Scripture Sharing Booklets for Lent 2009 are now available. This diocesan resource can be used by groups or individuals. We thank Irish artist Patrick Pye for his inspirational artwork that illustrates our booklet.

Ordering

lent_2009_scripture_cover

The Lenten booklets are available at 2.50 each.

To order copies, please contact

Christine
Kildare & Leighlin Faith Development Services,
Cathedral Parish Centre,
College Street,
Carlow

Tel: 059-9164084
Fax: 059-9164020
Email: fds@kandle.ie

If sending a cheque please make payable to:

‘Kildare & Leighlin Services’


Editorial

Thanks once again to all those who faithfully use our booklets. Our booklets are there to help people to live these days of Lent with the challenge and the hope that the Scriptures offer us. Thanks to those who contact us with positive remarks and who tell us that they find these booklets helpful. Your graciousness is a good inspiration for us.

Some have said that they feel these booklets are “not for them”. These reflections are meant to be a little challenging. They are meant to ask us to use all our faculties and all our imagination to be challenged by the Gospel. They are not meant to be pious manuals or devotional exercises. This will challenge you. Once a monk went to Dom Columba Marmion and said that some things in praying the Scriptures really annoyed him and he felt they were not for him. Dom Marmion simply replied “They are probably telling you where you should be”.

This year we thank the Irish artist Patrick Pye for his inspirational artwork that illustrates our booklet. The scenes depicted here are meant to be reminders of our Lenten Journey.

This year we use in the normal liturgical season the Gospel of Mark. Not all the Easter Gospel readings are from Mark, but our theme for the booklet comes from the beginning of Mark’s Gospel ” The Time has come; The Kingdom of God is at hand”. Our reflections are calls to see how the Kingdom is at hand. Through the lens of the different readings, we try to journey in discipleship and see how the Kingdom is present in our world. The parameters of the Kingdom are larger than we may have thought! We might discover God to be present in many ways, but often we were blinded by looking too much at where he was not…..

Thanks as always to Christine Oglesby for her diligence and patience in all matters practical in the preparation of our booklets. Thanks also to the many people who contact us with useful and positive suggestions.

Remember… the Kingdom is at hand!
Lenten Blessings!

Editor

Contents

Along with the Editorial, the resource includes a letter from Bishop Moriarty, suggestions regarding method and guidelines for facilitators, reflections for the six sundays of Lent leading up to Holy Week and prayers for Holy Week.

Below you will find a sample of one of the reflections for the Sundays of Lent.

First Sunday of Lent

Driven out! Mk. 1:12-15

Prayer

We come here to listen to your Word, Lord.
We keep vigil in these days with Christ our Brother.
Help us to have his openness to the beauty of your Word,
As we are “driven out” from the everyday routine to a new sense of our dependence on you.
The time has come once more.
Help us to open our hearts, to turn around and hear again the Good News.

With Mary our Mother we pray:
Hail Mary …..

Reading

It is a good idea to read the Gospel a number of times, at least twice. Give some time to silence then…. Remember this is the most important part of the time of prayer.

First Reading: Gen. 9:8-15
Second Reading: 1 Pet. 3:18-22

Read the Text

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark 1:12-15

The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness
and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan.
He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee.
There he proclaimed the Good News from God.
The time has come’ he said and the kingdom of God is close at hand.
Repent, and believe the Good News.’

Words/phrases

Suggest that each person says a word or a phrase which stayed with them from the reading (with no comment from anyone else)

Reflection

The Gospel of Mark begins with an introduction. We are introduced to Jesus who is Son of God and Christ. John bears witness to him and then even the Father’s voice from Heaven tells us that this is his beloved Son… and we are called to listen to him.

Now, in our Gospel today, we are surprised a little. Jesus is driven out’ by the Spirit to the Desert. It seems a surprise. The language is even something beyond what we would imagine… Jesus is “driven out” but the Spirit? Surely, this is strange…. if he is really Son of God, how can he be “driven out” by the Spirit?

There is an invitation here to expand our parameters. The Kingdom of God is often found in the most unlikely of places, places to which we would never go unless we are “driven out” there. Christ, the Son of God, is to be found in the Desert, with the wild animals… not where we might have expected to find him, but there because that is where the Spirit has driven him.

This Lent is a time to be “driven out”, to be forced into expanding our parameters. So often we miss the Kingdom all around us, because our minds are so entrenched within parameters that we set for ourselves. Christ is to be found where we would not expect. Christ is to be found in our dry prayers, as often as in the moments of consolation in prayer. Christ is to be found in the tears of mourning as well as in the joy of life. Christ is to be found in the fast and hunger as well as in the times of plenty. Expand your parameters! Open your eyes and let the Spirit “drive you out” a little this Lent to discover God present there where you thought him absent!

The Kingdom of God is very near! The time is here! The Kingdom is nearer than we might think. God is present in this time. Repenting is only opening up our eyes to see things differently, to know Christ present where we may have thought him absent.

Allow for at least ten to fifteen minutes of silence. If people choose, they may wish to share some idea that has come to them.


Prayer

In this springtime of faith, we come with honesty before God.
We ask him to help us to look at our lives and our attitudes to different things.
May the Spirit guide us in these days to see the goodness of God and to place that to the fore in our world.

We pray for those who have lost a sense of themselves by becoming too attached to material possessions or popularity or power.
We ask God to restore in them the sense that they are his beloved children. Lord, hear us.

We pray for those who are hungry.
May we do without some food in this time of fasting to help those who are hungry.
Lord, hear us.

Christ entered into his ministry through the forty days in the desert.
May these forty days of Lent restore in his Church a sense of its mission and purpose.
Lord, hear us.

We remember our own need and intentions (silent pause)…..
Lord, hear us.

Together we pray to the Father who loves us, guides us and directs us in all our ways:
Our Father……

Final thought

“Mystery” (from the writings of Cardinal Basil Hume)

The meaning of things, and their purpose, is in part now hidden,
but shall in the end become clear.
The Choice is between the mystery and the absurd.
To embrace the mystery is to discover the real.
It is to walk towards the light, to glimpse the morning star,
to catch sight from time to time of what is truly real
It is no more than a flicker of light through the cloud of unknowing,
a fitful ray of light that is a messenger from the sun that is hidden from your gaze.
You see the light but not the sun.
When you set yourself to look more closely, you will begin to see some sense
In the darkness that surrounds you.
Your eyes will begin to pick out the shape of things and persons around you.
You will begin to see in them the presence of the One who gives them meaning and purpose,
and that it is He who is the explanation of them all.