Sunday, July 23, 2006
R & R - REFRESHED AND RENEWED
REFRESHED AND RENEWED FOR ANOTHER WEEK
SIXTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil; for You are at my side." —Psalm 23:4
Psalm 23 begins with a soothing picture of comfort. The Lord, the Good Shepherd (Jn 10:11), refreshes the psalmist.
I will appoint shepherds for them who will shepherd them so that they need no longer fear and tremble.” (Jer. 23:4)
Images from the world of shepherds characterize today’s readings. The Gospel recounts the return of the disciples from their missionary journey (Mk. 6:7-13), and Jesus invites them to come away to a “deserted” place for rest, which ends up being short-lived as crowds stream out and arrive before them.
As with us, so too did the apostles need a quiet time and place to renew their spirits and their relationship with Jesus.
The opportunity to eat and rest also meant more than renewing one's needs. The meal was an event that renewed fellowship and social bonds. The gospels imply Jesus had many meals with his inner circle to develop leadership and pass along the message of the Kingdom.
Just like his followers, we, too, are invited to find a quiet place to spend time with the Lord.
All times and all places invite us to prayer. But, there are quiet times and places to "come and rest" in the Lord
If you worry – you didn’t pray
If you pray – don’t worry
When we are over come with worry, we miss the moment we miss the now
All of us sheep also have a role to play in the shepherding of the flock. It's never safe to say, “I'm just a plain sheep - whatever happens to all the other sheep isn't my concern.” Each of us by our actions either helps to scatter, or helps to gather the flock. We're bound to get lost ourselves if we do nothing but sit around complaining
So everyone called upon to guide other sheep (and remember, that includes all of us to some extent) must never forget that there is only one Good Shepherd. We must never egotistically say, “Follow me!” Rather, we should always humbly point to the One greater than ourselves and say, “Follow Him!”
Jesus our Good Shepherd provides us with courage and direction. As we pass through various valleys of darkness and confront moments of loneliness and the trials of our lives, even our greatest fears can't drown out the comforting voice of this Shepherd, Who searches out all lost sheep, and calls us by name.
Happy, blessed are we who are part of His flock. Happy, blessed are we whom the Shepherd leads
His heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd
In order to do what is required of each of us, we need to take time to be with the Lord in order to be refreshed and renewed for the journey.
COME AWAY AND REST AWHILE
‘On Ya’ - ma