For a more enriching experience,
go down on your knees to pray or take it one step further
and prostrate yourself (lay face down) on the floor while praying.
Father, today's reading gives me that sweet visual of a shepherd guarding his sheep and just how protective and watchful a shepherd needs guarding against predators. Sheep are nervous, needy and neurotic creatures and when separated from the herd, it is an dramatic event to find the one lost sheep. We all know what it is like when just one family member strays from us and how hurtful it is. So must it pain You Dear Father, to see one of Your sheep stray.
As an adult, sometimes I forget that I am still Your child and one who needs to be protected. At the same time, I have to allow myself to be protected, just as a small child not only allows but expects a parent to protect them. I realize that sometimes I make problems for myself by running off the path and into a ditch and then I need You to save me. I know there are predators in all forms that seek to tempt me and pull me away from You, after all, that is their goal, isn't it? Father, help me to always be aware of this fact and to always keep Your Son Jesus, the Great Example, in the forefront of my mind knowing that through Him, I am saved, protected and held Lovingly by You. Not only do I need protection from predators that may come in the form of financial wolves, emotional wolves, sexual wolves, spiritual wolves or career wolves, but sometimes I need protection from myself and my own self-undoing. When I make a bad choice and expect You to quickly bail me out, that is no way to Live. I cannot fulfill myself, as You purposed, if I always need a bailout. Thank You for being there for me and being easy on me and not giving me what I probably deserved. Thank You! I am recommitted to Your Service, Your Love and Your Protection. I am following my Leader, the Good Shepherd, the Great Example, Jesus!
Through Jesus Christ's Most Precious Blood, Most Sacred Name and Most Holy Face, I thank You for this awareness. Amen~
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John
[Jesus said to them . . .]
1 "Amen, amen, I say to you, whoever does not enter a sheepfold through the gate but climbs over elsewhere is a thief and a robber.
2 But whoever enters through the gate is the shepherd of the sheep.
3 The gatekeeper opens it for him, and the sheep hear his voice, as he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4 When he has driven out all his own, he walks ahead of them, and the sheep follow him, because they recognize his voice.
5 But they will not follow a stranger; they will run away from him, because they do not recognize the voice of strangers."
6 Although Jesus used this figure of speech, they did not realize what He was trying to tell them.
7 So Jesus said again, "Amen, amen, I say to you, I AM the gate for the sheep.
8 All who came [before Me] are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9 I AM the gate. Whoever enters through Me will be saved, and will come in and go out and find pasture.
10 A thief comes only to steal and slaughter and destroy; I came so that they might have Life and have it more abundantly."
The Gospel of the Lord
Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ
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