By Order of The King: You need a break! Everybody knows about shepherds in the Bible – you cannot avoid them! Why does God use these humble servants as examples, and what about the bad shepherds? More importantly, why don’t we ever think of ourselves as shepherds of the little flock He has given us? This week, we get sheepish on you, And give you a great, simple, yet powerful activity to do as The Lord says in his teaching this week: Come away and rest awhile. Start by taking a three-minute break and reading up on the Mass lesson this week – then drive the flock somewhere. You’ll see…
Come Away And Rest A While
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Catechesis At Home – Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year B
Come Away And Rest A While
DISCUSSION – We all need to come away and rest a while
God really likes shepherds. He uses the shepherd analogy many times in Scripture for how He behaves toward His chosen People. Shepherds were the first peopleto whom the angels announced Jesus’ birth. Abraham, Jacob, and Moses were shepherds. King David was a shepherd. Last week we heard about Amos, who was a shepherd, called to be a prophet.
We are familiar with Jesus calling Himself the Good Shepherd; we are also probably pretty familiar with Psalm 23 (this week’s Responsorial Psalm). And our bishops are shepherds (that’s why they carry a crosier!). Today’s first reading is a pretty stern warning to those shepherds who lead their people astray or cause them harm. And there are plenty of “bad shepherds” among the good shepherds in the Bible and in our Church. But we are going to focus on how we are also called to be shepherds to the flock we have been given – our families.
In the Gospel today, Jesus is moved with pity because the people were like sheep without a shepherd. Parents, think about your household. Are your children like sheep without a shepherd? As parents we all have times when we’ve let down our family. We become complacent or lack the enthusiasm, energy, or belief in ourselves to lead the family strongly in and to Christ. Remember the old adage, “You can’t give what you don’t have”? This is so very true of grace and faith. If we are slacking off in our faith life, then so will our children. It doesn’t mean you have to be “on fire” all the time. But it does mean that you do certain things daily and weekly to keep your relationship with God first and foremost – even before your spouse or children. We must pray daily and attend Mass weekly, even when we don’t feel like we are benefiting from it. It’s in those times we rely on our faith that God is working, unseen and unfelt. But we get tired, it’s hard. This week Jesus invites us to “Come away to a deserted place and rest a while (Mk. 6:31).”
ACTIVITY – How to come away and rest a while
It’s time for a get-away! This week find a time to take the family on a short drive to another town or a new park you’ve never visited or just a country drive. Pack a picnic or some snacks, sunscreen, towels/blankets, bug spray, hats, etc. for an outdoor adventure! Maybe your family likes to bike together, or hike. Maybe you enjoy games like baseball or soccer. Or, maybe you can find an arboretum or a nursery with a variety of plants to explore. Whatever your family can all enjoy together is your goal. And outside, away from the house, so no one is distracted by chores or screens. You might invite along another family to enjoy the day.
As you leave, pray for peace and safety, pray for rejuvenation in your relationships. When you stop for lunch or snack, pray grace. And when you come back home, say a prayer of thanksgiving for the day.
“Come away to a deserted place and rest a while!”
How do you “Come away and rest a while”?
by Beth Cowles, MACE
HOO™ Co-Founder and Director of Faith Formation | Lead Catechist
Other Help on HOO
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