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Feed my sheep PDF Print E-mail

Sunday 19 July 2015: Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

They were as sheep without a shepherd.

The scene Mark describes in this Gospel is like the rest day we have after working overtime at the weekend. The disciples have been let off the leash. They had gone out preaching and curing, and are full of the great things they have done and seen. They have been so busy that they didn’t have time to eat. So Jesus invites them to leave town and rest for a while.

Jesus feeds his sheep

But then the unfinished business of the weekend catches up with them. The crowds have seen them going out; they want to hear Jesus and have their prayers answered. When Jesus and the disciples arrive at the quiet spot they had dreamed of, the crowds are already waiting.

What was meant to be a break before work becomes a grind. Jesus preaches into the late afternoon. We can imagine the groans from the disciples as he answers yet another question, and pays attention to yet another needy person. They want the day to end. But he is compassionate, and compassion doesn’t work by the clock. The quiet day back at the office has turned into overtime without end. And they haven’t eaten this day either. That is where the Gospel leaves us today. But Mark’s story continues with the desperate disciples asking Jesus to send the people away so they can eat. Jesus calls the disciples, telling them to feed the people themselves. The people eat their fill, with basketfuls of food left over.

The story asks us how much we give of ourselves, and how we care for ourselves. We often ask these questions at Jesuit Social Services, as indeed in all our Jesuit work with people. When we work under pressure with vulnerable people, we are exhilarated, as were Jesus’ disciples. Something changes in one of our clients, and she sees possibilities where before she only saw locked doors. After years of fruitless advocacy, a government minister gets it. Although our bodies cry out for time out, we work to build on the gain. Then we rest.

But then someone rings at the door, contacts us on facebook, asking urgently to see us, and our rest time disappears. We can be compassionate and see them, but if this happens all the time, how do we avoid burn out?

Perhaps Jesus provides an answer when he tells the disciples to feed the crowds with a few bread rolls and fish. They have nothing, but when they give the little they have, the crowd is fed. They realise they are not God. They don’t have to do everything. But God will work through them if they do what they can. And so with us.

Fr Andrew Hamilton SJ | Image courtesy of turnbacktogod.com

Girl taking photo02 August 2015: Help needed for Feast of St Ignatius & Year of Consecrated Life Celebrations

Thank you to all the parishioners who have volunteered their services for the celebration on 2 August. We still need some photographers to provide a visual record of the occasion. Could you please contact the Parish Office in the coming week. Your help would be very appreciated.

Material is also now being collated for display in the hall after the Mass. If any parishioners have any relevant photos, memorabilia that might enrich the display, would you please contact the Parish Office this coming week.

For your diary

St JamesCelebration of the Feast of St James

All parishioners are invited to celebrate the Feast Day at the 10:30am Mass at St James’.  Followed by a community lunch.

Sunday 26 July 2015, 10:30am

St James' Church
162 Kent Street
North Richmond VIC 3121

Lenten candleTaizé Prayer Meetings

The FCJ Sisters invite you to a Taizé Prayer. Please come and experience.

Thursday 30 July 2015, 7:30pm – 8:30pm

FCJ Community House
1 Moonbria Avenue, Kew
(Corner Mont Victor Road)