Welcome Back to Banquet of the Word!
Join us every week for background on this Sunday readings.
Our mission is simple:
We want to help everyone in “pew-land” get more out of mass.
(The 1st Reading is Old Testament. It always links to the Gospel.)
Woe to the shepherds
who mislead and scatter the flock of my pasture,
says the LORD.
Therefore, thus says the LORD, the God of Israel,
against the shepherds who shepherd my people:
You have scattered my sheep and driven them away.
You have not cared for them,
but I will take care to punish your evil deeds.
I myself will gather the remnant of my flock
from all the lands to which I have driven them
and bring them back to their meadow;
there they shall increase and multiply.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them
so that they need no longer fear and tremble;
and none shall be missing, says the LORD.
Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD,
when I will raise up a righteous shoot to David;
as king he shall reign and govern wisely,
he shall do what is just and right in the land.
Psalm 23: The Lord is My Shepherd There is Nothing I Shall Want
(The Psalm is a “response” to what we heard in the 1st Reading)
The shepherd theme is continued from the 1st Reading to the psalm.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
beside restful waters he leads me;
he refreshes my soul.
Ephesians 2: 13-18
(The 2nd reading is usually from Paul’s letters. Speaks to how the early church was built after Christ’s death and resurrection).
St. Paul’s letter to the Ephesians has one overarching theme; Unity in the Church. We are in Chapter 2 today, and we are in this letter on Sundays all the way through the month of August! So remember, think “Unity” during Reading 2 until then. See if you can see themes of Unity from Paul, then see how you might be able to apply it to your life.
Today we can start by saying well, if unity is desired, then the people must be scattered at the time he wrote this. Scattered…like sheep. Divided. They must be “far off” as it says in the first verse. We also see the covenant of marriage here, the one Jesus made to his bride, The Church: “that he might create in himself (in His Church) one new person in place of two” (the two become one flesh).
In Christ Jesus you who once were far off
have become near by the blood of Christ.
For he is our peace, he who made both one
and broke down the dividing wall of enmity, through his flesh,
abolishing the law with its commandments and legal claims,
that he might create in himself one new person in place of the two,
thus establishing peace,
and might reconcile both with God,
in one body, through the cross,
putting that enmity to death by it.
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.
(The Gospel is the highest point of the Liturgy of the Word. That’s why we stand.
We are about to hear from and be instructed by Christ Himself.)
The apostles gathered together with Jesus
and reported all they had done and taught.
He said to them,
“Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.”
People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat.
So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place.
People saw them leaving and many came to know about it.
They hastened there on foot from all the towns
and arrived at the place before them.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.