May 2023: Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of  The Gospel

Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of  The Gospel

John Byrne OSA


Fifth Sunday of Easter
7 May 2023


  1. ‘Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God. Believe also in me.’ Trust in another person can help us in difficult times. Remember and give thanks for the people you were able to trust in difficult moments. Remember also when your faith in God helped you through anxious moments.

  2. Thomas struggled with the desire, which is in all of us, to know exactly the destination before we set out. Jesus invites us to make an act of faith and to take one step at a time. Can you recall times when it helped you to take that trusting attitude to life?

  3. Jesus proposed himself to Thomas as the way, the truth and the life. In what ways – either by his teaching or by his example – has Jesus been the way, the truth and the life for you on your faith journey?

  4. Philip wanted Jesus to give him a glimpse of God and got the surprising answer ‘Whoever has seen me has seen the Father’. Jesus put a human face on the love of God. He gives us a glimpse of the divine. We are Jesus people in the world today, called to follow Jesus and to put a human face on the love of God for those who meet us. Who are the people whose love has helped you to believe in the love of God? To whom have you given an occasional glimpse of the divine?


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Sixth Sunday of Easter
14 May 2023


  1. ‘If you love me, you will keep my commandments’, and specifically the commandment to love one another (cf. 13.34). How have you experienced the link between love of God and love of those around you?

  2. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his imminent departure and for a future in which he would be with them in a different way. He would not ‘leave them orphans’ but send an ‘Advocate’ to ‘be with (them) for ever’. ‘He is with you, he is in you’. How have you experienced the presence of God with you in your life?

  3. Perhaps you have also experienced the challenge of preparing another (a child, a friend) for a time when you would no longer be physically together. Recall how you gave the message of your ongoing support.

  4. How have you experienced the presence and support of a loved one (parent, spouse, friend) when circumstances have separated you from them?

  5. The proof of the ongoing presence of Jesus with his disciples is that ‘I live and you will live’. Discipleship is about much more than rules and regulations. It is about being alive. How has discipleship helped you to be more fully alive?

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The Ascension of the Lord
21 May 2023 • world Communications Day

  1. Jesus meets the disciples for the last time. His final words give them direction for their future. Perhaps you can recall such parting moments in your own life – leaving home, school, college, or the death of a loved one. Was there an occasion when the words spoken to you gave you direction for the future?

  2. Perhaps you can identify with Jesus in the story, when as a parent, teacher, or in some other way you sent someone on his/her way in life, knowing that you would not be with him or her as in the past. When did the way you parted help the other to make his or her way in life?

  3. Despite this extraordinary encounter with Jesus some of the disciples doubted. Dealing with questions and doubt is part of an adult faith journey. How have your questions and doubts helped to shape the faith you have today?

  4. Jesus commissioned this collection of believing and doubting disciples to carry on his work. We inherit that mission today. How do you see yourself as commissioned to continue the mission of Jesus?

  5. Jesus told his disciples that although he would not be physically with them, he would be with them in a new way right through life. Have there been times when you were reassured by the love and support of another even though s/he was not physically present with you? What are the things that help you to be aware of the presence of the risen Jesus with you on life’s journey?


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Pentecost Sunday
28 May 2023


  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 shows us their vulnerable side, or when we do that with them. Let your memories speak of such experiences to you.

  3. As Jesus was sent by the Father, so he sent out the disciples. We inherit this mission today. We live that mission by being a patient, kind, encouraging and compassionate presence wherever we are.

  4. The mission also 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? 

  5. 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 hold sins against others?