My Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
In the gospel reading for this Sunday we see Jesus and the apostles attempting to go to a quiet place so that they might discuss their teaching and ministry. This proved to be difficult because there were large numbers of people who wanted to be with the Lord and hear His words and teaching. These were people who hungered and thirsted to be with the Lord. Who longed to be with him and hear His words, to be in His presence and to hear His teaching. They so thirsted to hear the good news that as we hear in the gospel, they hastened on foot to get there ahead of Him. And how did our Lord react? When He saw the vast crowd, He had great pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd.
My friends, let us always have hearts that yearn for our Lord. Hearts that seek to hear His words through sacred scripture. Let our hearts always desire to be with the Lord and to live out His will in our daily lives, just like the vast crowds that we see in today’s reading. Let us hunger and thirst always to be with Him through whom we find eternal life.
We must make every effort this week and always to be close to the Lord through our prayer and attendance at Mass. Our desire should always be to grow deeper in love and union with him. As we’ve heard in today’s gospel, that is His desire as well. When the crowds gathered to be with him, he did not become frustrated but instead looked on them with great pity and compassion. He saw them as sheep without a shepherd. He longs to be our Shepherd in all things and in all ways. We must remember that the path to eternal life and the glory of God is possible only through Him.
A number of you asked me to share the prayer of “Abandonment” that I offered in last weeks homily, so here it is for you:
Prayer of Abandonment
“Father, I abandon myself into your hands;
do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you:
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me, and in all
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul;
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord, and so need to give
myself, to surrender myself into your hands,
without reserve, and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father.
Have a very blessed week.
Yours in Christ,
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Father Mark Groeger is the Parish Administrator of Prince of Peace Church in Northern Cambria, PA.