#MyMassTakeaway: The Good Shepherd

Today’s the 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time.

Find the Mass Readings here: 16th Sunday in Ordinary Time, July 22, 2018

My takeaway:

#MyMassTakeaway – the Good Shepherd. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the responsibilities of motherhood. I'm the one who has to do all the scheduling, all the planning, all the prep. A lot falls on my shoulders. And I feel like I have to have it all together. I feel like if something goes wrong, I must have failed at my job. But today's Gospel readings remind me: the Lord is my Shepherd. He is guarding me. Watching over me. I'm under His constant care and protection. Life doesn't run by my schedule, it runs by God's. Life doesn't follow my plans, it follows God's perfect plans. And no matter how hard I prep, life will still catch me by surprise. But that's okay, because Jesus is there. He will guide me when I don't know the way. He will pick me up when I fall. He will rescue me when I go astray. He will protect me when trouble strikes. The burden falls off my shoulders. I don't have to be perfect. I don't have to have it all together. My faults are not failures. They're just a chance to turn back to Him. A reminder to entrust myself to His loving care. Today I let go of my anxiety and my doubt. I let go of my fear. I set down my burdens and I surrender myself to Jesus. I let Him take charge of my plans, my schedule, my family, my heart. He's got this. He is good. He is my Shepherd. #catholicsonline #Catholicinspiration #mycatholiclife #catholicmoms #momsofinstagram #momlife #thegoodshepherd

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Thoughts from my blogging friends:

#mymasstakeaway Oh how many times I’m guilty of tackling a day or a problem or a decision “like a sheep without a shepherd” – to use words from today’s Gospel. I get so caught up in myself or my worries that I don’t rely on the Good Shepherd to be my guide. . But Jesus just keeps waiting for me, waiting for me to come to Him and say, “I can’t do this – I can’t do ANYTHING truly well – without you.” And then He sweeps in and picks me up and I feel led, protected, and cared for – less aimless, less wandering, more loved. . (Picture is a sneak peek at the altar table in the prayer room we’re putting together in our new house. I’ll share more pictures as the room comes together, but oh my goodness. Having a prayer room is already a-mazing.) ❤️

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Growing up, I loathed when my mom would come to wake me up for church. I hated it even more than her waking me up for school. I'd find any excuse to try and talk her into letting me stay home. During that time, if one of my favorite singers or bands had been in town on a Sunday for me to see, I'd have jumped out of bed with gusto. I probably would have set an alarm. In fact, I would have waited in line for a favorite musician or actor/actress. But, to go spend an hour with Christ was pure torture. ✝️ Today, I look around and see that it's nothing for us to wait in line for some material item (Build-A-Bear, anyone) or to wait for hours in line to meet some Disney character at Disneyland. We'll wake up on a Sunday at the crack of dawn to head to a football stadium to watch our team. We'll camp out and wait for days or hours to get into some new movie or a favorite band. But, going to church and spending time with Christ….meh. ✝️ I've mentioned this several times, but in 2015 my family attended the World Meeting of Families. On Sunday, you had to wait in these massively long lines to get into the area for outdoor Mass. There were literally a million Catholics there, so we were all packed in like cattle. As we stood in this long line, everyone around me was happy. No one was grumbling about having to wait in line or that they were having to go to Mass. People were singing, meeting new people from all over the world, and enjoying the moment. It was beautiful. We were going to spend time with Christ and we were not going to miss it. ✝️ Today, in the Gospel we read about how Jesus and the Apostles try to go off to a "deserted place and rest awhile." Yet, when people found out Jesus was around "they hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them." They just wanted to be with Christ. They were drawn to Him and being with Him was the most important thing. ✝️ In every Catholic Church, Christ is literally present in the Eucharist. We get to go be with Him. I pray that we always hasten to go be with Him. I pray that He is more important to us than any sport's team, famous person, or material item. ✝️ Have a blessed Sunday!

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“Mom. Mom? Mom! Mommmmm!” How often do moms (or, replace that with dad) hear their name – seemingly constantly? I’ll raise my hand right here. And, how often do we hear ourselves respond with an exasperated, “What?! What now?” (Insert raised hand here…) . . In today’s Gospel, we hear that Jesus and His followers were so busy, they didn’t even get a chance to eat. Insert sympathetic nod here, parents. They were constantly pulled in all directions, and were tired. Can I get an “amen” from the parents who follow this blog? . . But, what did Jesus do when He got off the boat, wanting a vacation, but being presented with the hungry, thirsting crowd? . . “His heart took pity on them…” and He ministered to their needs. . . Dear Lord, please grant me the strength and energy to be more like You. Give me the energy and desire to take pity on those who are needing something from me, and to tenderly minister to their needs. Thank You for giving me the model of perfect parenting through Your own actions. Amen. . . #mymasstakeaway w/ @tojesussincerely #catholicmom #proudcatholic #catholicsonline #catholicsofinstagram #catholicblogger #inspiration #leadmelord #faith #momlife #blessed #prayer #strengthinprayer #onaroll #onfiretoday

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#MyMassTakeaway God did not abandon you. Today, we hear that Jesus's "heart was moved with pity for them." Our priest explained that this phrase is represented with a single Greek word that kind of means that Jesus felt like he was punched in the gut. God didn't abandon them. At that time, the people very likely felt abandoned by God. King Herod was basically a puppet for Rome. The temple heirarchy was corrupt. But Jesus came to them and gave them hope. When he went off in a boat, the people ran after him. And He stayed with them. Even though His intent had been to be alone. Even though He and the disciples had barely eaten because they were so busy preaching. But Jesus stayed with those people. He shepherded them. And He does the same with us today. #sundayfunday #livetheword #homilynotes #hope #Christianblogger #Catholicblogger #FaithBlogger #CatholicsOnline

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Sixteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time: It is so hard, as a human, to understand God’s unconditional love for us. We are not always good to God, yet we believe God is always good to us. The bad things that happens to us are a result of Original Sin and humanity’s turn from God which introduced chaos and disorder into the world. But God sent Jesus to us, and Jesus knows what’s up. He tells us in the Gospel to come away and rest a while. Our life circumstances don’t always allow us to go away on a retreat, but we can always go on a mini-retreat wherever we are by simply turning to him in prayer. I admit, prayer is not something that comes very easily to me. I need some sort of focus to help me in my prayer. I like to go to Adoration, for example, but I can’t just sit there in silence. If I do that, pretty soon I am thinking about work tasks for the next day. I love daily Mass so that I can focus on what is happening on the altar. No matter which way you like to pray, this is how we come to know Jesus as our Good Shepherd. This is how he refreshes our soul. So come to Him, pray, worship Him, and resolve to change the areas of your life that need to be changed. Come to Him and trust Him. Ask for His help, and he will transform your life. #mymasstakeaway #catholicwomen #catholiclife #catholicsofinstagram #catholicfaith

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Have you ever felt like there was a Mass created just for you? I felt like that today. Literally everything – the readings, the homily, the song lyrics, even the mundane prayers – were speaking to exactly what I needed to hear today. To the point where my husband and I kept looking at each other and trying to refrain from chuckling at how providential it all was. The message of the song "You are mine" especially touched me today – "I love you and you are mine." How amazing is our God, that He cares about each and every one of us so much that He says that to us individually, fully caring for and loving each and every one of us, so much that He would (and does) go through the agony of Good Friday again just for us. Happy to be called His child today and every day. #mymasstakeaway #godisgood #Mass #sundayMass #CatholicMass #IlovebeingCatholic #Sundaymusings #Sundaythoughts #youaremine #Catholic #Catholicandproud #catholicsonline #zeliecreates #bissisterhood #gloriam #gloriammarketing #amdg #forHisgreaterglory

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"Whatcha lookin' at, Bud?" "Jesus." ❤️ What a sweet and simple acknowledgement of God and His Presence! ❤️ When we sin, we refuse to acknowledge the presence and supremacy of God. Sometimes it can be even more than that. St. John Paul II said, "For us to chose to use contraception in certain circumstances, is to say that there are times when God is not God." ❤️ We've all rationalized some sin or another, telling ourselves that God's rules don't apply to our circumstances, but whether we acknowledge it or not, God is God, and He is always Truth. ❤️ #mymasstakeaway with @tojesussincerely ❤️ #nfpawarenessweek #nfp #humanaevitae #sundaymass #catholic #catholicthoughts #catholicmarriage #catholiclife #romancatholic

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Drawing inspiration from the Gospel where Jesus and his disciples went away and rested, the priest at vigil Mass yesterday encouraged us to take a vacation and get away from all of the noise, to actually relax and to just be with God…and that you don’t have to actually go anywhere to do that. There are perpetual Adoration chapels all over the place! (At least here in southeast Louisiana) 🙌🏼 Sometimes it IS good to get away and reset. We did that last month. It allowed us to step back and see what God has blessed us with without getting lost in our daily routine. Sometimes you can’t think clearly until you get out of what’s “normal.” 🤯 Picture is from the Royals game last month, when we traveled to Kansas City and spent almost a week swimming and boating on the lake, playing board games with family, and taking time to do nothing so we can hear God clearly again. #mymasstakeaway

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Your turn:

I want to know your Mass Takeaway too! Comment with your thoughts on the readings, your pastor’s homily, or anything that struck you during your time at Mass.

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