THEME: HOPE – I BECOME ALL THINGS IN CHRIST
Event: Bible Sunday
Social Media Trend: #HEistheword
Opening prayer: Invite a member of the BEC to say the opening prayer, then pray together the Prayer to the Holy Spirit
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
And kindle in them the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and they shall be created.
And you will renew the face of the earth.
by the light of the Holy Spirit
you have taught the hearts of your faithful.
In the same Spirit
help us to relish what is right
and always rejoice in your consolation.
Come and remain in us, O Holy Spirit
enlighten us to reflect, share and live God’s Word
in our daily encounter with You, O Lord.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Introduction: Apostle Paul adapted his teaching to the thoughts and cultures of the people so that he can reach out to them. As a religious Jew, he would use the law to speak to the Jews; to the Gentiles he would draw on his conscience and culture.
Paul’s aim was to win others to Christ; to save others; and to be a partaker in the benefits of the Gospel himself. His apostolic freedom is a freedom to love and serve in a constructive and creative way.
OPENING HYMN: Song of a Young Prophet (SYPG B.43)
Chorus: Oh the Word of my Lord, deep within my being.
Oh the Word of my Lord, you have filled my mind.
1. Before I formed you in the womb,
I knew you thru’ and thru’
I chose you to be mine before you left your mother’s side
I called to you my child to be my sign.
2. I know that you are very young, but I will make you strong
I will fill you with my word,
And you will travel through the land
Fulfilling my command, which you have learned.
DIALOGUE During the last conclave (meeting to elect the Pope) a cardinal from Ghana, Cardinal Peter Turkson recalled, “Just before the conclave, when all the cardinals gathered, we shared our views. There was a certain mood: ‘Let’s get a change’. That kind of mood was strong inside, a desire for change was there.” “Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) was basically unknown to all those gathered there.” Turkson continues, “But then he gave a talk – it was kind of his own manifesto. He advised those of us gathered that we need to think about the Church that goes out to the periphery – not just geographically but to the periphery of human existence. For him, the Gospel invites us all to have sort of sensitivity. That was his contribution. And it brought a sort of freshness to the exercise of pastoral care, a different experience of taking care of God’s people. ”
Buzz with the person next to you. Buzz a second time with another person
1. Since his election, in what ways has Pope Francis demonstrated that he is a man who is reaching out to people from different cultures, religions and social and economic backgrounds?”
2. What are some of the ways in which your BEC responded to the Church to reach out to people in the ‘periphery’ – the poor, marginalised, elderly, lonely, etc.?
Biblical text: 1Corinthians 9:19-23
1. Read the text two or three times
2. Be in silence with the text – read silently on your own
3. What words or phrase caught your attention? Write it down
4. (Choose only one from #3): What is the Holy Spirit saying to you? Write it down
5. Share in small groups (3-4 persons) on #3 and #4
DEED The scripture text invites us to respond to the God of Love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others (Evangelii Gaudium, no. 39) 1. As an individual how can you reach out to others in the ‘peripheries’? 2. What can you do in small ways to “become all things to all people” in your BECs and to people around you?
Concluding Prayer: Invite another member of the BEC to say the closing prayer.
Closing Hymn: Follow Christ (SYPG D.8)
1. Follow Christ and love the world as He did, When He walked upon the earth. Love each friend and enemy as He did; In God’s eyes we have equal worth.
2. Follow Christ and serve the world as He did, When He ministered to everyone. Serve each friend and enemy as He did; So that the Father’s will be done.
Food for the Journey: (Respond to the God of Love)
Church Document Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of The Gospel, no. 39
Just as the organic unity existing among the virtues means that not one of them can be excluded from the Christian ideal, so no truth may be denied. The integrity of the gospel message must not be deformed.
What is more, each truth is better understood when related to the harmonious totality of the Christian message; in this context all of the truths are important and illumine one another.
When preaching is faithful to the Gospel, the centrality of certain truths is evident and it becomes clear that Christian morality is not a form of stoicism, or self-denial, or merely a practical philosophy or a catalogue of sins and faults.
Before all else, the Gospel invites us to respond to the God of love who saves us, to see God in others and to go forth from ourselves to seek the good of others. Under no circumstances can this invitation be obscured! All of the virtues are at the service of this response of love.
If this invitation does not radiate forcefully and attractively, the edifice of the Church’s moral teaching risks becoming a house of cards, and this is our greatest risk.
It would mean that it is not the Gospel which is being preached, but certain doctrinal or moral points based on specific ideological options. The message will run the risk of losing its freshness and will cease to have “the fragrance of the Gospel”.
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