October 2022: 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
2 October 2022 • Day for Life

  1. Faith can move mountains… well it can certainly get us moving. Recall a time when you were full of self-doubt, 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, and 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 up this?

  3. It is nice when what we do is recognised 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. This is particularly true when it comes to love. 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?


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Twenty-Eighth Sunday in Ordinary Time
9 October 2022

  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 have 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 in some other way to another?

  3. Some people work hard at breaking down barriers in society, seeking inclusion for those who find themselves labelled as lepers by society or by a section of society. 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, but it can hurt when no gratitude is shown. Sometimes it is those closest to us who can take us for granted. What helps you to cope in such circumstances?

  5. How have you experienced the positive effects of thanks given and received?


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Twenty-Ninth Sunday in Ordinary Time
16 October 2022

  1. The purpose of prayer is not to change God’s mind but to change ourselves, and we can be slow to move. When have you found that persistence in prayer strengthened your faith in the presence of God with you in that struggle?

  2. The context of the story may be a concern about the delay in the final coming of the Lord. Have there been times when your persistence in prayer, or action, was eventually rewarded after a period when you had doubts about the outcome? What, for you, have been the fruits of persistent prayer?

  3. Behind the story lies the final question of Jesus: Who does have faith? Who have been models of faith and trust in God for you? How has that trust been shown in their lives? How is it shown in yours?


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Thirtieth Sunday in Ordinary Time
23 October 2022 • Mission Sunday: You Will Be My Witnesses

  1. We are often defensive 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 when you are humble in this way in prayer, 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 them differently. When have you discovered there was more to another person than the negative picture you got from first impressions? What lessons did you learn for yourself from this?


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Thirty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
30 October 2022

  1. Zacchaeus showed himself open to the call of Jesus, to the surprise of his contemporaries who thought there was no good in tax collectors. Sometimes the people who give us lessons in goodness may be people we previously disregarded. Recall when this happened for you.

  2. It was the eagerness of Zacchaeus to see what kind of a man Jesus was, that opened him up to conversion. When you consider moments of change in your life what were the interests or desires that prepared you for change?

  3. The decision of Jesus to eat in the house of Zacchaeus broke the social norms of his day and scandalized those who saw him. When have you found table fellowship a useful way of breaking down artificial boundaries between people? When has a kind word had this effect?

  4. Zacchaeus had become rich off the backs of the people, and they thoroughly disliked him. Yet he was the one singled out by Jesus and he responded to Jesus’ call. Perhaps you have also seen people who hurt you and caused you pain change their ways. How have you reacted to such a change? What has helped you to see the grace of God at work, and give thanks?