16th Sunday of Ordinary Time 2018

Step One:


Dear Mother of the Word Incarnate, pray that our hearts might be open to that Word as we gather now to read, to reflect and to speak about Him through whom all things came into being, Jesus Our Lord.  Amen.

Step Two:

Read through the material the Gospel passage and mark words or phrases that interest you or raise questions.


       The apostles gathered together with Jesus and reported all they had done and taught. 
He said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” 
       People were coming and going in great numbers,
and they had no opportunity even to eat. So they went off in the boat by themselves to a deserted place. People saw them leaving and many came to know about it. They hastened there on foot from all the towns and arrived at the place before them.
       When he disembarked and saw the vast crowd,
his heart was moved with pity for them, for they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things

Step Three:

Fill in the blank and then mention any insights that you have from the passage.


When the apostles got back, they ____________ to Jesus.  He invited them to go with him to a _______________ place where they could ____________________.  They went by ______________ but people saw them go and came by foot from ___________________.  Jesus’ heart was moved at the sight because the people were like sheep without a ________________________.   

Now that you have read the passage and written a little about it, what strikes you in the passage, what touches your heart or raises questions for you?

Step Four:

Watch the video that sets out the Biblical and Ignatian context.  If it helps to clarify anything or bring you an insight, talk about that for a bit.


Step Five:

Read these words of Pope Francis and others.  Answer the questions together.


From Pope Francis

Today’s Gospel tells us that the Apostles, after the experience of the mission, have returned content but also tired. Jesus, filled with understanding, wants to give them some relief; and so he takes them away, to a lonely place, so they can rest a while (cf. Mk 6:31).

What does this passage tell you about rest and the work of the Gospel?

 “Many saw them going, and knew … and got there ahead of them” (v. 33). From this point the Evangelist offers us the image of Jesus of singular intensity, “photographing”, so to speak, his eyes and gathering the sentiments of his heart. The Evangelist states: “As he landed he saw a great throng, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things” (v. 34).

How helpless are sheep without a shepherd?  Where do we see examples of this today?

Let us recall the three verbs in this evocative photogram: to see, to have compassion, to teach. We can call them the verbs of the Shepherd. To see, to have compassion, to teach. The first and second, to see and to have compassion, are always found together in the attitude of Jesus: in fact his gaze is not the gaze of a sociologist or a photojournalist, for he always gazes with “the eyes of the heart”. These two verbs, to see and to have compassion, configure Jesus as the Good Shepherd. His compassion too, is not merely a human feeling, but is the deep emotion of the Messiah in whom God’s tenderness is made flesh. From this tenderness is born Jesus’ wish to nourish the crowd with the bread of his Word, that is, to teach the Word of God to the people. Jesus sees, Jesus has compassion, Jesus teaches us. This is beautiful!

Do I really see, and does that move me to compassion?

Step Six:

How has this study helped me to want Christ to be the center of my life more fully?


Where do I think that I will hear Christ more clearly?

Decide what spiritual blessing you should pray for this week.  Write that down.

Spiritual Blessing:






Step Seven:

Pray for needs and then pray an Our Father and the Suscipe


Take, Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory, my understanding, and my entire will, all that I have and possess. You have given all to me. To You, O Lord, I return it. All is Yours, dispose of it wholly according to Your will. Give me Your love and Your grace, for this is sufficient for me.  Amen.