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Posts Tagged ‘Righteousness’

Download 8th Sunday Yr A

Reflection Questions

  1. Isaiah 49 continues to talk to a Jewish community that have returned to Jerusalem (Zion) and found a broken city, no home, no temple, no liturgy. They feel ‘forgotten’. Isaiah shares a beautiful feminine image of God whose ‘heart’ is even more loving toward us than our own mother! Can you locate a memory and experience of a Mothers tender love and allow this truth to be an image of God for you now? What would your conversation be protected unconditionally in ‘Mums’ arms?
  2.  Paul is experiencing the people in Corinth ‘putting him down’, ‘saying words behind his back’ and ‘questioning his authority’. His response reveals he is more concerned with God’s judgement and is not controlled by ‘popularity’ or ‘performance’. Paul uses a striking greek word for steward: an oarsman responsible only to the captain of the ship (Christ). Have you had an experience of bring ‘put down’ recently? Did you respond in ‘anger’ or ‘peaceful conviction’?
  3. In Matthew 5-8 the Beatitudes (or Christian Be-Attitudes) instruct clearly: you cannot serve God AND Mammon. Mammon is an Aramaic word meaning money, property or anything you place your trust in. Have you ever deeply made the decision about God and ‘righteousenss’ as a first priority ahead of money? What has been a challenge recently that has revealed this lifestyle decision for God?
  4. “Do not worry”. How frequent are your worries and thoughts about food, your body, clothing, possessions? As a reflective awareness exercise, consider asking yourself 3 why’s about your ‘worries’. What do you find at the cause of your ‘worry’?
  5. God is deeply attached to the poor. Did you know in the New Testament 1 in every 16 sentences is about the poor. In the Gospels it is 1 in every 10 sentences. How frequent are your thoughts toward ‘righteousness’ (a title given toward those who lifted up the poor)?
  6. The ‘kingdom of God’ and ‘righteousness’ is a ‘be-attitude’ programme; living with everyone as a brother and sister calls for the poor and in need to be lifted up. This vision and passion for everything to be as God wishes (righteous) needs to ‘break into’ our hearts before it can ‘break out’ to transform social structures. Who is a person that embodies the ‘kingdom of God’ and ‘righteous’ living for you?
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

Download 2nd Sunday Advent Yr C 

Reflection Questions

  1. The Prophet Baruch shares a beautiful image for Advent. Have you noticed when you take off ‘old clothes’ and put on ‘new clothes’ there is a sense of joy and a new ‘attitude’. In ancient times, when a significant transformation happened a ‘new name’ was also given. Like last week, Jerusalem – which is us in the Church today – is invited to prepare by shaking off the old and putting on ‘the cloak of justice’. And, our new name is to be ‘Peace of Justice’. What old ways of mourning and misery would you like to leave behind this advent season? How could your life reflect Gods hope for you of ‘peace’ and ‘justice’, ‘glory’ and ‘worship’?
  2. The city of Jerusalem is on a hill. The view from the top of the Temple could see all people’s coming from every direction. Can you glimpse God’s hope wanting us to stand up and invite everyone ‘home’ to Church this Christmas? Through us, mountains and gorges – difficult pathways – will be made ‘level ground so people can return easily. Mercy and justice will be our story and song. Do you know anyone who is experiencing an obstacle to returning to God? The Church? What earthmoving help could you offer personally to them?
  3. Paul had a special place in his heart for the Community at Philippi. Paul wrote this letter to them while in prison, facing a death sentence. They had provided financial assistance for his missionary journeys and now supported him in prison. He invites them to discern what is of value in their lives. At the end of the year consider evaluating your life positively: what has helped you in purity? What areas of your life are blameless? How have you shown righteousness? How could you develop these experiences and practices more?
  4. Righteousness is an interesting word. In the Old Testament it was a title that was given by the poor to those who ‘lifted up the poor’. A rich person could not give this title to themselves. Reflecting upon the year, would the ‘poor’ give you the title ‘righteous’? In what ways have you lifted them up? Was it charity or justice?
  5. Luke, like St Paul, is aware of a claim by courts and rulers that these christian disciples are ‘mad’. Making up strange stories! Luke insists the evidence and life of Jesus is historical. Christianity started in a particular place and time in history. In the 15th year… etc. With a great twist Luke lines up the different rulers of the time. Traditionally when rulers returned victorious from battle, people would line the streets and shout triumphantly: ‘Lord, Saviour!’ Luke is turning attention to the true Saviour – Jesus – whose preparation victory voice is John the Baptist. How would you personally describe Jesus as ‘saviour’?
  6. Celebrating the advent practice of reconciliation (confession) encourages us to ‘prepare our hearts’. When a great King visited a city, workers were sent to straighten pathways, cut into mountains, level valleys. Consider the effort involved to welcome the King! Reflect on this image and the famous words of John. What needs to be straightened out and filled in? How much effort will you put into Advent?
  7. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?


Download: Baptism of the Lord

Reflection Question 2: The Isaiah reading today is the first of four ‘suffering servant’ passages. They point to the mission of Jesus and to our personal mission and identity given in Baptism. Can you identify with the cause of making justice victorious? Being a ‘sign’ and ‘covenant’ of the relationship that God has with the world? Does your life truly show itself as a ‘light’ for all to see? Do your words and actions bring a transformation into people’s lives who live in darkness of ignorance and lack of love, imprisoned and hurt by life? Do you identify with this personal mission and the mission of the Church?