the master to give an account of their labors. In His tender love for His own, and seeing how diligently they had labored, Jesus invites them to a place of repose. Not only for His disciples, He was also moved with compassion out of concern for the rest of the people in search of Him, for they were like sheep without a shepherd. That reassurance that we have a shepherd who looks after us like his own flock is provided in today’s Psalm. God’s care for us is very consummate and all inclusive. He cares for the deserving and the undeserving, those near and those far off. No one is left out. We come to him this day with confidence, presenting all our needs, the needs of our loved ones, and those of the world. We come to Him, our God and father, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. To Him be all the glory forevermore. Amen.
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