Someone made the observation that everything that is wrong in the world can be explained in the image of a group photo. Think about this: when you look at a group picture that you’re in, what is the first thing you look at? Where do your eyes automatically focus? The first thing I look at is myself in that picture! That’s what I notice: ME. And then I ask, “How’s my smile? Are my eyes closed? Do I look fat? Only after that do I look at the whole group.

That was problem with the kings, priests & prophets of the OT whom the prophet Jeremiah is talking about in the first reading. He was angry because he said they were shepherds who thought little about the poor & instead thought only about themselves. They did not care for God’s sheep. But then we have the Good Shepherd in the gospel who does just the opposite. Jesus looks at the crowd & sees how they are tired and hungry, physically & spiritually. So he takes care of them instead of complaining that he did not get a chance to rest. 

Parents prepare the meal for their child(ren) first. Then they eat. Parents take care of the needs of their children before they tend to their own needs. So we know how to put others first, but we don’t do that all the time. When we look at the picture of our life, what do we focus on? Do we see the whole group or do we notice others only after we notice ourselves first?