Beginning with a few moments of quiet.
The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you.
Find a comfortable space and when ready, 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 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?
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.
and when you are ready read the Gospel
… a familiar story, and when we encounter a familiar story we can be inclined to hear the version we know rather than actually hearing the story. Try to listen to it as if for the first time, hearing something new in it…
….. the Gospel Luke 23:35-43
The people stayed there before the cross watching Jesus. As for the leaders, they jeered at him. ‘He saved others,’ they said ‘let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.’ The soldiers mocked him too, and when they approached to offer vinegar they said, ‘If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.’ Above him there was an inscription: ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
One of the criminals hanging there abused him. ‘Are you not the Christ?’ he said. ‘Save yourself and us as well.’ But the other spoke up and rebuked him. ‘Have you no fear of God at all?’ he said. ‘You got the same sentence as he did, but in our case we deserved it: we are paying for what we did. But this man has done nothing wrong. Jesus,’ he said ‘remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ ‘Indeed, I promise you,’ he replied ‘today you will be with me in paradise.’
Reflect on the Gospel
Not exactly a comforting or comfortable Gospel message Sean Goan offers the following commentary on it:
In year C we have been reading the Gospel of Luke over many Sundays and have been privileged to see how the great mystery of God’s universal love and mercy is revealed in the person of Jesus.SEAN GOAN – Let the Reader Understand, Year C
It is appropriate then, on this feast of Christ the King, to focus on Jesus on the cross granting pardon to the repentant thief. For Luke, this aspect of the kingdom of God has been central: Jesus has come to bring the healing forgiveness of God to all who seek it.
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.
Ask yourself, how is this Gospel speaking to my situation in my life in this moment.
And the following is a reflection offered by José A Pagola.
We praise, worship and kiss the cross of Christ because in the depths of our being we feel the need to give thanks to God for his boundless love. But we can’t forget that the first thing Jesus insistently asks of us is not to kiss the cross but to carry it. This means following in his footsteps in a responsible and committed manner. Sooner or later we know it will lead us to share his painful destiny. We must hear the call of Jesus when we kiss the cross: “Whoever wishes to come after me, let them take up their cross and follow me.”JOSÉ A PAGOLA – Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, Year C
For the followers of Jesus to lay claim to the cross is to be with the crucified of society in a spirit of service: seeking justice where the helpless are abused, and calling for compassion where there is only indifference toward those who suffer. For this we will experience conflicts, rejection and suffering, but it will be our humble way of carrying the cross of Christ.
Does this support your reflection on the Gospel passage or not? If so in what way and if not why not? Sit with that and ask what is this Gospel calling you to be or to change this week?
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 our Gospel for this weekend in written or on video.
The following prayer is from the Center for Action and Contemplation community. I invite you to read it yourself below or to join with Richard Rohr in praying it (see also http://www.cac.org)
Loving God, you fill all things with a fullness and hope that we can never comprehend. Thank you for leading us into a time where more of reality is being unveiled for us all to see. We pray that you will take away our natural temptation for cynicism, denial, fear and despair. Help us have the courage to awaken to greater truth, greater humility, and greater care for one another. May we place our hope in what matters and what lasts, trusting in your eternal presence and love. Listen to our hearts’ longings for the healing of our suffering world. Please add your own intentions . . . Knowing, good God, you are hearing us better than we are speaking, we offer these prayers in all the holy names of God. Amen.