March 2023: Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
John Byrne osa
Second Sunday of Lent
5 March 2023
- The transfiguration experience was one that, for Jesus, clarified his relationship with his Father and strengthened him for the future. It was also a moment of deep revelation for the disciples. What have been the experiences, the moments of insight, which for you have clarified your sense of who you are, and what is your relationship with God?
- On the mountain the disciples saw Jesus in a new way. His appearance changed. Sometimes in friendship there are moments of sharing in which we get to know a friend in a new and deeper way. Have you had that experience in human friendship, or in your relationship with God? Recall when that happened, and what it was like for you.
- The clear vision of Jesus with Moses and Elijah was followed by a frightening experience of being in a cloud and it was in the midst of the cloud that the disciples were instructed ‘This is my Son, my Chosen; listen to him’. Have you had the experience of learning the truth about life and about your relationship with God from moments of confusion as well as from times of special joy?
- After their special experience the disciples came down the mountain again. We cannot live each day at the level of special spiritual experiences, but the memory of them can strengthen us in difficult times. What memories encourage you in time of trouble?
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Third Sunday of Lent
12 March 2023
- Jesus leads the woman along a wonderful journey towards a deeper, fuller human life. You can enter the story from the perspective of the woman. Recognise her resistance to growth, her complacency, her evasions, and her eventual acceptance, partial though it was, of Jesus. When have you, or others, made a similar journey in your relationship with God? with others? with your own self?
- The woman is attracted by what Jesus is saying, but from very human motives: the thought of having water in such a way that she did not have to come and draw it from the well. We can be attracted to Jesus by very mixed motives, some of them matters of personal interest – belonging, community, security, … What have been the human motives that have attracted you to faith, prayer, religion, church and that have been steppingstones to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus. Perhaps we can also see the same movement in the growth of some of our human relationships.
- You can also enter the story with Jesus, the ideal leader, parent, teacher, or spiritual guide. Notice how he meets the woman where she is, needing her assistance, how he is patient with her, but also challenges her to grow to what she is capable of.
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Fourth Sunday of Lent
19 March 2023 • Laetare Sunday
A long story like the one we have today provides many different points of entry for prayer. Read the story and stay with what resonates with you. Some possible points of entry are:
- The blind man was healed. Can you recall occasions when some blindness of yours was taken away and you could see in a new way? What was that experience like for you?
- The Pharisees claimed to be the ones who could see, who knew where God was to be found, when in fact they were blind. It was the man born blind who showed himself open to see the hand of God at work in what happened. There can be some of each in us. What has helped you to be open to seeing the hand of God at work in your life? Who have been the Jesus people who have led you to this point?
- The Pharisees seem to have had a collective blindness that blocked them from seeing what God was doing in Jesus. Perhaps in today’s world you can see examples of collective blindness when people want to avoid an awkward truth, e.g. about the damage being done to our planet by human activity.
- There are many characters in the story: Jesus, the blind beggar, the disciples, the neighbours, the blind man’s parents, and the Pharisees. Put yourself in the position of each one and see what you learn from identifying with them.
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Fifth Sunday of Lent
26 March 2023
- Martha and Mary were people of faith but Jesus led them to an even deeper faith. Who were the people who led you to a deeper faith in Jesus? Remember them and give thanks.
- Martha and Mary were struggling to come to terms with their bereavement. What has helped you in similar situations?
- The concern of Jesus is palpable and touching. Recall those who matter to you and to whom you matter. Such love mediates God’s love, which surpasses human love with the gift of new life and Easter joy.
- One can imagine Lazarus as a symbol of people and groups that are written off as dead (sometimes by themselves), and yet through faith come back to life again. Have you had the experience of being revived by faith? Has faith helped to free you from what held you in bondage, or was destructive of your life?
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