Sheep without a Shepherd

The apostles return from their missionary tour, elated by all that they have done and taught. Jesus looks at the Twelve with compassion, seeing that they are tired and overwrought, and he urges them to come away and rest. But when the crowds follow, Jesus turns his compassionate gaze on them, too. He knows that the people are ‘like sheep without a shepherd,’ lacking leadership and guidance. They flock to Jesus in great numbers, because they see the wisdom of his teaching, and his care for them – unlike the chief priests and scribes, who seem to have little concern for the ordinary people. And so Jesus sets himself to teach the crowds. He offers them the meaning that they are seeking for their lives, by revealing God’s love for them. He is the Good Shepherd. We, too, will only find meaning for our lives in Christ’s teaching.

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