Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

Sixteenth Sunday of Ordinary Time

“The Lord is my shepherd.”

The image of the Good Shepherd is a very familiar way of thinking about the Lord. Even if we aren’t too familiar with farming sheep, still we desire that closeness and caring that a good shepherd offers us.

The opposite is also the case. If we experience bad leadership, whether from parents, priests, governments or whoever, we are all well aware of the danger and hurt that can happen. This week the Lord invites us to reflect on the shepherding we receive from the Lord, and to sit with the one who takes pity on us.

As you begin these reflections each day spend a few moments repeating the phrase “Speak Lord, your servant it listening.” Then read the short passage from Sunday’s readings until you have memorised it. Read the questions and give yourself time to deeply consider your response. Once you have reflected for a few minutes, speak to the Lord, as you would to a friend, about what you have reflected upon.

Sunday.

‘Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be destroyed and scattered – it is the Lord who speaks. (Jeremiah 23:1)

  • What experiences have you had of bad leadership?
  •  What leadership role do you have and how do you exercise it?
  •  How does the image of a God who calls ‘doom’ on bad shepherds feel?
  •  Listen to the Lord as he speaks to you about leadership.

 

Monday.

‘See the days are coming – it is the Lord who speaks – when I will raise a virtuous Branch for David, who will reign as true king and be wise, practising honesty and integrity in the land. (Jeremiah 23:5)

  • The Branch is obviously Jesus. How does he measure up to this prophecy?
  •  Wisdom, honesty, integrity. How do these show themselves in your life?
  •  How does the image of Jesus as a king make you feel?
  •  Listen to the voice of your king.

 

Tuesday.

 The Lord is my shepherd there is nothing I shall want. Fresh and green as the pastures where he gives me repose. Near restful waters he leads me to revive my drooping spirit. (Psalm 23:1-2)

  • What does the image of shepherd invoke in you?
  •  When do you find repose in the Lord?
  •  What is drooping in your life that needs reviving?
  •  Listen to the voice of the shepherd who calls you by name.

 

Wednesday.

 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life. In the Lord’s own house shall I dwell forever and ever. (Psalm 23:6)

  • When have you experienced goodness?
  •  When have you experienced kindness?
  •  How do you picture dwelling in the Lord’s own house?
  •  Listen to the Lord who dwells within you.

 

Thursday.

In Christ Jesus, you that used to be so far apart from us have been brought very close, by the blood of Christ. For he is the peace between us, and has made the two into one. (Ephesians 2:13-14)

  • When have you experienced being reconciled with some one?
  •  Who do you need to make peace with?
  •  What does the image of the Blood of Christ mean for you?
  •  Listen to the Lord who desires your closeness.

 

Friday

‘You must come away to some lonely place all by yourselves and rest for a while’; for there were so many coming and going that the apostles had no time even to eat. (Mark 6:31)

  • When have you been too busy? What does it do to you?
  •  What does the care the Lord has for the apostles say about him?
  •  How do you find the kind of rest Jesus knows you need?
  •  Listen to the one who knows what you need.

 

Saturday

As he stepped ashore he saw a large crowd; and he took pity on them because they were like sheep without a shepherd, and he set himself to teach them at some length. (Mark 6:34)

  • When have you felt like a sheep without a shepherd?
  •  What does ‘he took pity on them’ say to you?
  •  What do you imagine was the content of his teaching?
  •  Listen to the Lord who takes pity on you.
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