October 2019: Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel

Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time
6 October 2019 • Day for Life

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
Luke 17:5-10

1. Faith can move mountains… well it can certainly get us moving. Recall a time when you were full of selfdoubt, skepticism about a project, or lacking trust in God. What was that like? Contrast this with times when you believed in yourself, or in the value of a project you had undertaken, or when your faith and trust in God was strong. What kind of faith have you found enriched your life?

2. Faith is like a mustard seed – small . Sometimes we may be tempted to wait till our faith grows. Part of the message in the Gospel is to use the faith we have, even though it may be small. That is how we grow in belief in ourselves and in God’s presence in our lives. Does your experience back this up?

3. It is nice when what we do is recognized and acknowledged, but the desire for recognition leaves us vulnerable. It is not always forthcoming. It can be helpful if our main motivation in doing something is the value of the action itself. Have you experienced this?

4. Love is a free gift. What is given lovingly is not given because of a claim. What is your experience of the freedom of love given and received?

John Byrne OSA
Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
13 October 2019

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
Luke 17:11-19

1. The cure of the lepers is not just a physical cure, it also brought the people healed back from exclusion into the community. Perhaps you have experienced the movement from exclusion to inclusion. What was it like for you to be accepted once again when you had felt excluded?

2. Who were the ‘Jesus people’ for you who brought about this change? For whom, and how, have you been able to do this? Perhaps by healing a rift with a friend, or by listening to the opinion of someone you had dismissed out of hand, or by opening the door to another in some other way?

3. Some people work hard at breaking down barriers in society, seeking inclusion for those who find themselves labelled as lepers. Where have you seen this happening? Who has been doing this kind of work? Where is the good news in such action?

4. When we do good for another, we may not do it for the thanks we hope to get, yet it can hurt when no gratitude is shown. How have you experienced the positive effects of thanks given and received?

John Byrne OSA
Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
20 October 2019 • Mission Sunday

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
John 17:11, 17-23

1. In his prayer Jesus, asserts that eternal life consists in knowing God and Himself as one sent by God. We receive this life through hearing the word of God spoken to us by Jesus, receiving it, and believing in it. Bring to mind times when accepting and believing the words of Jesus was a source of life to you.

2. Jesus prayed that those who believed his word would be protected in time of trial. How have you experienced Jesus as a protector in life?

3. Jesus prayed that his followers would be one, something unfortunately still far from a reality. Perhaps you have experienced both the pain of division and the joy of unity. Recall times when you felt a deep unity with others. What lessons did you learn from the experience?

4. As Jesus was sent into the world by the Father, so he in turn sends us into the world. At this moment in your life, what do you see as the practical consequences for you of this mission from Jesus?

John Byrne OSA
Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com

Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
27 October 2019

Seeing your Life through the Lens of the Gospel
Luke 18:9-14

1. There can be an element of defensiveness in our relationships with others. We are reluctant to let another see us as we see ourselves. Occasionally we meet someone with whom we can be totally open and know we will be accepted. With whom have you had that kind of a relationship? What was it like for you to have that freedom?

2. Likewise with God, when we come to prayer pretending to be better than we are, we are hiding from God. What difference does it make when you pray to God, acknowledging your faults and limitations? Have you ever found that in prayer, when you are humble in this way, God lifts you up?

3. The parable is also a cautionary tale against judging others negatively on the basis of externals. Perhaps God, who looks into the heart, sees another picture. When have you discovered there was more to another person than the negative picture you got from first impressions?

John Byrne OSA
Email jpbyrneosa@gmail.com