The Perspective of
12th Sunday of Ordinary Time
June 19, 2016
There are two images
of God in todays liturgy: that of the shepherd of the
people, and that of the suffering messiah. The first image presents
us with a God who is “guide and protector of your people.”
The other image is of a God who “must first endure many sufferings,
be rejected by the elders, and be put to death.” The first
image is of a God who will “keep us one in your peace, secure
in your love.” The other image of God challenges us to “deny
one’s very self, take up one’s cross each day, and
follow in his steps.”
Religion is a two-sided coin. On the one hand, it comforts us
with the security of Gods love and protection. On the
other hand, it makes demands of us that are frightening in their
consequences. Jesus, the Good Shepherd, represents a combination
of the two aspects of religion. “I give my life for my sheep,” he says, for he is the shepherd and the sacrificial victim.
Those of us who follow Jesus must rely on Gods protection
and must “endure many sufferings.” We must care for Gods
people and we must give our lives for them.
Anything short of that is not the religion of the Good Shepherd.
To set out on the road to discipleship
is to dispose oneself for a share in the cross. To be
a Christian ... is not simply to believe with one’s
mind, but also to become a doer of the word, a wayfarer
with and a witness to Jesus. This means, of course,
that we never expect complete success within history
and that we must regard as normal even the path of persecution
and the possibility of martyrdom.
U.S. Bishops, The Challenge of Peace, 1983: 276
published in book form,
To Love and Serve:
Lectionary Based Meditations, by
This entire three year cycle is available at
1994, Gerald Darring.
All Rights Reserved.
Art by Martin Erspamer,
from Religious Clip Art for the Liturgical
Year (A, B, and C).
Used by permission of Liturgy Training
Publications. This art may be reproduced only
by parishes who purchase the collection in book
or CD-ROM form. For more information go to: