June 2021: Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
John Byrne OSA
The Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ (Corpus Christi)
6 June 2021
1. The symbolic gesture of breaking and sharing bread and sharing the cup, that Jesus made at the Last Supper, symbolised the offering of himself that he would make on Calvary, giving his life for others. Sometimes we also are called to give our lives for others. We can do this grudgingly or with a generous heart. What difference has it made for you when you were able to give yourself freely?
2. In his encyclical letter Deus Caritas Est Pope Benedict XVI wrote, ‘A Eucharist which does not pass over into the concrete practice of love is essentially fragmented’. What has helped you to be aware of the importance of the link between the Eucharist and your lifestyle?
3. Jesus involved his disciples both in the preparation for the Last Supper and in its celebration. Recall times when you had a heightened awareness of participation and involvement in the Mass. What helped to give you this awareness? Are there lessons from these special experiences that you can bring with you to the routine Sunday Mass?
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Eleventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
13 June 2021
1. If you sow seeds, or watch plants grow, you have ample opportunities to pause in wonder at the whole process of growth. It takes place imperceptibly and comes to fruition in beautiful flowers, majestic trees and abundant harvests. As we come out of the Coronavirus lockdown you may have had the opportunity to rejoice at the renewal of social life.
2. Jesus uses this as a parable about the growth of the Kingdom of God, the kingdom of right relationships with God and with one another. There too growth is slow, development is imperceptible, and then without realising it you have a mature relationship. Recall the stages of such development in your life and give thanks.
3. In the second parable Jesus invites us to reflect on the importance and significance of relationships in our lives as they grow and mature. This is true both of our relationship with God and with others around us. When have you found a relationship in which you could ‘make a nest in its shade’?
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Twelfth Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 June 2021
1. The image of a boat in a stormy sea is a symbol of life in difficult times and can represent inner turmoil, anxiety and high emotions. When you have been in such circumstances, perhaps a ‘Jesus person’ came to your assistance and calmed you down? Recall that person with gratitude.
2. The image can also be applied to a family, a community, a parish, or any other group. Remember people who have had a gift of bringing peace to troubled situations.
3. The significance of miracles in the gospels is that they show Jesus as one who brings God’s power to bear on human need and suffering. Have there been times when you have been a channel for this healing power of God, holding a crying child in your arms, calming the anxiety of a friend, or being a peacemaker in a group to which you belong?
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Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
27 June 2021
1. Like this woman, have you had the experience of a cure, an improvement, a success, after a long period of nothing happening? What was that like for you? What made the difference? On that occasion was there anything different in you, in others, in the circumstances – something that paved the way for the change or improvement?
2. ‘Who touched me?’ Jesus asked. It seems a strange request with crowds milling around. Many people brushed against him, but the woman made contact in a different way. The same can happen in our relationships. We brush against many people but make real contact only with a few. Who are the people you have touched, and who has touched you? What difference has this made to you and to them?
3. Jesus said to the woman, ‘Your faith has made you well’. What difference does it make to you that you have faith? In what ways does your faith make you well?
4. When Jairus asked Jesus to come and cure his daughter, some thought there was no point. Sometimes a situation can look like a lost cause. Has it ever happened to you that subsequent events showed there was hope where you thought there was none?
5. Some people have the gift of infusing new life and energy into individuals, or into groups, or into a cause. Perhaps you yourself have done this at times? Recall these experiences and the lessons you have learned from them.
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