July 18, 2021 – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Each day, I reflect upon a word or a phrase from the readings of the day. I encourage you to do the same and perhaps incorporate that word or phrase into your daily prayer.
When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd, his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd… (Mark 6:34)
SHEEP WITHOUT A SHEPHERD: When actual sheep do not have a shepherd, it is not by their choice.
However, when we act as “sheep without a shepherd”, we are making a choice. God is right here with us and WANTS to be our shepherd. However, human beings struggle with following, have difficulty giving up control.
Rather than thinking of it in terms of giving up control, perhaps we should look at it as allowing God to love us. We should replace something I want but don’t need – control – with something we desperately want and need – God’s love.
Pope Francis said: How do I welcome the tenderness of God? Do I allow myself to be taken up by God, to be embraced by him, or do I prevent him from drawing close? “But I am searching for the Lord” – we could respond. Nevertheless, what is most important is not seeking him, but rather allowing him to find me and caress me with tenderness. The question is: Do I allow God to love me?
Rather than reject His will (his desire to shepherd us) because we do not understand it, we need to reflect on it in our heart.
We need to allow the Lord to let his face shine upon us, and be gracious to us, for Him to look upon us kindly and give us peace.
Turning control over to Him, acknowledging him as our shepherd, is a choice. It is simply a matter of allowing Him to love us.