Liturgy of the Sunday

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Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time
Feast of Mary Magdalene. She announced to the disciples that the Lord was risen.

First Reading

Jeremiah 23,1-6

'Disaster for the shepherds who lose and scatter the sheep of my pasture, Yahweh declares. This, therefore, is what Yahweh, God of Israel, says about the shepherds who shepherd my people, "You have scattered my flock, you have driven them away and have not taken care of them. Right, I shall take care of you for your misdeeds, Yahweh declares! But the remnant of my flock I myself shall gather from all the countries where I have driven them, and bring them back to their folds; they will be fruitful and increase in numbers. For them I shall raise up shepherds to shepherd them and pasture them. No fear, no terror for them any more; not one shall be lost, Yahweh declares! Look, the days are coming, Yahweh declares, when I shall raise an upright Branch for David; he will reign as king and be wise, doing what is just and upright in the country. In his days Judah will triumph and Israel live in safety. And this is the name he will be called, 'Yahweh-is-our-Saving-Justice.' "


Psalm 22


The Lord is my Shepherd there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd;
there is nothing I shall want.

Fresh and green are the pastures
where he gives me repose

Near restful waters he leads me,
To revive my drooping spirit.

He guides me along the right path;
He is true to his name.

If I should walk in the valley of darkness
No evil would I fear.

You are there with your crook and your staff;
With these you give me comfort.

You have prepared a banquet for me
in the sight of my foes.

My head you have anointed with oil;
my cup is overflowing.

Surely goodness and kindness shall follow me
all the days of my life.

In the Lord's own house shall I dwell
for ever and ever.

Second Reading

Ephesians 2,13-18

But now in Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far off have been brought close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one entity and broken down the barrier which used to keep them apart, by destroying in his own person the hostility, that is, the Law of commandments with its decrees. His purpose in this was, by restoring peace, to create a single New Man out of the two of them, and through the cross, to reconcile them both to God in one Body; in his own person he killed the hostility. He came to bring the good news of peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. Through him, then, we both in the one Spirit have free access to the Father.

Reading of the Gospel

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Mark 6,30-34

The apostles rejoined Jesus and told him all they had done and taught. And he said to them, 'Come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while'; for there were so many coming and going that there was no time for them even to eat. So they went off in the boat to a lonely place where they could be by themselves. But people saw them going, and many recognised them; and from every town they all hurried to the place on foot and reached it before them. So as he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length.


Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia

Yesterday I was buried with Christ,
today I rise with you who are risen.
With you I was crucified;
remember me, Lord, in your kingdom.

Alleluia, alleluia, alleluia


Jesus said to his disciples, "Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while." Encountering the Lord on Sunday is not separate from our life's ordinary time; if anything, it is a hinge connecting last week with the upcoming one. It is like a light that illuminates the time that passed yesterday, so that we may understand it, and the time to come tomorrow, so that we may chart our course through it.
It is what that happens in this Gospel story. Jesus and the disciples get in a boat to get to the other shore. The time spent during the crossing, getting from one side to the other, could be compared to Sunday, which connects the two seashores always crowded by people in need. The crowds both of yesterday and today are, without a doubt, the primary object of the mission of both the Lord and the disciples. It is to them that Jesus directs his compassion. For this reason, the Gospel can note, "For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat." The going "away" in the Sunday Mass does not mean fleeing; if anything, it is a moment to fortify and perfect one's compassion. It is a moment to listen to the Lord, to allow deep into the heart the words of Scripture that are like breaths in which the mind can find repose and like breaths of pure air that we all need in order to think better, to feel in a more generous way and to recuperate our strength. The beginning of the following week should find us encouraged in spirit and closer to the Lord's thoughts and feelings.
Upon reaching the other shore, once again, there is the crowd waiting for them. Perhaps they had seen the boat's course and deduced the point of landing. They run up ahead and reach Jesus first, who, as soon as he gets out of the boat, finds himself surrounded once again. Mark writes, "Jesus saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd." In the last words of this Gospel passage we hear echo the whole of the Old-Testament tradition on the abandonment of their people by the leaders of the people of Israel. The prophet Jeremiah cries out with clear words, "Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!" It will be the Lord himself who will take care of his people, "I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold." The secret of all of this is hidden in the Lord's compassion for his people. This compassion, which urged Jesus to send the Twelve to proclaim the Gospel and serve the poor, continues to compel him, as soon as he gets out of the boat, to resume immediately his "work." This is what is always asked of the disciples of every time.