The Reading for the 8th Sunday Sabbath
The Gospel for the 8th Sunday Sabbath after Pentecost according to the Anglican and Roman Lectionaries:
Mark 6:30-34, 53-56
The apostles gathered around Jesus, and told him all that they had done and taught. He said to them, “Come away to a deserted place all by yourselves and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a deserted place by themselves. Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they hurried there on foot from all the towns and arrived ahead of them. As he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things.
When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat. When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was. And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.
Also a reading from Jeremiah:
Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! says the LORD. Therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who shepherd my people: It is you who have scattered my flock, and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. So I will attend to you for your evil doings, says the LORD. Then I myself will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the lands where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. I will raise up shepherds over them who will shepherd them, and they shall not fear any longer, or be dismayed, nor shall any be missing, says the LORD.
Who scatters the sheep today? Is it the preachers with the 500 dollar business suits in front of a teleprompter in a mega-church, and or a man dressed in jewels and fine silk with an imperial ring, or is it the scholars who preach a gospel of their own making, or the philosophers who teach what people want to hear, is the politicians who use the forum of office to rob the poor and sick and the elders and the immigrant, or is the persons with meaningless titles and silly dress who play church and claim non existent flocks? Who scatters the sheep?
The Collect for the 8th Sunday Sabbath after Pentecost according to the BCP:
Almighty God, the fountain of all wisdom, you know our necessities before we ask and our ignorance in asking: Have compassion on our weakness, and mercifully give us those things which for our unworthiness we dare not, and for our blindness we cannot ask; through the worthiness of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
This is one of my favorite prayers both liturgically and personally for it captures in a few wonderful phrases “the human condition”.
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