April 2024: Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of The Gospel

Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of  The Gospel

John Byrne OSA
Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

Second Sunday of Easter
7 April 2024 • Divine Mercy Sunday

  1. ‘Peace be with you’ was the greeting of Jesus on meeting his frightened apostles. Who has come to you bringing peace at times when you were frightened? For whom have you been an agent of peace? 

  2. The greeting is followed by Jesus missioning his apostles, and us, to continue his project of spreading the Good News of God’s love and forgiveness. What does it mean to you to see yourself as missioned by Jesus?

  3. Jesus promises the gift of the Holy Spirit to empower the disciples to be witnesses to forgiveness. Forgiveness is at times an essential step on the road to peace. Perhaps you can recall when holding on to a hurt or grudge disturbed your inner peace. What helped you to forgive and find peace?

  4. Thomas, doubting and questioning, is possibly a person with whom we can identify. What part have doubting, and questioning, played on your faith journey? How has your faith been strengthened by such moments?

  5. ‘Blessed are they who have not seen and yet believed’. That requires great trust. Perhaps you have had the experience of being trusted without having had to prove every step along the way. What was it like to be trusted in that way? Who have you been able to trust in a similar manner?

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Third Sunday of Easter
14 April 2024

  1. When we are not expecting it to happen, even a good event can startle us. So it was with the disciples when Jesus appeared to them. He sought to calm them and helped them to see the good news behind what had initially alarmed them. Who has been a Jesus person for you by helping you to find meaning and good news in life? 

  2. Jesus helped the disciples to find new hope, but he did not give them easy answers. He asked them to see the facts before their eyes. He wanted them to learn from the lived experience they were having. As a parent, teacher, friend, or guide, have you been a Jesus person to another, helping him/her to find hope and purpose in life by learning from his/her experiences? Who has done this for you? 

  3. Jesus opened their minds to ‘understand the scriptures’, and the effect was transformative. Perhaps there have been times when a new and deeper understanding of scripture has had a transformative impact on you. Recall the experience and give thanks for those who opened the scriptures for you. 

  4. The resurrection experience empowered the disciples to be witnesses. Unexpected possibilities for the future surfaced when it seemed that hope had gone. When have new possibilities opened for you after a ‘resurrection’ experience: recovery of health when it did not seem possible, new opportunities after failure or disappointment, inner healing after a deep hurt, etc?

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Fourth Sunday of Easter
21 April 2024 • Day of Prayer for Vocations

  1. Our relationship with those ‘in charge’ of us changes when we sense that not only are they in charge, but they care. Remember the difference this made for you as a child and give thanks for the caring adults who were part of your life. 

  2. The good shepherd ‘lays down his life for the sheep’. When has your care for another led you to ‘lay down your life’ for that person, e.g., as a friend, parent, spouse, son or daughter? When have you known another to do this for you? 

  3. Jesus speaks of the freedom of the Good Shepherd in laying down his life. Faced with the needs of others, we can at times feel trapped into looking after them, caught by duty, obligation, or guilt. We can become like the hired hands doing a job without care for the person. Perhaps you have experienced both attitudes, caring for others under duress and caring by your free choice. What difference did it make when you chose to care for the other, even in circumstances where you had little option? 

  4. What do these experiences of love and care in human relationships reveal to you about God’s love for you?

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Fifth Sunday of Easter
28 April 2024


  1. In a relationship, connectedness is important. Relationships cannot be taken for granted and need time and care to be life-giving. What does your experience tell you of the truth of this in your relationships
    with God
    with your friends
    with your family
    with communities or groups to which you belong?

  2. Just as a vine is pruned in order to be fruitful, so we will be pruned when we accept the give and take of healthy relationships. When have you found that a relationship grew when you were able to consider the needs of the other as well as your own?

  3. In THE JOY OF THE GOSPEL Pope Francis wrote ‘I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ.’ He goes on to suggest that when individuals, or groups, focus on Jesus there is an increase of energy and vitality. Have you seen this happen? 

  4. The parable also reminds us that we are not the source of our own life. It is a gift from God, from our parents, and from all who have nourished us. Give thanks for those who have been a source of life for you.

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