Praying with Sunday's Scriptures
Editor's note: To help small faith-sharing groups, a Diocesan Faith Sharing Writing Team has prepared a Lenten series using the Renew model. The series will appear in The Compass throughout Lent. The readings will return in the March 29 issue. Readings for the upcoming week will continue to be listed.
March 24, 2002, Passion (Palm) Sunday
Reading I: Isaiah 50:4-9
Reading II: Philippians 2:5-11
Gospel: Matthew 26:14--27:54
By Marge Mattice
Focus: The gift of our baptismal vision demands fidelity and perseverance at all cost.
Father, in your loving design, your gift to us at our baptism was a vision that draws us out of ourselves and challenges us to make that vision a reality in a world very much in need. May we draw courage to continue in this vision, as we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, your Son, whose faithfulness cost him his life. We ask this in his name. Amen.
Scripture Sharing: What thought, line or image from the Scripture readings caught your attention?
Reflection: Today's readings are each a brushstroke that paints the portrait of the one who at the cost of his life clings to his inner vision. Short weeks ago, Jesus rose from the waters of his baptism in the Jordan by John, the seed of a vision planted in his heart by his Father. It's a vision that in the end swallowed him up in death.
But what of us? At our Baptism, we too were implanted with the seed of that very same vision. By grace this seed will come to bear fruit, planted in the soil of gratitude, watered by fidelity and pruned by self-discipline. The gift of a vision is from outside us, yet deepest within us; one that is life-giving to the extent we die to self. The paradoxical nature of the Christian life could not be more evident.
It is our faith and confidence in the promise-making and the promise-keeping of a gracious and loving Father who sees and loves in us what he saw and loved in his Son that overcomes every obstacle that would stand in the way of our handing our life over to the Father.
1. When has your personal vision for yourself, your spouse or a child cost you? How did it cost you?
2. How is your personal vision intertwined with your baptismal vision?
3. What obstacles present themselves as you struggle to live out your gift of a vision? Are the obstacles internal or external?
Action Response: How are you 'summoned to serve'?
1. Write a statement of your baptismal vision.
2. Pray about specific ways you can be supportive of someone in their efforts to live out their baptismal vision.
3. Prayerfully, slowly, read the account of the passion of Jesus. Compose a prayer of gratitude for the courage and fidelity that Jesus modeled for us.
Individuals offer their intentions to bring to prayer.
Loving Father, in grace your vision of a kingdom of unity and everlasting peace grows into fullness. By your loving design, we follow in the footsteps of your Son, Jesus. We find our courage in his faithfulness. Direct our every step towards you until at last we are in your loving embrace. Amen.
(Marge Mattice is a member of Holy Rosary Parish, Kewaunee)