February 2022: Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
John Byrne osa
Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
6 February 2022
1. Jesus invites Peter to put out the net again, and Peter does so though he thinks it pointless. When have you felt it was pointless to stick with a task, but did so nonetheless and been surprised by results? We never know when our efforts are going to bear fruit.
2. ‘Push out into the deep’ The invitation is to go out into unfamiliar waters, where we are not sure what will happen, where we feel uneasy, and our safety is not assured. When have you responded positively to that kind of an invitation and got positive results you did not expect?
3. The story gives us a glimpse of what prepared the disciples to follow Jesus. They were helped by the compassion and concern of Jesus (cured Peter’s mother-in-law); attracted by his work and teaching; and witnessed the power of God at work through him. This led them to ‘leave everything and follow him’. Who, or what, influenced you in making key decisions in your life? Who was Jesus for you in those situations?
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Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
13 February 2022
1. We are told that Jesus ‘fixed his eyes on the disciples’ before speaking. It suggests that he was about to say something that he really wanted them to take in. Surprisingly he then tells them it is no bad thing for us to be poor or hungry. But perhaps you have recognised the truth in what St. Augustine said: ‘You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.’
2. ‘Blessed are you who weep’ is not an encouragement to be miserable. Rather it is an affirmation of the importance of loving relationships in life. We are blessed to have such people in our lives, but there may also be pain. Yet is it not true that the blessing of loving and being loved is worth the price you pay?
3. Jesus said that his followers would be open to opposition and ridicule because of him, – and they are blessed when this happens. Unpleasant it may, but have you not been grateful on those occasions when you had the courage to stand by something that you believed in?
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Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 February 2022
1. Our natural tendency when attacked is to self-protection and when we are attacked, we attack back. We respond to an angry word with another, or to a blow by hitting back. Here Jesus suggests that at times there may be another way to act. What has been your experience of retaliation? Has it been life-giving? Have you experience of another way of acting?
2. When we do good to another, it can sometimes be in return for what we have received. At other times it can be done in the hope of getting something back. Or we may do it simply for the sake of doing good without any strings attached. Jesus suggests that this is when we are at our best. Recall your experience of these different ways of giving and celebrate the occasions when you gave without expectation of return.
3. Jesus proposes the generosity of God as a model for our generosity, and says that the generous will be rewarded. Perhaps you have experienced rewards, even in this life, from generous behaviour.
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Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
27 February 2022 • Day of Prayer for Temperance
1. Can you remember an occasion when you were giving out about the behaviour of another person, and later realised you had some of the same fault yourself? Was that a wake-up call for you? Jesus tells us it is more constructive to correct our own faults, than complain about the faults of others.
2. If we want to help other people, we need to have our feet on the ground, with a realistic awareness of our gifts and our limitations. Otherwise we will be impractical, like the blind leading the blind. What has helped you to be realistic about what you can and cannot do?
3. ‘No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.’ This parable invites us to examine the motivation behind what we do. If our basic motivation is love, then our lives will bear good fruit. If love is absent from our lives, then the fruits will be conflict, disharmony and abuse of people for our own selfish ends.
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