Mainly just the ‘Reflection Points’ this week as I’m still pondering why commenting in any way on this passage makes me so uncomfortable when I haven’t killed nor lusted after anyone!
Perhaps it’s because I know it’s a case of there but for the grace of God?
It might seem that the Commandments are out of touch with our world, a bit old fashioned or unrealistic.
How does this Gospel leave you feeling?
What is the reality of the Commandments in your life?
When does your ‘yes mean yes and your no mean no’?
‘And you have heard it said’ –
What are the things your parents or teachers tell you over and over again?
Why do you think that is?
(Clue: it might not be about listening)
Jesus unpacks the Commandments in today’s Gospel. How might this help you keep them?
As a family which one might you chose to work on?
Lord Jesus Christ,
These Commandments, really?
They seem impossible: never get angry; shield our eyes from each other; stand by our word, our yes meaning yes and no meaning no!
Help us to move beyond the letter on the law, so that we might see where the breaking of Your Commandments hurt others.
Fill us with the wisdom of the Holy Spirit to seek Your loving forgiveness and the strength to keep Your Commandments.
Living the Word this week…
In the light of recent events how do you respond to Jesus’ words?
What are you being invited to speak in the light and proclaim from the housetops?
How will you acknowledge Christ to those you encounter?
How does it feel to know that God knows you so well that He knows every hair on your head?
You are special to God like no one else. How does this help you to love yourself?
How might you talk to your friends about Jesus?
We all have secrets, skeletons in the cupboard, what drives that secrecy?
Can you bring them before the Lord responding to the invitation to ‘Fear no one’?
How might you rejoice in how much you are loved and known by the Lord?
Prayer inspired by Psalm 130 adapted from Christian Aid.
Out of the depths we cry to you, O Lord.
Lord, hear our voices!
Above the sound of terror and the weeping of those bereaved,
hear our earnest prayers!
We look on in horror at children killed, homes and schools hit,
We listen in fear to voices speaking defiance,
vowing revenge, claiming violence as a solution.
We mourn with
all who have lost loved ones,
all who have everything,
all who will lie down in fear this night.
We wait for the Lord, our souls wait,
and only in the Prince of Peace can we hope;
our souls wait for the Lord,
more than those who watch for the morning,
more than those who watch in fear for what destruction the morning’s light will show.
May the horrors of these days give fresh determination to the peacemakers.
And may we see conflict here no more. Amen
Thoughts for the week ahead…
Where do you hear the voice of the Risen Lord speak to you this week?
How does knowing you already have eternal life impact on your behaviour this week?
Where is the Greatness of the Father evident in your life this week?
Take time to listen to Jesus’ voice this week.
Look out for the Greatness of the Father this week.
Jesus says that the sheep hear his voice and they follow Him.
How well do we hear Jesus in our day?
Choose one meal this week where you will talk about how you heard Jesus.
Maybe think about how you listen to one another: could you improve the listening?
Make the Sign of Peace at the end of your meal.
What do you think your family vocation might be?
Prayer (from Creighton Online Ministries)
Loving Shepherd, You love me and watch over me always, in my joys and in my pain. Help me not to be deceived by the world around me. Thank you for the great gift of your love and protection and for my faith in you, which shapes my life.
May my heart be open to an awareness of your great love and may we carry that love to those we pass each day who need it the most. Amen.
And Mary thanked Simeon for his lovely blessing.
For those of you who follow me on Facebook will know that my eldest son has left home and returned more than once. The first time was to take up a position for one year as a Lay Clerk at Norwich Cathedral. He returned home for the following year to make an album. September he started his Music degree (finally). The house he was planning to move into fell through at the last minute and although he half moved out a couple of times he always came home.
Of all of my children, this DS is the one whom fills me with pride and irritation in equal measure. It would be true to say that the reverse is also (probably) true.
I am of the firm belief that to enjoy all that university has to offer, students should not live at home. I have supported all my children in their strive for independence. Or so I thought.
On the way to Mass on Sunday, he blithely informed me that they (the members of the band) had found a house and were all off to look at it this week. This should not have come as any great surprise. Over the last few months they had mentioned more than once that they had been looking at various houses in the hope that they could all move out of the parental home into their own. But it did come as a surprise and my heart stopped for just a moment. My son was moving out and I would miss him. All of him!
And when the Gospel was proclaimed an epiphany occurred, like Mary, my heart too was pierced, and will continue to be so. For that is the cost of being a parent. Not that I would want it any other way.
‘—and you yourself a sword will pierce—’ Luke 2:22-40
Picture is of a sculpture at Downside School, Bath.