Summoned to Serve|
Praying with Sunday's Scriptures
Jesus summons us to serve even as we find that our beliefs can cause divisions
Editor's note: To help small faith-sharing groups, couples,
individuals and others continue the Renew 2000 experience of
praying with the Sunday Scriptures, a Diocesan Faith Sharing
Writing Team has prepared a monthly series using the Renew model.
The series is being distributed to parish leaders and will appear
in The Compass the week before that Sunday.
|Aug. 19, Twentieth Sunday in Ordinary Time, Cycle C
Reading I: Jeremiah 38:1-2,4-6,8-10
Reading II: Hebrews 12:1-4
Gospel: Luke 12:49-56
By Carol Jensen
Focus: "We are challenged to face the demands and divisions that
being a follower of Jesus can bring."
Opening Prayer: (Psalm 102) Yahweh, hear my prayer. Yahweh, hear
Let my cry for help reach you. Yahweh, hear my prayer.
Do not hide your face from me. Yahweh, hear my prayer.
When I am in trouble, bend down to listen to me. Yahweh, hear my
When I call, be quick to answer me. Yahweh, hear my prayer.
Scripture Sharing: What thought, line or image from the Scripture readings caught your attention?
Reflection: This week's readings are filled with the challenges
and passions of being a prophet, of standing up for one's
beliefs. In the Gospel, we hear Jesus say that he has come to
shake things up - to bring fire to us and to the earth. In the
first reading, we see what can happen when Jeremiah risks sharing
his passion and fire to speak the truth. In the reading from
Hebrews we are comforted by those who have gone before us and
challenged to keep our eye on Jesus.
The readings invite us to examine our life - to ask whether we
are "on fire." If not, why not?
1. Share a time when you felt "on fire" about your faith. How did
you act on that feeling?
2. Jesus talked about bringing division. Share a time when you
(or someone you know) have had to stand up for your beliefs.
3. The reading from the Letter to the Hebrews reminds us that we
are surrounded by a "cloud of witnesses." Who in your "cloud" has
been a passionate example of what it means to follow Jesus?
Action Response: How are you "summoned to serve"?
1. Talk with someone who is passionately involved in a cause you
are curious about. Commit to one simple action you can take this
week that will support them in their work.
2. Read the life story of Saints Francis of Assisi or Ignatius of
Loyola, who both became passionate about following Jesus.
3.Volunteer one extra hour this week for a faith-related cause
you are passionate about.
Individuals offer their intentions to bring to our God of
compassion and love.
As we listen to your Word, Lord, be with us.
As we hear your challenge, Lord, be with us.
As we ask for strength, Lord, be with us.
(Jensen directs Interparish Adult Enrichment at St. Joseph and
St. Mary parishes, Appleton, and is a member of the Diocesan
Writing Team for Faith Sharing Sessions, 2001.)