The 16th Sunday of Ordinary Time

Today is Sunday the 18 July, beginning the 16th week of Ordinary Time.  


The choir of Portsmouth Cathedral sing Psalm 42 – Like as the Hart desireth the waterbrooks, so longeth my soul after thee, O God.  


Today’s reading is from Psalm 22, and can be found as Psalm 23 in other versions of the Bible.    


Psalm 22 (23)

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. 
   He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters; 
   he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
   for his name’s sake.  Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
   I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
   your rod and your staff—
   they comfort me.  You prepare a table before me
   in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
   my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
   all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
   my whole life long.


The psalm speaks of God’s continual care for us. What sense do you have of God’s continual care for you at the moment? Does God seem close to you?


The care God gives to us, the psalm tells us, isn’t simply keeping us safe, but it’s about nourishing us, feeding us, and sustaining us: “…he restores my soul…” How does God restore your soul? Are you in need of this kind of care now?


As you listen to the psalm again, try and bring to mind the rich imagery of God’s care for us, and perhaps focus on the one that speaks to you most at this moment in time.


In these final moments of prayer, speak to God about your life at the moment. Do you need a greater sense of God’s closeness to you? Or perhaps you want to thank God for the care you’ve been shown. 


Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.