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Friday, 16 July 2021 06:18

Celebrating At Home - 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Shepherding each other with God’s love

In the first reading the prophet Jeremiah laments the poor leadership given by those to whom the flock of God has been entrusted. He tells of the days to come when God will raise up true shepherds look after the flock and pasture (feed) them. The reading also looks forward to a true shepherd-king from the House of David who will act with wisdom, honesty and integrity to look after the people. He will ‘save Judah’ and will be called: The Lord, our integrity.

In the Gospel Mark shows Jesus to be a true shepherd whose heart is moved by the needs of both the people and his own disciples. The disciples have returned from their preaching and tell Jesus everything that happened to them. These exhausted shepherds are weary but the people keep coming to them, so much so that they had no time even to eat.

Jesus, moved by compassion for them, invites them to a place of quiet and rest, but the people guess where they are going and follow them. Instead of sending the people away, Jesus himself sets about teaching them while the disciples rest. He feeds the people with the Word of God. It is what genuine love does, isn’t it? It helps us go the ‘extra mile’ even when we think we are at the end of our tether.

And that is how Jesus meet us, too, as a shepherd- king, with genuine concern for us - not as a warrior-king with threats and punishments.

In the Gospel next Sunday Jesus will feed the people with the loaves and fish. Like a true shepherd Jesus looks after all the needs and hungers of his flock – feeding hearts as well as bodies. It is a very grounded approach that Jesus offers which does not ignore either spiritual or physical hungers and needs. As followers of Christ, we, too, try to be people who meet the real hungers and needs of our brothers and sisters and all entrusted to our care.

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Celebrating at Home is a Liturgy of the Word centred around the Gospel reading for each Sunday. It includes a reflection on the Gospel and prayers.

It can be used personally or with your family. Parts for all to pray are given in bold print and all the other parts can be shared among those present.

We hope that Celebrating at Home will be a source of nourishment and strength for all who use it.

In the room you decide to use for this prayer you could have a lighted candle, a crucifix and the Bible. These symbols help keep us mindful of the sacredness of our time of prayer and can help us feel connected with our local worshipping communities.

 

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