The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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March 16, 2001 Issue
Summoned to Serve

Praying with Sunday's Scriptures

March 25, 2001, Fourth Sunday of Lent, Cycle C
Reading I: Joshua 5:9-12
Reading II: 2 Corinthians 5:17-21
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11-14

By Jane Angha

Summoned to Serve

Focus: Forgiveness, reconciliation and hope challenge believers to repent, forgive and change.

Opening Prayer

Lord God, we thank you for the many gifts you give us. But most of all we are grateful for the gift of forgiveness. Open our hearts and minds today as we break open your Word and seek out the healing message of mercy and love. We pray this in the name of Jesus the Messiah. Amen.

Scripture Sharing: What thought, line or image from the Scripture readings caught your attention?

Reflection: The Israelites were finally free from wandering in the desert. Their sinfulness was forgiven and they were now to enter the promised land, a rich and bountiful gift in return for their obedience and faithfulness.

Paul tells the believers that with Christ we are new persons and because of the gift of the resurrection, we are no longer bound to our old ways of sin. In fact we are called to be "ambassadors for Christ," that through the lives of the faithful, others would be brought to Christ.

The Gospel story of the Prodigal son is a reminder to the faithful that all are offered forgiveness and mercy. Like the brother in the story, people who have lived holy and upright lives are not in an exclusive club or favored by God. God offers to all the same gifts of love, mercy and forgiveness. Once that is understood and embraced, the depth and breadth of God's love can be experienced.

Faith Sharing

1. Describe a time when you experienced forgiveness when least expected or deserved.

2. How are you an ambassador for Christ? At home? At work?

3. Who do you identify with in the Gospel: the father, the son or the brother?

Action Response: How are you 'summoned to serve'?

1. Take time to do a thorough examination of conscience and celebrate the sacrament of reconciliation this week.

2. Find a way to be Christ in your world: work at a soup kitchen, volunteer at a local school, visit an elderly or homebound parishioner and share the Good News!

Closing Prayer

Individuals offer their intentions to bring to prayer.

Lord, we thank you for the gift of forgiveness and the possibility of reconciliation. We are grateful for opening our hearts to your healing Word today. Be with us as we leave and grant us the strength and courage to love and forgive others. Show us how to be your ambassadors and how to show others in a simple but powerful way that we are grateful and joy-filled because of your love and mercy. We ask you to bless us in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

(Angha is a religious educator at St. Paul Parish, Combined Locks.)

Readings for the Week (March 18-24)

Sunday, March 18: (Third Sunday of Lent) Ex 3:1-8a,13-15; 1 Cor 10:1-6, 10-12; Lk 13:1-9.

Monday, March 19: (Joseph, Husband of the Virgin Mary) 2 sm 7:4-5a,12-14a,16; Rom 4:13,16-18,22; Mt 1:16,18-21,24a or Lk 2:41-51a.

Tuesday, March 20: Dn 3:25,34-43; Mt 18:21-35.

Wednesday, March 21: Dt 4:1,5-9; Mt 5:17-19.

Thursday, March 22: Jer 7:23-28; Lk 11:14-23.

Friday, March 23: (Toribio de Morgrovejo, bishop) Hos 14:2-10; Mk 12:28b-34.

Saturday, March 24: Hos 6:1-6; Lk 18:9-14.

Readings for the Week (March 26-April 1)

Monday, March 26: (The Annunciation of the Lord) Is 7:10-14;8:10; Heb 10:4-10; Lk 1:26-38.

Tuesday, March 27: Ez 47:1-9,12; Jn 5:1-16.

Wednesday, March 28: Is 49:8-15; Jn 5:17-30.

Thursday, March 29: Ex 32:7-14; Jn 5:31-47.

Friday, March 30: Wis 2:1a,12-22; Jn 7:1-2,10,25-30.

Saturday, March 31: Jer 11:18-20; Jn 7:40-53.

Sunday, April 1: (Fifth Sunday of Lent) Is 43:16-21; Phil 3:8-14; Jn 8:1-11.

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