Welcome to St. Gabriel’s Parish.
Today’s gospel reading follows the first mission of preaching and healing that Jesus sent the apostles out to do. They return and he takes them away for rest and reflection. Then they return to the crowds and Jesus has compassion on the people, who are like sheep without a shepherd. This image of Jesus as the shepherd comes originally from David, the Shepherd King, and is a consistent image of God in the Old Testament.
In the first reading, the prophet Nathan brings God’s promise to David that he who was taken from shepherding sheep will now be the shepherd ofGod’s people. God promises that David’s descendants will establish Gods kingdom forever. Christians see this promise as having been fulfilled in Jesus.
In today’s reading from Ephesians, we find a reflection of the Jewish- Christian joining of the personal and the social aspects of the life of God’sPeople, extended now to the entire human family through the dying and rising of Christ.
We are called by God as individuals into a community of persons. Again and again, in the sacred story, the promise of God coming in person to care for the people is made. God will make all people into one flock, one community. In the liturgy, the tension between the personal and the communal is expressed and resolved. In Holy Communion, it is ourselves that are offered, blessed, and broken, that we may be given as signs of Christ to the world.