July 18, 2021: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)

1st Reading – Jeremiah 23:1-6

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.
In his days Judah shall be saved,
Israel shall dwell in security.
This is the name they give him:
“The LORD our justice.”

The prophet Jeremiah lived in Judah before and during the fall of Jerusalem to the Babylonians.

In the chapters that precede today’s first reading, Jeremiah foretold the Babylonian exile, which came to pass on account of the kings’ failure to keep God’s covenant.

Now Jeremiah looks to the future, using the image of shepherds to proclaim a new era in which God himself will be the shepherd-ruler of his people. It is an indictment and oracle of judgment against the monarchy and a promise of salvation for the people. Continue reading “July 18, 2021: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time (B)”