As you begin your retreat, pause for a few moments and allow yourself to grow still. Let go of any distracting thoughts. Take several slow, deep breaths. Feel God's loving gaze upon you.
I am the good shepherd. A good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
Shepherds were very familiar to Jesus' listeners. They worked long hours protecting their flocks from thieves and wild animals. Shepherds watered and fed the sheep, bound their wounds, and led them to good pasture. Shepherds cared for the needs of the sheep. While many today have never seen a shepherd, or even a flock of sheep, we are comforted by the fact that whether we stray, are wounded, or are in need of fresh pastures, Jesus stands ready to care for us. We can always count on the Good Shepherd to lay down his life on our behalf.
What kind of care do I need from the Good Shepherd today?
In what ways has Jesus been a Good Shepherd for me or those I love?
(Pray to Jesus using these words or words of your own.)
Jesus, thank you for keeping vigil over me and caring for my needs. Teach me to care for others as you care for me.