Worship Resources For Everyone
Are you ready for full and active participation in the Liturgy? Read on…
A Reflection on the Readings.
This Sunday is Good Shepherd Sunday. We hear from the Gospel of John how the Good Shepherd lays down his life for the sheep. We know Jesus has done this already for all and we have heard this story so many times we can pass over the beauty of the meaning. Part of the problem, in our modern day, could be we are out of touch with the role of the shepherd and don’t know much about their daily lives. They were often nomadic people without many possessions, who spent all day and night watching over their sheep outdoors in all kinds of weather. They made sure not to lose a sheep in their flock. They were earthy, sometime paranoid, stick fighters when they needed to protect the sheep from poachers and wild beasts. Around Jesus’ time they were not highly thought of in their culture and it was tough work. However, they were very connected to their sheep and the sheep knew his voice from the other shepherds, when he called, they came. Jesus choose this connection for multiple images, it connected him back to David, the shepherds took care of the land and lived simply, shepherds sacrificed a lot to care and protect their flock, shepherds were deeply scriptural in stories that were told over and over again, and they were connected to those they were looking after.
Having said that, each of us needs to seek out our own connections by answering some questions. How do we connect to this scripture today? Who is our shepherd? Can we clearly hear that voice? Are we trying? What distracts us? There are many false shepherds or wolves in sheep’s clothing that call for our attention, and we stray and follow: Social media, doubt, news media, fear, advertising, individualism, gossip, peer pressure, work and climbing the corporate ladder, maintaining a certain lifestyle. It can fill our ears and keep us from hearing the voice of Jesus, our Good Shepherd. Have we been scattered all over? Are we hanging out with wolves? Do we work differently when we are getting paid as opposed to volunteering? Should it make a difference? In 2013 Pope Francis asked his priests “to have the smell of the sheep on them.” He meant that they need to be out in and amongst the people so they know is voice and know that he walks with them on this journey. It is a beautiful image, especially when we know that God works in the messiness of life. We are imperfect people and need the grace of God daily. How do we get back to caring for those in front of us? How do we set aside the time to be in prayer and scriptures as well as giving of our gifts, talents, and abilities? How do we go about bringing back the lost, forgotten, and scattered? How do we get back to the servanthood of Jesus? Take some time this week to ponder these questions and see where you can get your life back on track with following the Good Shepherd’s voice while smelling of the sheep.
Music as Prayer (Bis orat qui bene cantat)
A greater entrance into the prayer of the Liturgy is achieved by being familiar with the music. In particular, the Psalm functions best as a meditation on the readings when we know it well and the mechanics of singing it do not consume too much of our focus. Similarly, with the individual parts of the Mass Settings (the sung acclamations)
Psalm – YouTube link:
Psalm 118: This Is The Day – Michael Joncas
Mass Setting – YouTube link:
Storrington Mass – Marty Haugen
|Mass Part||Title and number in the Gather hymnal (if present)|
|Gathering Song:||#447 Easter Alleluia|
|Psalm:||#64 This is the Day|
|Gospel Acclamation:||Storrington, both before and after the Gospel reading|
|Prayers of the Faithful:||Spoken|
|Preparation of Gifts:||#624 Shepherd of My Heart|
|Lamb of God:||Storrington|
|Communion:||#819 In Remembrance of You|
|Closing:||Awake, O Sleeper (Haugen)|