The Compass: Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay
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August 10, 2001 Issue
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

Summoned to Serve

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 my prayer.

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 prayer.

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?

Faith Sharing

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.

Closing Prayer

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.)

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