October 2021: 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


Twenty-Seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time

3 October 2021 • Day for Life


1.  Marriages do break down, but in this story Jesus appears as the wise person urging people to seek first the original harmony where possible, rather than seek escape routes when difficulties arise. When have you found that, in marriage or in other relationships, the bonds have been strengthened when you have been prepared to work through difficulties?

2.  There are other things that we needlessly and wrongly put in opposition: young and old, male and female, people from different cultures, body and soul. Perhaps at times you have discovered the advantages of exploring the richness in combining such apparently exclusive opposites.

3.  The children in the second story can be taken as representing any group of ‘little ones’ whose opinion we may be inclined to dismiss. When have you found that you have been taught an important lesson about life, about love, or about faith by people whose views you had been inclined to dismiss?


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Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time

10 October 2021


1.  We often get satisfaction from the things we own, clothes, cars, homes, gadgets, or money. There would be something unnatural if we did not. But what happens to us when our possessions begin to ‘own’ us, when they take a hold us, when we become obsessed with them? Jesus seeks followers who have the freedom to let go of possessions in order to be a servant of others. In whom have you seen this freedom? When have you experienced it yourself?

2.  Growth implies change. That change sometimes means letting go of something we have at this moment: job, status, home, security, or something else we value. There can be an apparent loss in letting go. Yet have you ever found that you gained by having the freedom to let go of something to which you had previously clung?

3.  The disciples thought that Jesus was making impossible demands of people following him. He acknowledged that discipleship was impossible to us on our own efforts alone. How have you experienced the benefits of the help of others and of God when you were faced with difficulties in life?


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Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time

17 October 2021


1.  Jesus had spent much time teaching his followers that discipleship was a life of service, a life of giving oneself for others. In spite of that James and John were thinking of what they could get out of it. For Jesus, for the apostles, and for each one of us, the glory of God is revealed when we allow God to work through us as we give ourselves for others. When have you found that you reach a fuller life, and others benefit, when you act in this spirit of service?

2.  One of the great problems in a community, a parish, or an organisation, is when you have some people jockeying for status and positions of power. The good of the group and the people it serves take second place to personal prestige. You have probably seen this happen. Perhaps you have also witnessed people with a spirit of service that allowed them to value the good of the group over personal rewards. Recall them and give thanks for their witness.

3.  Jesus himself is the great model of this spirit of service. Think of the aspects of Jesus’ life and ministry that have inspired you to imitate his giving of his life for others.


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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time

24 October 2021 • World Mission Sunday


1.  In this story Jesus cures the blind man, Bartimaeus. Recovery of sight in the Bible is often a metaphor for coming to faith. Perhaps during your life you have had moments of insight, of deeper understanding, of appreciating who Jesus is for you. What was it that helped you to see more clearly?

2.  Who has the ‘Jesus person’ who helped you to see more clearly? Perhaps, as a parent, a teacher, or a friend, you have also been a ‘Jesus person’ for another and helped her or him to a clearer understanding of the meaning of life, love, and faith.

3.  To get to Jesus, Bartimaeus threw aside his cloak so that he would not be impeded. What have you had to discard to be able to see more clearly (e.g., an assumption, a prejudice, a rigid opinion)?

4.  ‘Your faith has saved you’ Jesus said to Bartimaeus. Recall situations in which you have been grateful for the faith that is yours because in some way it saved you.


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Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time

31 October 2021


1.  Today’s gospel brings us right to the heart of what a Christian life involves: love of God and of neighbour. Jesus tells us that having life both now and in the future is the fruit of living in a spirit of love. How have you experienced the power of love given, and received, as a source of life and vitality?

2.  If you were asked what is most important in life, what would your answer be? Recall the experiences and relationships you have had. Which are the ones that you treasure most? What has particularly enriched your life? How would you encourage another person who asked you how s/he could live a full life?

3.  Jesus praises the questioner as one who had answered wisely. Recall some of the wise people you have known, people who in their words and actions impressed you with their capacity to see and treasure what is important in life.