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  • Writer's pictureThe Hermit of Antipolo

Sheep and Shepherds (Modernism Part 36)

Updated: Mar 4, 2022

Gospel reading: Mark 6:34-44

“When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd” (v.34a). Today many lay Catholics are lost and lapsed, and one basic reason is because they are not being adequately taught and pastored. Many pastors and hierarchs simply talk about social justice but not as much about the righteousness of God and the need for repentance for sin and putting our faith in Jesus.

But there is something worse than absent pastors. They are the pastors and shepherds who actually teach, but teach the wrong things. These are the liberals and modernists. They do not just leave the flock to their own devices, but they mislead them and turn them away from the authentic faith.

In today’s story, there is a problem. It was late in the day and the people were hungry. The disciples then told Jesus to send them away to buy some food for themselves, but Jesus told them to provide for the people themselves (v.35-37a). Today modernists look to human solutions but not to God. They do not realize that people, thought they might not know this themselves, hunger more for spiritual than for material food. The crowd could certainly buy food elsewhere, but there was only one Jesus who could provide for their spiritual nourishment.

Then the disciples, told to give the crowd food themselves, questioned Jesus as to where they would get the money. Today modernists look only to human power and capabilities to resolve problems, rather than looking to the One who provides richly for His people. This is a basic reason why we still have the pandemic, because the world looks to itself for solutions rather than seeing the chastisement of God and thus be led to repentance.

Further, modernists today claim that the feeding of the five thousand was not a divine miracle but just a miracle of people learning how to share. Ridiculous. But today modernists discount miracles and look only to what can be scientifically explained or humanly provided for. The focus is on the mundane rather than the divine, on the social rather than the spiritual.

Catholics need to recognize such modernist pastors, teachers, shepherds and even hierarchs. And reject their false teaching. They should look to Jesus and his authentic teaching, and if they do, then, just like with the crowd, “he began to teach them many things.” (v.34b).

The secular world, with all its resources and human achievements, still cannot solve poverty, pollution, criminality, war, injustice and this pandemic. Jesus, with just five loaves and two fish, fed 5,000 men, with the leftover being even more than what he started with. So do you go with the false shepherds, or with the one true Chief Shepherd?

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