Follow-up Prayer for 16th Sunday of the Year - Year B

Dear Lord,

“Doom for the shepherds who allow the flock of my pasture to be scattered”.

Is this what you are warning the clergy?

If so, how do I stand?

“I will take care of you for your misdeeds!”

“A remnant will remain and I shall look after them myself.”

Leadership in holiness is entrusted to man and each generation lets you down.

Now it is my turn to let you down – help me not to.

Honesty and integrity are being removed and each of us feeds on our knees like sheep

With no shepherd to remove the stones from our feet.

The valley of darkness seems long, but the way is necessary.

I follow along with the flock, but with the added intention of encouraging goodness and kindness to those who follow.

It is not me that does this, but you.

You anoint men to be shepherds, we stand in the middle of a flock surrounded by both good and bad sheep.

We rejoice at the good and ask patience with the weak.

Revive our ministry to lead others more securely in the right path, not limiting your shepherding to a few

Privileged sheep of one breed, but serving the many other sheep that are not of this fold.

You have promised to lead all men and you entrust their care to your Church.

Make us open to your presence and constantly thank you for your divine help.

Let us measure your strength against our weakness, and see the way you use incompetence to glorify your name.

Let those whom the Church imagines to be far away be brought closer by your Body and Blood.

It is only history that divides humanity and actually sets in opposition.

Make us new men and women in your image and not subject to the constant changing of man-made rules and decrees.

Restore peace by the wood of your Cross and by our feeble efforts.

May I not be fearful of losing the little faith I have for I wish to share it.

Let the peace imparted at Christmas be made welcome in all mankind.

Those who are sincere will listen to your voice: those who remain bigoted can never hear the words of love.

You commission ordinary men and women and send them out to preach by example

And openness to the wonders of creation.

In no way are we restricted, our only fetters are those we impose on ourselves though insecurity and lack of trust.

Let your priests come away to the lonely place within themselves, let go of their rushing about,

And be refreshed in your presence.

The ‘re-evangelisation’ imagined by Rome, has passed.

Now people hurry from every town and country to the place where you await.

A growing crowd of mixed sheep await their Shepherd.

Take pity on us for we have only one Shepherd.  You.                                       Amen.

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