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FROM THE POPE'S LETTER
The contemplation of Christ's face cannot fail to be inspired by all that we are told about him in Sacred Scripture, which from beginning to end is permeated by his mystery, prefigured in a veiled way in the Old Testament and revealed fully in the New, so that Saint Jerome can vigorously affirm: "Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ". Remaining firmly anchored in Scripture, we open ourselves to the action of the Spirit (cf. John 15:26) from whom the sacred texts derive their origin, as well as to the witness of the Apostles (cf. John 15:27), who had a first-hand experience of Christ, the Word of life: they saw him with their eyes, heard him with their ears, touched him with their hands (cf. 1 John 1:1).
There is no doubt that this primacy of holiness and prayer is inconceivable without a renewed listening to the word of God... Scripture has its rightful place of honour in the public prayer of the Church. Individuals and communities now make extensive use of the Bible, and among lay people there are many who devote themselves to Scripture with the valuable help of theological and biblical studies. But it is above all the work of evangelization and catechesis which is drawing new life from attentiveness to the word of God. Dear brothers and sisters, this development needs to be consolidated and deepened, also by making sure that every family has a Bible. It is especially necessary that listening to the word of God should become a life-giving encounter, in the ancient and ever valid tradition of lectio divina, which draws from the biblical text the living word which questions, directs and shapes our lives.
Apostolic Letter of Pope John Paul II - Novo Millennio Ineunte (At the Beginning of the New Millennium),# 17, 39
Take some time of silence to reflect on these words and on the picture on the cover.
A TIME FOR SHARING YOUR FAITH...
-The icon of Christ the Saviour, with the bible below, is found in our Cathedral's Chapel of Unity. The Scriptures enable all Christians to contemplate the face of Christ. After spending time reflecting on the picture share what the image says to you.
- St Jerome said, Ignorance of the Scriptures is ignorance of Christ. How familiar are you with the Bible? Share something of your childhood and adult use of the Bible.
- How might your parish community make better use of the Bible?
GOSPEL REFLECTION: (Luke 24:36-49)
They were still talking about all this when Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, 'Peace be with you!' In a state of alarm and fright, they thought they were seeing a ghost. But he said, 'Why are you so agitated, and why are these doubts rising in your hearts? Look at my hands and feet; yes, it is I indeed. Touch me and see for yourselves; a ghost has no flesh and bones as you can see I have.' And as he said this he showed them his hands and feet. Their joy was so great that they still could not believe it, and they stood there dumbfounded; so he said to them, 'Have you anything here to eat?' And they offered him a piece of grilled fish, which he took and ate before their eyes.
Then he told them, 'This is what I meant when I said, while I was still with you, that everything written about me, in the Law of Moses, in the Prophets and in the Psalms, has to be fulfilled.' He then opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, 'So you see how it is written that the Christ would suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that, in his name, repentance for the forgiveness of sins would be preached to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses to this.'
'And now I am sending down to you waht the Father has promised. Stary in the city then, until you are clothed with the power from on high'
AN EXERCISE IN LECTIO DIVINA...
Take at least fifteen minutes to do this exercise in silence;
- Make yourself comfortable
- In the silence of your heart ask God to open you to his message to you in this Gospel passage.
- Read the passage slowly and peacefully listening for that still small voice of God in a word or phrase that may speak to you.
-If a word, phrase or thought, seems to stand out or spring to mind, stop there, and allow it to speak to you - savour it deeply. (If it only seems a distraction read slowly and peacefully on)
-Take time to allow this word, phrase or thought to speak to your situation, your joys, your fears... and be still in the presence of God.
-Having spent some time listening, now speak back to God.
- Now rest again with God.
A group may wish to share some of their experiences in this prayerful reflection of the gospel, and finish with this prayer.
Risen Lord, thank you for the gift of your word.
Give us the grace to listen with our hearts
and to live it with our lives.
Produced by the Catholic Diocese of Christchurch
for the Centennial of the Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament
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