Our God is like a shepherd who always looks after the flock: the Lord cares for us in all our needs.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
from far and near you gather your Church into one.
Safeguard the unity of your flock
through the teaching of Christ the Shepherd,
that all your scattered children may find in him
the guidance and nourishment they seek.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Jeremiah 23:1-6 — Shepherds who neglect their flocks are condemned, as God promises to intervene for the sake of the people — just as a good shepherd would do.
Ephesians 2:13-18 — Christ, by his blood, ends hostility and brings people together.
Mark 6:30-34 — Jesus encourages the apostles to rest, but takes pity on the people also.
Introduction (by the Presider) Like a shepherd, the Lord continues to care for us, so we pray with confidence:
- For those called to be pastors of God’s people, that they may be good shepherds, imitating the Lord they serve (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those who help others to reflect, as prayer guides and retreat directors, that the Spirit may be with them in their ministry (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For an end to conflict and hostility, that the peace Christ brought may continue to spread (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For our families and friends, and for all who asked our prayers, that our care may remind them of the Good Shepherd’s love for them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For those whose life in this world is over (especially N & N) that they may dwell in God’s house forever (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, our Shepherd, your goodness and kindness help us every day: hear our prayers and be with us in our needs, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (suggestions) ‘The Lord’s My Shepherd’; ‘Oh The Word of My Lord’; ‘Yahweh I Know You Are Near’.