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Posts Tagged ‘Anointing’

Download 4th Sunday Lent Yr A

Reflection Questions

  1. Anointing with oil and ‘eyes being opened’ are part of the special journey in Lent for candidates asking for baptism at Easter. For those already baptized, these readings teach us about the deep meaning of our own baptism.
  2. Samuel was the young boy who sat in the temple and was taught how to listen to God’s voice. He became one of the greatest prophets because ‘he never let a word spoken to him by God fall to the ground’. Today he is told by God to do a very dangerous action – high treason! While King Saul was still alive, Samuel was to go to Bethlehem and anoint another King. Are you open to being shocked by what God plans for you? Samuel was told to fill his horn with oil and go… what do you think God is asking of you?
  3.  Samuel had previously anointed King Saul who was tall and handsome ‘head and shoulder above the rest’. He may have been tempted, or had truly learnt a lesson not to judge a person by their ‘appearance’. God sees beyond appearance into a persons heart. Identify someone you are judging by ‘appearance’ and practice noticing their ‘heart’.
  4. St Paul writes about the difference in a persons life before knowing Jesus. Imagine you are in an unfamiliar house and need to get to the bathroom in the middle of the night. Not knowing where the light switch is you knock into chairs and hard edged furniture. You walk slowly and carefully. Now, turn the light switch on and you walk differently. Peacefully. Confidently. ‘Arise…from death and darkness, Christ will give you light’. Imagine the experience of being blind and then being able to see. This was the experience the early church said happened through Baptism preparation for each adult.
  5. Around the year 85-90 Jewish Christians were excluded from the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem. The man born blind became a very special story and symbol of life being changed by Jesus. The blind man considers Jesus a ‘man’. Then recognizes him as a ‘prophet’. Finally he believes Jesus to be truly the Son of Man – the promised Messiah (anointed one). He calls him Lord (the name of God) and worships him. As a result the blind man becomes rejected by the Pharisees, his family and the community’. They threw him out…. How has your faith journey grown in understanding of Jesus? Would you be willing to endure rejection or persecution for your belief? What do you think happened to the blind man? Can you identify with any of his Christian experience?
  6. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

Download: 4th Sunday Lent Yr A

  1. Reflection Questions Remember Samuel as a young boy, woken in the middle of the night by the voice of God (1Sam 3:4). Now trained in the discipline of listening and doing what God asks Samuel now faces an incredible challenge: God is asking him to find and anoint a new King (while King Saul is currently still alive!) This would be treason. Consider the emotions and struggles of Samuel? What struggle can you identify with? How might God be inviting you to ‘fill your horn with oil, and be on your way?
  2. Some translations emphasize that David was a young boy, with a fresh and clear appearance. He is not big, has no military training or obvious talent for battle. To the human ‘eye’ and ‘outward appearance’ this is not a wise choice for a King and future military leader. But this public calling and anointing, this ‘baptism’ of David changes everything. No longer would he suffer psychologically from his fathers ‘smallest’ ‘weakest’ viewpoint. When the Lord looks into your heart what does he ‘see’?
  3. This text from St Paul to the Ephesians is thought to be part of an ancient baptismal liturgy: baptism calls us to bring our lives into the ‘light’. As Easter approaches, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is one practice that leads us to bring our struggles into the light of Jesus for help and guidance. Awake from sleep and death! Ponder for a few minutes what you would like to bring to the Sacrament of Reconciliation during Lent?
  4. Gospel stories from John are used to encourage baptism candidates on the final journey to Easter. Today’s story is in the context of the Jewish Feast of Tabernacles involving water and light. Water from the pool of Siloam was taken into the temple, thrown upon the Altar, which then ran out from the temple into the ‘world’. It symbolised God’s Temple and People called to be like Water for the world. Also large candles with wicks made from the Priest’s vestments lit up the Temple and courtyard symbolising God’s Temple and People called to be like Light for the world. Can you see in the text how Jesus in John’s Gospel uses and yet replaces these symbols? What is John trying to show us?
  5. The early Christian Church used the reality of being ‘blind’ and receiving ‘sight’ as an image of the journey to Baptism. Baptism was even called a ceremony of ‘enlightenment’. From blind ‘darkness’ to seeing ‘light’ is possibly the greatest transformation that can take place for a person. Seeing becomes symbolic of knowing ‘truth’. Truth is gradually clearer for the blind man (baptismal candidate) regarding Jesus’ identity. Unstated is the reality that belief in Jesus will see the man now rejected from the synagogue and community. Can you see your journey in the blind man?
  6. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?