Since April 2020, I have been jointly hosting a shared Lectio group on Tuesday evenings. The following are my reflections only, during the prayer session and as I wrote them up. Please see my separate commentary and leaflet for more information about shared Lectio, and here is the whole collection of reflections…
Gospel reading: Matthew 9:35-end
Words: compassion … crowds
I reflect on the crowds that are swarming to Bournemouth and to the pubs. It seems as though the pub and the beach are the be all and end all, the thing that gives the only meaning to life.
I usually pick up on matters regarding my relationship with God, but God/Jesus has compassion on the crowds just as much as on individuals. Crowds have their own moods and behaviours. They can be ugly or beautiful, with no shepherd or with a bad shepherd.
Jesus’ compassion here led to delegation – “pray for people to harvest”, whatever that harvesting means. It could be the Street Pastors looking after drunk people at closing time, making sure they get home safely, or nudging them to good courteous and considerate behaviour.
I also reflect on missing Greenbelt this year. A Greenbelt crowd is often a beautiful crowd. Although it is in a bubble for that weekend, often the life and energy are released to work for good in the world.
Update 12 July:
The same passage came up in my reading of the Sacra Pagina commentary on Matthew, and I realised I had set myself apart from ‘the crowds’. In reality I am one among them, equally as harassed, and living with COVID uncertainty.
I look to Jesus my shepherd who leads me beside still waters and restores my soul.