JANUARY 2018: HOPE: EXPERIENCING CHRIST AS I AM

PMPT THEME 2018

BEING DISCPLES OF HOPE

JAN 2018

 HOPE: EXPERIENCING CHRIST AS I AM

Introduction to the theme and sub themes for 2018

As we continue to reflect on the theme of ‘Being Disciples of Hope’ in the year 2018, we are called to experience and share this hope in three dimensions:-

  • Self – A call to personal growth in becoming Disciples of Hope.
  • Relationships – A call to appreciate and share hope in the family.
  • Mission – A call to respond to “Common Needs” of society.

Firstly, we need to experience this hope in ourselves. It is only when we personally experience Christ’s love, joy and healing can we grow in hope and share these effectively with others.

Secondly, we need to appreciate persons in our lives and to share hope in our relationships, especially in the family. This continues the focus on the Family begun by the Synod on Family which took place in 2015.

Finally, we need to share this hope beyond boundaries to all and to “Become Missionary Disciples” as called for by the Bishops after the PMPC IV.

The sub themes also focuses on being ‘Christ Centred’ in all that we do. It is He who gives us the fullness of that hope. Therefore each sub theme includes the word “Christ” to reinforce our hope in Christ as Our Saviour.

The Synod of Youth which will take place in 2018 (Oct Theme) and the various liturgical events are also taken into account to help us have a deeper and fruitful experience through these celebrations.

(By Peninsular Malaysia Pastoral Team, PMPT Core Team)

 

JAN 2018

HOPE: EXPERIENCING CHRIST AS I AM

+ PRAY THE PRAYER TO THE HOLY FAMILY (p. 24)

Focus: An intimate relationship with Christ through personal and community prayer and following the promptings of the Holy Spirit.

INTRODUCTION: There are many verses in the New Testament speaking about our organic union with Christ, and one of the greatest verses in the bible is 1 Cor 6:17, “He who is joined to the Lord is in one spirit”. What does it really mean to be one spirit with the Lord? This union implies that Christ is in us, we are in him, and it also implies that he has joined and mingled himself with us making us both one. How wonderful we are to be one in Spirit with the Lord. Being one with the lord, we can ‘Experience Christ as I am’. (PMPT Core Team)

 

OPENING SONG:  HE (GOD) (SYPG N.20)

He can turn the tides and calm the angry sea

He alone decides who writes a symphony

He lights ev’ry star that makes our darkness bright

He keeps watch all thro’ each long and lonely night

He still finds the time to hear a child’s final prayer

Saint or sinner call and always find him there

Tho’ it makes Him sad to see the way we live.

He’ll always say “I forgive”

He will come to us and heal our sinful soul

He alone can say, “Thy sins I forgive thee”

He will light your way and make your darkness bright

He keeps watch all thro’ the lonely years ahead

He still finds the time to wipe our tears away

Saint or sinner still He loves us all the same

Tho’ it hurts Him much to see the way we live.

He’ll always say “I forgive”

 

DIALOGUE

(A personal journey of faith)

I am a Kadazan and my husband is Chinese. We have four children. At the time of our marriage in the Catholic church, my husband was  a Buddhist. Even before marriage, I have always placed faith as important in my personal life as a Catholic. I serve in the Music Ministry during Mass.

Being a wife and mother, I was busy with my family commitments but I did not neglect my faith and my service in the Church. I always brought  my children with me to church. I was very grateful to God that my husband never stopped me from going to church with my children. Whenever I saw all my friends coming to church as a family, I felt sad and wanted my whole family to become a Catholic family too.

With the support and prayer of Priest, Religious Sisters and friends, my faith was reinforced and I continued to pray that God would change the lives of my family. In my mind, I knew it might not be easy for my husband to change his beliefs, but with firmness of faith, I continued to pray and also invited the Religious Sisters to my home for BEC gatherings, Rosary and Divine Mercy Prayer. At times, I felt the responsibility of caring for my family tiring, but I always experienced joy and comfort in being involved. I believe it is the power of God.

With steadfast faith, I kept on praying that my husband’s heart and mind would be enlightened to meet and know the Saviour, Jesus Christ. Praise be to God after 10 years, my earnest longing and  hope has come true. My husband and our four children were baptised in the Catholic Church in 2017. My happiness knew no bounds- except  to praise the greatness of Almighty God who is  always accompanying, protecting and blessing my family.

Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person

  • What touched you from the sharing above?
  • Share your personal experience with God.

DISCERNMENT

Biblical Text: Jn 15: 5

  1. Ask the Holy Spirit for openness to encounter Christ and to be encountered by Christ
  2. Read the text two or three times
  3. Be in silence with the text – read silently by your own
  4. What words or phrase caught your attention? Write it down

 

——————————————————————————————–

  1.  (Choose only one from #4): What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Write it down

 

_________________________________________________________

  1. Share in small groups(3-4 persons) on # 4  and #5

 

DEEDS

Take a time of silence.

What concrete actions can you take to experience God MORE in your life? (Share with the person next to you)

 

CONCLUDING PRAYER: (Gather in twos, take turns to express your prayer in front of each other. The partner listens and supports in silence. When all have finished praying, conclude by singing the song)

 

CONCLUDING SONG: HEAVENLY FATHER (SYPG N.21)

Heavenly Father, I appreciate you (2x)

I love you, adore you

I bow down before you

Heavenly Father, I appreciate you

Son of God, what a wonder you are (2x)

You cleansed my soul from sin

Sent the Holy Spirit within

Son of God, what a wonder you are

Holy Spirit, what a comfort you are (2x)

You lead me, you guide me

You live right inside me

Holy Spirit, what a comfort you are

 

Food for the Journey: To be read at Home (On Encounter)

Church Document Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of The Gospel, no. 3

I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since “no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord”.[1]

The Lord does not disappoint those who take this risk; whenever we take a step towards Jesus, we come to realize that he is already there, waiting for us with open arms. Now is the time to say to Jesus: “Lord, I have let myself be deceived; in a thousand ways I have shunned your love, yet here I am once more, to renew my covenant with you. I need you. Save me once again, Lord, take me once more into your redeeming embrace”.

How good it feels to come back to him whenever we are lost! Let me say this once more: God never tires of forgiving us; we are the ones who tire of seeking his mercy. Christ, who told us to forgive one another “seventy times seven” (Mt 18:22) has given us his example: he has forgiven us seventy times seven.

Time and time again he bears us on his shoulders. No one can strip us of the dignity bestowed upon us by this boundless and unfailing love. With a tenderness which never disappoints, but is always capable of restoring our joy, he makes it possible for us to lift up our heads and to start anew. Let us not flee from the resurrection of Jesus, let us never give up, come what will. May nothing inspire more than his life, which impels us onwards!

[1] Paul VI, Apostolic Exhortation Gaudete in Domino (9 May 1975), 22: AAS 67 (1975), 297.

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