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The Eucharistic Presence of the Good Shepherd

A couple of weeks ago, I reflected on the Good Shepherd using the method of the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd calls his own sheep by name. His sheep know his voice and follow him. Those sheep are so precious to him!


Today, let’s think more about where the Good Shepherd leads his sheep. The Good Shepherd cares for his sheep and leads them to find the best water and the best food.

I wonder … what is this “best food”?


The Good Shepherd calls his sheep by name to come to a special place in this moment to be with him. What is this very special place? What is the moment the Good Shepherd calls us to be with him?


Jesus says that he is the Good Shepherd who gives his life for the sheep. At mass, Jesus gives us the very best food – himself, his body, and his blood.


When we go to mass, is Jesus present in a statue or a picture? The Good Shepherd is truly present in the consecrated bread and wine. Jesus says, “This is my body given up for you.” “This is my blood poured out for you.” The Good Shepherd has called his sheep by name, and they have listened to his voice and come to be with him in a new way: as bread and wine.


We know who the sheep really are. We are the sheep of the Good Shepherd. There is one sheep that has a special role – the priest. His role is to say the words of the Good Shepherd – “This is my body, this is my blood.” With those words the Good Shepherd gives himself to us.


Are there any words you would like to say to Jesus, your Good Shepherd?


Maybe there is a song or psalm that comes to mind.


"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." (Psalm 23: 1-3)

 

Catechesis of the Good Shepherd

In the “Catechesis of the Good Shepherd”, the children are presented the most essential treasures of the Christian faith from scripture and liturgy using materials which the child can manipulate with his hands. When working with the children under her care Maria Montessori observed that “Little children revealed that the development of the mind is stimulated by the movement of the hands. The hand is the instrument of the intelligence.” (Maria Montessori, The 1946 London Lectures).


These presentations touch the heart of each child and repeated work with the materials lead to deep contemplation, prayer, and joy. The children become acquainted with Jesus, the Good Shepherd and come to recognize his tremendous love and care for them personally. How beautiful it is to witness this growing relationship between God and the child!


Our parish offers this Montessori based method of faith formation for 3–6-year-old children on Saturday mornings. In a retreat-like atmosphere, children experience the essential truths of our faith through the use of special materials designed just for them. If you are interested in learning more about our program please contact me, Michelle Coyne, Coordinator of Religious Education at michelle@st-timothy.ca or 204-949-3764.




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