Praying with Sunday's Scriptures
Editor's note: To help small faith-sharing groups, couples, individuals and others continue the Renew 2000 experience of Praying with Sunday's Scriptures, a Diocesan Faith Sharing writing Team has prepared a weekly series for Lent using the Renew model. The series is being distributed to parish leaders and will appear in The Compass the week before that Sunday.
March 19, 2006, 3rd Sunday of Lent
Reading I: Exodus 20:1-17
Reading II: I Corinthians 1:22-25
Gospel: John 2:13-25
Focus: God's Ten commandments are a central part of our faith.
Opening Prayer: Ps. 19, 8-9
All: The law of the Lord is perfect, refreshing the soul.
The decree of the Lord is trustworthy, giving wisdom to the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart. The command of the Lord is clear, enlightening the eye.
Scripture Sharing: Read the scriptures aloud. Pause for a moment between the readings. Each group member is invited to share an idea from one of the readings, which had an impact on him or her.
Reflection: Each of us has a personal relationship with God. We are all moving at our own pace in this relationship, but our goal is the same-Salvation! Our God loves us so much that he left a perfect map as a guide for us to follow, the Ten Commandments. Each commandment means so much more than the words that comprise it. God also wants us to know how powerful and righteous he is. He wants us to pay attention to every minute of our lives so that temptation cannot rule, but rather his love and mercy.
Faith Sharing: Discuss each of the first three commandments that refer to our relationship to God. Discuss what each means for us today.
1. "I, the Lord, am your God ... You shall not have other gods besides me."
"You shall not take the name of the Lord, your God, in vain."
"Remember to keep holy the Sabbath day."
2. The fourth through tenth commandments refer to our relationship with other people. Discuss your relationships - are there people in your life who "drive you crazy?" How do you handle these kinds of relationships? What can you change to make them better for all involved?
Readings for the Week
Monday, March 13: Dn 9:4b-10; Ps 79:8-9,11-13; Lk 6:36-38.
Tuesday, March 14: Is 1:10.16-20; Ps 50:8-9,16bc-17,21,23; Mt 23:1-12.
Wednesday, March 15: Jer 18;18-20; Ps 31:5-6,14-16; Mt 20:17-28.
Thursday, March 16: Jer 17:5-10; Ps 1:1-4,6: Lk 16:19-31.
Friday, March 17: (Patrick, bishop) Gn 37:3-4,12-13a,17b-28; Ps 105:16-21; Mt 21:33-43,45-46.
Saturday, March 18: (Cyril of Jerusalem, bishop, doctor of the Church) Mi 7:14-15,18-20; Ps 103:1-4,9-12; Lk 15:1-3,11-32.
Sunday, March 19: (Third Sunday of Lent) Ex 20:1-17 or 20:1-3,7-8,12-17; Ps 19:8-11; 1 Cor 1:22-25; Jn 2:13-25.
Suggested Action Response:
1. Every night before you go to sleep, do an examination of conscience and think about where you need to change and how you can change.
2. Relationships with God and others are your responsibility. Act, don't react.
3. Think about someone that your relationship with isn't quite right. Figure out what is wrong with the relationship. Do whatever it takes to fix that relationship.
Closing Prayer: Individuals offer their prayer intentions. Ps. 19, 14-15
All: From willful sins keep your servant, let them never control me.
Then shall I be blameless, innocent of grave sin.
Let the words of my mouth meet with your favor, keep the thoughts of my heart before you,
Lord, my rock and my redeemer.
(Pat Resch, Diocesan Writing Team for Faith Sharing Sessions, 2006)