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A Way of Life

 Official Newspaper of the Catholic Diocese of Green Bay, WisconsinApril 15, 2005 Issue  

Praying with Sunday's Scriptures

Stewardship: A Way of Life logo

Editor's note: To help small faith-sharing groups, couples, individuals and others continue the Renew 2000 experience of praying with the Sunday Scripture readings, a Diocesan Faith Sharing Writing Team has prepared a monthly series using the Renew model. The series is distributed to parish leaders and appears in The Compass.

Fourth Sunday of Easter, April 17, 2005

Reading I: Acts 2:1, 4a, 36-41
Reading II: 1Peter 2:20b-25
Gospel: John 10:1-10

By Patti Christensen

Focus: Jesus has come to give us abundant life.

Opening Prayer: Ps. 23:1-3a, 3b-4

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Leader: The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. In verdant pastures he gives me repose;
Beside restful waters he leads me; he refreshes my soul.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Leader: He guides me in right paths for his name's sake. Even though I walk in the dark valley I fear no evil;
for you are at my side, with your rod and your staff that give me courage.

All: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

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

Reflection: Jesus is shown as the Good Shepherd in this Gospel and leads us to safety and pastures us. If we listen for and hear Jesus' voice, we can follow him. We can hear Jesus' voice in the Scriptures and in the breaking of the bread at Mass. Jesus also tells us that we can hear the voice of the Good Shepherd when we enter the Easter Mystery through suffering and the cross into the safety and pasture of abundant life. Jesus has walked the path ahead of us and knows its dangers. Jesus will always call us by name back to safety and be with us every step of the way. This is his promise and we can claim that promise in our lives.

Faith Sharing
1. How does your family give life to each other and to your community?

2. What are some of the hardships you have suffered and crosses you have had as a disciple of Jesus?

3. What are some of the competing voices in our culture that keep you from hearing the voice of Jesus? What helps you recognize the voice of Jesus?

4. How does Jesus as the Good Shepherd lead you to "verdant pastures" and "restful waters?"

Action Response: How do you co-create with God and give life?

1. Give the gift of time, pass on a skill, share a meal with a neighbor, visit relatives or friends.

2. Look at your community and see what needs life: recycling, spring cleaning, plant a school garden.

3. Turn off the competing voices of the TV and spend the night talking together or playing a game.

4. Speak life giving words of encouragement and affirmation to someone in your home.

Closing Prayer (Individuals offer their intentions to bring to prayer.)

God of abundant life, You have sent Your only Son to be our Good Shepherd. Help us to hear and follow His voice. Guide us in our daily walk and the choices we make. Empower us to be co-creators with You in giving life to all those we encounter in our day. We ask this through Jesus who lives with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

(Christensen is the diocesan family life consultant and is a member of the Diocesan Writing Team for Faith Sharing Sessions, 2005.)

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