Begin with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.
Invite all present to sit comfortably.
When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.
Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?
Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
Introduce the Gospel
On this Sunday we encounter in our scripture readings ………
We all know from experience that happiness can be confused with all sorts of things — enjoyment, getting my own way, pleasure etc. We also all know— in our heart of hearts—that true happiness is not something that I have for myself but something that I am
with others. Rather than something I possess, it is something that I am, with my values and vision. The paradox of human life is that we attain happiness not by aiming at it for ourselves but only making other people the focus of our lives and loves. In the words of St Paul: Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. (Rom 13:8)
From Kieran O’Mahony Hearers of the Word for this Sunday
Read the Gospel – Luke 6:17,20-26
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.
Jesus came down with the Twelve and stopped at a piece of level ground where there was a large gathering of his disciples with a great crowd of people from all parts of Judaea and from Jerusalem and from the coastal region of Tyre and Sidon. Then fixing his eyes on his disciples he said:
‘How happy are you who are poor: yours is the kingdom of God.
Happy you who weep now: you shall laugh.
Happy are you when people hate you, drive you out, abuse you, denounce your name as criminal, on account of the Son of Man. Rejoice when that day comes and dance for joy, for then your reward will be great in heaven. This was the way their ancestors treated the prophets.
‘But alas for you who are rich: you are having your consolation now.
Alas for you who laugh now: you shall mourn and weep.
‘Alas for you when the world speaks well of you! This was the way their ancestors treated the false prophets.’
Reflect on the Gospel using Imaginative Prayer
Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use some quietening music again if you wish.
See here also some popular methods for engaging with scripture and leading into contemplation.
When you are ready, move onto reflecting on what took place in the Gospel, either sitting with the passage and your own reflection on it or using one or more of the following prompts for reflection arising from the Gospel.
- We are told that Jesus “fixed his eyes on the disciples” before speaking. It suggests that he was about to say something that he really wanted them to take in. Surprisingly he then tells them it is no bad thing for us to be poor or hungry. But perhaps you have recognised the truth in what St. Augustine said “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.”
- “Blessed are you who weep” is not an encouragement to be miserable. Rather it is an affirmation of the importance of loving relationships in life. We are blessed to have such people in our lives, but there may also be pain. Yet is it not true that the blessing of loving and being loved is worth the price you pay?
- Jesus said that his followers would be open to opposition and ridicule because of him, and they are blessed when this happens. Unpleasant it may, but have you not been grateful on those occasions when you had the courage to stand by something that you believed in?
Pointers to Prayer by: John Byrne OSA—Intercom
Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.
Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen
Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in written or on video.
The Spirit of God is seeking to create a newness in our lives, that calls us to a fresh wholeness that requires much letting go of what we have known, and co-creating with God an undreamt-of future for our church, for our world and for ourselves. This does not mean forgetting the past, which has brought us to the present.
The Gospel life is about a new future in God. In an incarnational, evolutionary universe nothing is complete and God is still creating. We are a central part of this creation which is happening in our midst.