September 2022: Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of The Gospel

Seeing Your Life Through The Lens of  The Gospel

John Byrne OSA


Twenty-Third Sunday in Ordinary Time
4 September 2022

  1. The passage is a call to both radical and practical discipleship. When have you found that in order to achieve a certain objective you had to make it a priority, and then take the practical steps necessary to reach your goal? What were the benefits to you when you did this?

  2. ‘Hate’ is prophetic exaggeration for the uncompromising loyalty Jesus seeks in disciples. There may be times when people make demands in conflict with fidelity to another relationship. This can be painful. When have you found that being clear about your priorities helped you in that situation?

  3. Jesus uses parables here to tell us that in important human affairs we do not settle for vague aspirations. When have you found that some element of practical planning has been necessary to make progress with a project? What has this taught you about making the most of your life and of your time?


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Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
11 September 2022

  1. There are three figures in this parable. The father is a symbol of an unconditional love. Perhaps you can recall someone showing love to you in a way that showed great forgiveness and acceptance. Have there been times when you have also loved in this way, where the important thing was not the hurt you had experienced, but the fact that the wayward person had found a way to a healthier life?

  2. You may be able to identify with the younger son at different stages of his journey. Be sure to follow it to the point where it becomes a good news story for you – when you ‘came to yourself’. Where and when have you experienced a homecoming after a time of exile and alienation.

  3. People often find it easy to identify with the older son, feeling that the father went overboard in the reception home for the wayward son. In contrast to his father he was very judgemental and resentful towards his younger brother. Perhaps you have experienced these attitudes in others towards you, or in yourself towards others. What were those experiences like for you? What did they teach you?


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Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
18 September 2022

  1. As often with the parables of Jesus, this one is intended to shock in order to make us think. Jesus is not praising the injustice of the servant, but his purposefulness in preparing for the future. In your experience what difference does it make when you are purposeful and energetic instead of lethargic?

  2. It was his master’s call to account that galvanised the servant into action. What have been the experiences, or people, that have galvanised you into action when you had been somewhat half-hearted in your efforts?

  3. Who have been the people whose energy, drive and astuteness have been an inspiration to you in how to handle difficult situations?

  4. ‘No servant can be the slave of two masters’. When have you experiened the truth of this statement?


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Twenty-Sixth Sunday in Ordinary Time
25 September 2022 • World Day of Migrants and Refugees

  1. The first of the faults attributed to the rich man is his insensitivity to the abject poverty of those around him. When have you discovered that it is when you are aware of the needs of those around you and seek to make some response that you bring out the best in yourself?

  2. The second fault attributed to the rich man is the way he ignored the word of God coming through Moses and the prophets. How have the gospels, the scriptures or your faith opened you up to a deeper and more satisfying perspective on life?

  3. Some people look to the spectacular for a sign of God’s presence and action. For Jesus the lessons we need are not to be sought in the spectacular, but in the ordinary things of everyday life. Where have you found reminders of God’s presence in the world around you?

  4. ‘An authentic faith – which is never comfortable or completely personal – always involves a deep desire to change the world, to transmit values, to leave this earth somehow better that we found it … All Christians, their pastors included, are called to show concern for the building of a better world.’ (Pope Francis, Evangelii gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel, No. 183)