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.
Reflection on the Feast
The concept of Christ as King can feel strange and at odds with the life that Jesus lived and invites us into. See here a reflection on the feast by Fr. Jim Cogley
Introduce the Gospel
On this Sunday we encounter in our scripture readings ………
It is possible to contrast the various philosophies and religions as systems of ideas and as ethical paradigms. What is distinctive of Christianity, however, is the centrality of the person of Jesus. In his own ministry, he proclaimed the Good News of the reign of God. The Good News for Paul is Jesus’ death and resurrection. Christianity is different: we have not only a message but a person to proclaim.
From Kieran O’Mahony Hearers of the Word for this Sunday
Read the Gospel – John 18:33-37
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.
‘Are you the king of the Jews?’ Pilate asked. Jesus replied, ‘Do you ask this of your own accord, or have others spoken to you about me?’ Pilate answered, ‘Am I a Jew? It is your own people and the chief priests who have handed you over to me: what have you done?’ Jesus replied, ‘Mine is not a kingdom of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, my men would have fought to prevent my being surrendered to the Jews. But my kingdom is not of this kind.’ ‘So you are a king then?’ said Pilate. ‘It is you who say it’ answered Jesus. ‘Yes, I am a king. I was born for this, I came into the world for this: to bear witness to the truth; and all who are on the side of truth listen to my voice.’
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.
- The feast we have today and the gospel give us an opportunity to reflect on the different ways in which we, and others, exercise influence and leadership. The authority of Pilate came from position and power. The authority of Jesus came from his integrity and what he stood for.
Recall leaders you have known whose influence was like that of Jesus.
- The values of the kingdom of God cannot be imposed. It is never a matter of fighting battles, or forcing others into compliance.
Perhaps through experience you have learned the limitations of the use of force, as a parent, a teacher, a group leader. What has been the good news, of the learnings for you, in this?
- Jesus came to bear witness to the truth and we are all created for a purpose.
What do you believe is the purpose of your life? Recall times when you have been able to bear witness to this. What fruit has this witness had for yourself and/or others?
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.