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Posts Tagged ‘young adults’

Download 11th Sunday Yr C 

Reflection Questions.

  1. Imagine a great religious and political leader committing adultery and trying to cover up the pregnancy with the secret killing of the husband. This is actually what has happened with the great leader of Israel – King David (see 2 Sam 11). David moves from covering up to confession. God forgives David. What strikes you about Godʼs forgiveness? The painful consequences of sin? What is your experience?
  2. King David is thought to have composed the famous Psalm 51 expressing heartfelt sorrow for sin. If you were to have a heart-felt conversation with God what words would you use? Use Psalm 51 to help you. Consider making use of the sacrament of confession this coming week. What obstacles do you need to overcome to experience Godʼs waiting embrace?
  3. Paul is responding to a big question: Am I acceptable to God? Jewish people in the Galatian community were trying to convince new christian disciples they still had to observe all the Jewish laws to be ʻrightʼ and acceptable to God. Paul, who was a very law-abiding Pharisee cries No! Human frailty eventually breaks the law and observing ʻlawsʼ pales in comparison to what has been given in Jesus. God has come among us, taught us, forgiven us, revealed the resurrection to us. Faith is entering into the embrace of Godʼs acceptance for us in Jesus. What is your response? How could you accept the ʻacceptanceʼ of God?
  4. Paul paints a powerful picture. ‘I have been crucified with Christ’. Imagine each day climbing onto the cross – arms extended in an embrace of our broken world – like Christ giving of his body and blood on the cross to heal the world. Is your life lived with arms open generously or arms tightly closed in self preservation?
  5. Some cultural information behind this parable is helpful for reflection. Hospitality was always to be shown to guests. Water to wash feet, hands. Perfume / oil to annoint oneʼs head. Simon shows no hospitality to Jesus. Women were also conditioned only to show and let down their hair for their husband. The woman is showing very intimate actions of love toward Jesus. What now strikes you in this parable?
  6. Simon the Pharisee and the Woman who was regarded as a ʻsinnerʼ in the town are both struggling with who is ʻacceptable to Godʼ. The Pharisee thought only people keeping all the rules and laws were satisfying the ʻpurityʼ code of being ʻcleanʼ and therefore ʻrightʼ with God. Simon is horrified that Jesus allows a sinful woman to ʻtouchʼ him and thereby make him ʻuncleanʼ. What is Simonʼs deep theological problem?
  7. Imagine someone releasing you of a debt of a year and a half of your wages. Or 3 months of your wages. What would your feelings be? Would this experience find expression in any action? What is the greatest ʻreleaseʼ experience you have had. Did it change your lifestyle in any way?
  8. The quality and image of discipleship between the Woman and Simon is different. What attracts you? Why?
  9. What is one action that you will do to be ‘livingtheword’ this week?

 

Download 18th Sunday Yr A

Reflection Questions:

  1. Isaiah 40-55 is known as ‘The Book of Comfort’. God will comfort and look after his people. In ancient cultures a relationship and bond of commitment was sealed by a meal together. They also acknowledged with a prayer of thanksgiving that something was sacrificed (an animal, a grain of wheat..) in order that human beings were fed. A ‘sacrifice’ enabled a ‘meal’ which established a ‘bond between the participants of a meal’. This is the basis of a ‘covenant’ meal in the Old Testament, the Last Supper and indeed the Eucharist Christians celebrate. God promises to feed us without money being paid. And to nourish us both physically and spiritually. Consider the gifts God gives you each day. How has God been ‘feeding’ you?
  2. St Paul himself endured being beaten, stoned, whipped, shipwrecked, imprisoned. Yet he boldly declares nothing can separate us from God’s love revealed in Christ. What current experience causes you to think and feel ‘separated’ from Christ? Does Christ on the Cross ‘bridge this gap’?
  3. Matthew 13 was filled with Parables on the Kingdom of Heaven, Matthew 14 is now concerned with the Kingdom of the Church and the mission of the Disciples. We are taught how we are to be and live.
  4. John the Baptist, the greatest prophet, has been killed. This sadness causes Jesus to retreat to a deserted and lonely place. Consider all the feelings of Jesus in loosing a very close companion. Wanting silence and rest. Having a crowd chase after him. Tired and yet moved with pity and willing to give of himself. What do you learn about Jesus? About God? About yourself?
  5. John the Baptist spoke courageously reminding Herod he cannot marry his brothers wife. Why does the world seek to remove the ‘voice’ of a prophet? Have you experienced the tension and risk in being a ‘prophet’ today? What happened?
  6. Matthew is seeking to show Jesus as the fulfilment of Moses and all the prophets. Parallel to the feeding in the desert (Moses / Exodus) Jesus now feeds a large crowd in a ‘deserted place’ with bread. There is an abundance of food (a symbol of the great messianic age). Each Apostle is left holding one of 12 baskets of bread symbolic of the new Tribe of Israel (Church). The Disciples now have the job of feeding the hungry. Imaginatively enter the scene and pretend to be a disciple. What did you learn?
  7. The Disciples had a ‘poverty mentality’. Jesus had an ‘abundance mentality’ when even a small amount of resources were offered to God. Consider your response to the ‘poor and hungry’ this week. What could you do with the little you have?
  8. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?

 

 

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Reflection Questions

  1. The early Christian community described in Acts endures many challenging experiences. Today marks an incredible ‘break-through’. Greek speaking (Hellenists) Christians complained their widows were not being fed in the daily distribution of food to the poor. Jewish Christians may have been favouring their own kind. The Church was transitioning from a Jewish Christian community to a more Greek speaking and Greek cultured community. Imagine the tensions and arguments! Yet the Apostles creatively responded with wisdom and preserved unity. A new service structure was implemented into the community. Who is getting all the attention in your community? Who is not? What creative response is needed to meet the needs of ‘the poor’?
  2. The passage of scripture from Peter is regarded as part of an Easter Baptismal Homily. The image is of a Temple built with stones aligned with the ‘cornerstone – Jesus’ which holds the whole ‘house’ together. Who is a ‘living stone’ you look to in your local community for ‘alignment’ with Jesus? How do you ‘measure up’?
  3. Priesthood, a Holy People set apart, a people bringing the world to God and God to the world, is not to be understood as confined to the ‘Temple’. Peter reminds all the baptised they are no longer limited to bringing animal and grain offerings to the Temple. Their lives are to announce God’s love and care. Feeding the poor, clothing and care of the sick, prayers for the community are all part of the great ‘spiritual sacrifices’ offered to God to bring God to the people and the people to God. Do you glimpse your ‘royal’ and ‘priestly’ job description of Baptism into the family of Christ? Can you glimpse the connection between the Sunday altar and the Monday office desk?
  4. John 14-17 is Jesus’ departing words to his disciples. His words are filled with the language of intimate love. Have you ever had someone beautifully prepare a guest room for you? Say they want you to be always with them? How did it feel? How does it feel to know Jesus wants this relationship with you?
  5. Without Jesus and no longer welcome in the Jewish Temple, the Johannine community felt they were lost. ‘How can we know the ‘way’? ‘I AM the way’ is a theological punch. Jesus uses the ‘divine name (I AM) and challenges his followers to live ‘his way – the way of God’. Our life-style, our time-style, our ‘way’, is to be in exact replication of Christ. How does this challenge you?
  6. “Going to Church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.” What ‘works’ are we called to do?
  7. What is one action that you will do to ‘livetheword’ this week?

Download:3rd Sunday Advent

Reflection Question 5: ‘Are you the one who is to come, or should we look for another?’ reveals John the Baptist had some doubts about Jesus as the promised Messiah. John had preached of a divine judge, a vindicator, a warrior, someone separating out the good from the bad, throwing people into ‘an unquenchable fire’. Jesus’ actions caused some confusion to John. What is your image of God and Messiah? What expectations do you have of God bringing ‘salvation’?

Advent Story. The Master and the Puppy. C.S. Lewis. Imagine you were God and you had a puppy. You wanted to show your puppy you loved it completely. How would you show your love? You would feed it, take it for a walk, cuddle it, let it come inside…… But would you consider an extreme love? How about completely taking on the condition of being a ‘puppy’ with all the self emptying it involves? This is what God has done in Jesus. This is the real celebration at the Heart of Christmas. What is your response?

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Reflection Question 1: The Amelekites were a constant threat to the peaceful settlement of God’s people in the promised land. The battle scene is describing a theological point. Other countries made political and military alliances. Israel was to rely on God. And prayer works! What does the phrase ‘keeping your hands raised up’ mean for you? Have you asked anyone to pray to God for your protection? Can you remember an experience where you recognised the power of prayer?

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Check out the livingtheword bookshelf for helpful scripture books to learn more

Download: 25th Sunday Yr C

Reflection Question 4: The rich man has a dishonest steward, but Jesus concludes by praising some of the dishonest stewards actions. The steward has just lost his job. Before everyone finds out, he has a crafty but risky plan. He will not charge the full interest and commission on the debt. He will win friends and those in debt will also praise the honour of the rich land owner believing that the master is truly honorable in not charging them interest on their ‘loan’. Jesus comments that worldly people are often more creative and faithful to their goals and use of money to build ‘their kingdom’ than are spiritual people. How could you creatively use money to build the ‘Kingdom of God’. Have you considered any creative fund raising project which could serve the poor? Have you shared your wealth and shown a preferential option for the poor recently?

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Download: 19th Sunday Yr C

Reflection Question 6: If entry into heaven was based on a quiz, and you knew the answers before-hand, would you practise the answers? If we are to clothe the naked, feed the hungry, comfort the sick and lost – and we know this is the ‘masters will’ – would we be found ‘ready’? Do we fear not being found ready…. are we in for a ‘severe beating’?

It is Vocation Awareness Week this week – reflect on some helpful tips to finding your vocation

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Download Document:18th Sunday Yr C

Reflection Question 3: Rabbi’s were expected to make decisions on religious and civil matters. Yet Jesus chooses not to be the ‘judge’ of this inheritance dispute. He is not interested in  property but he is interested in talking about ‘greed’. St Paul in the second reading referred to greed as ‘idolatry’ – replacing God. Have you ever considered your answer to the question: ‘What is enough?’ (money, car, savings, food allowance, clothing). What is a benchmark that when you have reached it you now have a duty to ‘share’? On a spectrum of ‘getting and ‘giving’ where would you mark your lifestyle?

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Download Document: 16th Sunday Yr C

Reflection Question 6: Martha and Mary have Jesus – and his hungry disciples – arrive at their home. Cultural expectations of women would have weighed heavily on both Martha and Mary to serve and provide hospitality and food. Mary however chose to do what was not socially acceptable, and sit at the masters feet, the traditional expression of being a ‘disciple’ – and one normally reserved for ‘males’. Consider what obstacles Mary has overcome to ‘sit and listen’. What obstacles would you have to overcome to sit and listen to Jesus in prayer?

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Reflection Question 5: The Feast of the Ascension celebrates Jesus’ place now in Heaven, promising the Holy Spirit (1st Reading), acting as the Heavenly Priest (2nd Reading) and sending his disciples to witness to all nations (Gospel). This poses an interesting dilemma: ‘why are you standing there looking at the sky?’ Where is the focus of your energy and attention as a disciple: looking upward to heaven, or looking sideways to mission?