The Good Shepherd: A homily for the 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time (B)

About a week ago I was in Yellowstone National Park. We were stopped in traffic for about 20 minutes. Growing curious of what was going on, I got out to see what was the hold-up. It was a young buffalo that had been hit by a car. A team of people had to euthanize it and hoist it into the bed of a pick-up truck.

This really ties to our first reading from Jeremiah. If there had been a shepherd there, that buffalo would have been safe. Jeremiah is speaking of false shepherds, those who don’t take care of the Lord’s people. Jeremiah goes on to say that the Lord is the Good Shepherd, and he will appoint other good shepherds to lead us.

In our Gospel, our Lord has appointed those good shepherds; his apostles. The sheep begin to follow. There is a reason the bishop’s crozier is curved. It is to remind us that he is the successor of the apostles, the good shepherds. We are the sheep. We all need guidance. We must unite as a flock under the good shepherds, and flock towards the kingdom of God.