LEADING THE FLOCK THROUGH CRISIS
POPE FRANCIS - "The coronavirus crisis has put a spotlight on people’s values."
“Today I believe we have to slow down our rate of production and consumption and to learn to understand and contemplate the natural world. We need to reconnect with our real surroundings …
It’s a time for inventing, for creativity. People could “either get depressed and alienated … or we can get creative. But it was not easy to be confined to the home", he said. “The counsel is not to give up, but save yourself for better times, for in those times remembering what has happened will help us. Take care of yourselves for a future that will come. And remembering in that future
what has happened will do you good.” This was the moment to focus on the poor, the homeless and those on the margins. “But the poor are hidden, because poverty is bashful. In Rome recently, in the midst of the quarantine, a policeman said to a man: ‘You can’t be on the street, go home.’ The response was: “I have no home. I live in the street.’ To discover such a large number of people who are on the margins … They are there but we don’t see them: they have become part of the landscape; they are things.”
“Let us not lose our memory once all this is past, let us not file it away and go back to where we were. This is the time to take the decisive step, to move from using and misusing nature to contemplating it. We have lost the contemplative dimension; we have to get it back at this time.”
JOHN 10 “I have come in order that you might have life—life in all its fullness.” “I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”
IN THE COMPANY OF THE SHEPHERD…..
“I am the Good Shepherd.
Fear not for I am with you.
Do not be dismayed for I am your Lord.
I will strengthen you.
I will help you.
I will uphold you with my right hand.”
Though I walk through the valley
of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for You are with me.
Your rod for protection,
and your staff for guidance, they comfort me.
“I am your Shepherd. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
through the rivers, you shall not drowned. When you walk through fire, you shall not be burned.”
Though I walk in the midst of trouble,
you will revive me.
Your right hand saves me.
“You are the sheep of my pasture,
I have created you, formed you.
Do not be afraid, for I have redeemed you. I have called you by your name.
You are mine.”
You, Lord, are the Shepherd of my soul. You are my light and my salvation. You are the strength
of my life.
“I am the Good Shepherd and I say to you “Fear not, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. He has determined to give you the Kingdom.”
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell
in the house of the Lord forever.
Shepherding God, you guide us with your voice, Help us to trust you and to listen to your voice, to follow your direction, now, and all my days.
Jesus, Good Shepherd, help us to take the time and make the space to hear your call to us. The call to empty ourselves of all that is contrary to your life within us so that your goodness and mercies are enjoyed, not as rewards to be hoarded, but as gifts to be shared.
Lord, we who live in a world of cities, tall buildings, one-way streets, suburbs, and gated communities,
don’t necessarily know what sheep are like, or what shepherding entails.
Sometimes we feel like sheep in today’s world herded by the dos and don’ts, oughts and ought-nots, media, voices we don’t even recognize. Sometimes the din of the voices gets so loud we can’t even recognize our own voice. Calm and quieten our hearts, our minds and our souls to that one small voice; yours. Abigail Carlisle-Wilke
A PRAYER FROM ITALY (IN THIS PANDEMIC)
God of grace,
we turn to you in prayer in this difficult time in which the spread of a pandemic infection has forced our governments restrictive measures that limit the normal course of life.
God of healing, we pray for those who have been infected
and for those closest to them. Give them courage to face this illness; and we pray too for all healthcare workers in their efforts to manage this epidemic competently and generously. We pray too for those working to research a cure.
God of love,
help us to maintain community bonds
and solidarity with our sisters and brothers, especially with those who are in sickness and need, and help us to be family for those without a family.
God of grace,
we turn to you in prayer in this difficult time.
We ask Mary to pray with us, as we with her bring our care
for those affected in whatever way by the pandemic.
Let us pray with her in particular
for those living lives that fall-short of "abundance".
Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven, alleluia! He whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia! As he promised, hath arisen,
Pour for us to him thy prayer,
Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia!
For the Lord has risen indeed,
O God, by the Resurrection of your Son, our Lord Jesus Christ,
you have brought joy to the whole world: grant that, by the help of
his mother, the Virgin Mary,
we may obtain the joys of
everlasting life; through Christ