God has actually spoken

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Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Scripture Readings Yr A’

Download Feast of the Dedication of Lateran Bascilica. 

Reflection Questions

  1. The celebration today marks the oldest of the major churches in Rome and the Church which belongs to the ‘Bishop of Rome’ (many people may think it is St Peters). Today we have an opportunity to reflect on the significance and meaning of ‘Church’ as a building and also as a ‘people’.
  2.  The Prophet Ezekiel was also a Priest and was in the first group of Israelites to be taken away from their homeland and put in exile in Babylon. This passage is a prophecy and a reminder from God just how special the ‘Temple’ and ‘Jersualem’ and its people are in the world. Jersualem becomes an image of God’s people. The Temple becomes an image of the Parish / Church today.  What does it mean for the ‘church’ to be like life-giving water flowing out into the world, making everything ‘fresh’, and the fruit and leaves produced being ‘medicinal’ for the world?
  3. St Paul has a deep experience of linking the temple to each disciple. We have become the ‘meeting place’ where people can experience God. Do you know God dwells in you? Do you know the ‘temple of God, which you are, is holy’? One of the first public actions by Jesus in the Gospel of John is to ‘cleanse’ the temple. ‘My Fathers house’ is said 27 times in the Gospel of John. It was an expectation of the Messiah that when he comes he would ‘cleanse the temple’ and restore it to become really and truly a proper house of God. Jesus sees sheep and cattle and money changers turn the ‘house of God’ into a market. When you look at the Church, what do you see? What upsets you? What would you like to ‘cleanse’?
  4. Some scholars share that the actions of Jesus are very significant. Jesus does this action at the time of the ‘passover’. He replaces the ‘temple’ with his own ‘body’. On the second Passover he replaces the ‘passover’ with the ‘bread of life’ (John 6). On the third Passover Jesus sacrifices his body on the cross, instead of the Passover lamb in the temple to be the ‘sacrifice that takes away the sins of the world’. If the temple was the place to ‘meet God’, can you recognise how we now meet and become one with God in the Eucharist celebrated at Mass? Is the building special or the celebration that takes place within it more special?
  5. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?


Download Palm Sunday Yr A

Reflection Questions

  1. On Palm Sunday we wave ʻpalmsʼ in remembrance of Jesusʼ procession into Jerusalem. We cry ʻHosannaʼ (in Hebrew meaning ʻSave Us Now). What is your expectation of God ʻsaving usʼ? Are you willing to let go of a strong powerful military figure and allow a ʻsuffering servantʼ? On a donkey? What do you think happened in the minds and hearts of the crowd gathered to eventually cry ʻcrucify him!ʼ?
  2. Palm Sunday is also called ʻPassionʼ Sunday as we listen to the whole story of Jesusʼ personal betrayal by his disciples, his court appearance before religious and political rulers, his rejection by previously welcoming crowds, his cruel whipping and torture by soldiers. Watch, listen, feel the violence. Where does such cruelty originate from in the world? Why does the world seek a ʻvictimʼ?
  3. ‘He made no answer’. The silence of Jesus as Pontius Pilate questions and interrogates him is striking. Have you ever been tempted to argue your way out of a difficult situation to ‘save yourself’. Jesus’ silence is a deep act of trust in God. How would you have behaved in this situation?
  4. It may be a surprise to learn that Jesus and his disciples were regarded as a bunch of revolutionaries from Galilee, hanging out in parks, carrying swords, wanted and hunted by police. How would such a group be considered today? In the Church?
  5. Jesusʼ sufferings ʻunmasksʼ and reveals the worldʼs violence and cruelty. Jesus responds peacefully in interrogation. Heals a soldier’s ear. Asks the Father to forgive. Welcomes criminals to heaven. Commits his spirit into the hands of the Father. Is Jesus a ʻdoor-matʼ or a ʻsaviourʼ? How?
  6. Soldiers make a game of teasing Jesus. He is stripped, humiliated, hit, played with as a ‘game’. Consider in the world today soldiers abusing innocent people. Can you feel their pain. Pray for them and soldiers in places of terror and oppression today.
  7. Simon from Cyrene did not want to lift the heavy wooden cross of Jesus. Have you ever felt you were in the wrong place at the wrong time and got a heavy job? Has someone in great need crossed your path recently? Do you run away from people suffering?
  8. The veil of the sanctuary was a large thick curtain that separated the ‘holy of holies’ from the rest of the temple. It was the sacred place where God’s presence was known to dwell sitting on the ‘mercy seat’ (that held the 10 commandments). The gospel of Matthew paints with words the truth that here on the cross is the new ‘mercy seat’ where God dwells. Spend time with a crucifix this week and ponder what you see.
  9.  What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?



Download: 6th Sunday Yr A

Reflection Question 4: Does a brother or a sister (anyone) have ‘something against you’? Jesus challenges us not to separate right relationship with God with being ‘right’ with others. Ritual is not separate from relationships. Is there any words, conversation, letter, action that could show you taking a step toward reconciliation? What urgency would you experience if you were required to do this before receiving Holy Communion?

Download: 4th Sunday Advent

Reflection Question 3: Joseph listens to the message of the angel in a dream. Like Mary’s courageous Yes to the Angel, Joseph also says Yes to God’s will with similar courage despite many questions. Joseph is not the passive figure often portrayed. He wrestles with questions of law and faith. He submits to the invitation of prayer and listening to God. He chooses not to be afraid. He ensures the child is named Jesus and in doing so becomes the adoptive father and inserts Jesus into the ‘line of David’ (naming the child is also normally done by Jewish women). He takes Mary as his wife into his home. Joseph’s contribution to the Christmas drama and salvation is huge. What salvation story and drama is going on in my own life this Christmas? What does Joseph teach me?

Advent Story: The Kitten at Christmas. A Catholic couple were celebrating Christmas Eve. The wife invited her husband to Midnight mass, but he declined. He thought he would instead stay at home on this cold night, watch television, and they could have a christmas drink when she returned. His wife left early to attend christmas carols and shortly after he heard a noise at the front door. Opening the back door he noticed a cold and wet kitten. He reached toward it but it cried in fear and retreated further away. He pondered to himself how he could help comfort this poor kitten. He got some milk from the fridge, poured it into a plate, showed the kitten and placed it just inside the door. He hoped to welcome the kitten into the warm and dry room of his house. The kitten continued its crying. He tried again to reach out to it. But the kitten interpreted these actions fearfully and moved further away into the cold. As the man continued to ponder how he could truly communicate positively with this kitten it dawned on him that he would need to become like this kitten. Suddenly he realised what God had done. He jumped into his car to attend midnight mass and whispered to his wife: for the first time I’ve realised Christmas is God born among us in Jesus to help us!

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