June 2019: 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

The Ascension of the Lord

2 June 2019 • World Communications Day

1. The Ascension of Jesus was an important growth point for the disciples. Jesus would be with them in a different way from now on. Painful though it was, it was necessary for them to let go of his physical presence and adjust to the new reality. Perhaps you have known similar transition points in your own life.

2. Jesus invited the disciples to be witnesses to the good news they had learned. The way we live, speak and relate to others speaks of what we have learned about life. We all are witnesses. How have you been a witness to the goodness of life?

3. In particular, Jesus invited them to be witnesses to the good news of forgiveness. Recall people who have been witnesses to you of forgiveness and reconciliation. What effect did they have on your life? Have you been able to be a witness to the good news of forgiveness in your life?

4. Stay in the city until… Jesus instructs the apostles to wait patiently for the moment of grace. What has been your experience of waiting for a moment of grace? What are the moments of grace that you particularly recall (a friendship, a new opportunity, the birth of a baby, etc)?


Pentecost Sunday

9 June 2019

1. Jesus comes into a room full of fear. Sometimes it is fear itself that makes us close the door on others and on God. Occasionally a person comes along with the gift of breaking through our closed doors, a person who comes to be with us in our fears. Do you have memories of people getting through to you and being with you despite your closed doors? Who brought you peace in a time of anxiety?

2. Jesus showed his wounds to his friends. Moments of grace can occur when another person shows us their vulnerable side, or when we do so with them. Let your memories speak of such experiences to you.

3. As the Father sent me, so am I sending you. This evokes images of receiving and handing on the things that give life: values, meaning, sense of purpose, love. Who are the people who gave you life by what they handed on to you? To whom have you handed on what is life-giving?

4. In our tradition, the final verse reminds us of the Sacrament of Reconciliation but its meaning is broader than that. Spirit-filled people are people who forgive. You might like to recall memories of when you have forgiven, or retained, another’s sins. What difference has it made to you and others when you forgave rather than held sins against others?


The Most Holy Trinity

16 June 2019

1. Wisdom about life comes slowly and sometimes painfully. Hearing the ‘right’ answer at the ‘wrong’ time does not help us. We need to be ready and open to receiving the truth if it is to have any impact. Perhaps you can recall some occasions when it was the ‘right’ time for you to learn a truth about life. Remember your experiences of growing in understanding and truth.

2. Perhaps the Spirit guided you through the words of someone close to you, or through the words and actions of people you read about or saw on TV. Or maybe understanding came to you when praying or reflecting on your life. Remember and give thanks for the people who have helped you to greater wisdom on your journey through life.

3. Wisdom is handed on from person to person, and from generation to generation, within families, within communities, etc. Are there any wisdom sayings that you cherish from what has been handed on to you?


The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)

23 June 2019

1. Jesus welcomed the crowd, taught them, and cured those in need of healing. Bring to mind the ways in which the story of Jesus and his message have brought you enlightenment and healing.

2. The miracle is symbolic of the abundance of blessings coming to us from God through Jesus. How has your faith in Jesus been a source of nourishment to you? What blessings have you received through your faith?

3. When the disciples became aware of the problem, they wanted to send the crowd away. Instead Jesus told them: ‘You give them something to eat.’ They thought what they had was insufficient, but Jesus used the little they had to feed the crowd. Have you ever found that when you gave the little you have to a situation, the results were beyond your expectations?


Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time

30 June 2019

1. In the opening verse, Jesus is portrayed as having a new sense of clarity about his life that enables him to set out on the road ‘resolutely.’ Perhaps there have been such moments in your life, moments of insight and clarity about the road ahead. Recall such moments and what they were like for you.

2. As he walked the road, Jesus met with opposition. This angered some of his friends and they wanted to hit back. Jesus restrained them, and would not let himself be distracted from the journey he was making. What helps you keep your goals in mind when minor annoyances distract you?

3. The response of Jesus to prospective followers seems harsh. He lets the first man know that discipleship is not a path to a comfortable nest. It is a way on which we never know what is going to be asked of us next. The disciple must be ready to move on. Where have you found good news in being open to change, confident in the presence of Jesus with you?

4. Jesus also demands commitment. It is easy for us to think about times when our commitment was less than perfect. But can you also recall the times when you realised the truth of this story – that commitment brings its own fruits and blessings. What specific blessings can you bring to mind?


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