Thanks to all those who decide to use our Lenten Scripture Sharing this year.
We hope that the format of these Scripture Sharings may be of use to people who wish to reflect on the Lenten readings, but for different reasons cannot join a group.
We know that there are many well-established groups both in Kildare & Leighlin and outside who may wish to use these booklets perhaps by Zoom or other media this year… thanks for your faithfulness!
Here are some guidelines to help those who are reflecting in groups:
- Wherever you gather, some focus might be very useful, such as a lighted candle or an icon. This can be very simple but serves to remind people that we gather in the presence of the God who wants to speak to us through his Word.
- Before you begin, it might be an idea to use a small Taize chant or a well-known hymn, just to set the atmosphere.
- It would be good to pray the opening prayer together as a group.
- Take time at the reading of the Gospel passage. This is the most important part of the gathering. Allow for some minutes of silence afterwards.
- Arrange with someone beforehand to read the Reflection. Again, after the reflection, please allow for some time of silence. This can be
followed by a time of sharing, but no-one should be put under
pressure to say anything!
- The prayers given can be supplemented with prayers for the parish or community, or other needs as present themselves.
- The “Final Thought” is meant to give a small idea for people to take away with them. It can be read out loud, or people can read it in their own time.
Thank you once again for your faithfulness to this reflection of the Gospels. We hope it brings you the joy and peace that comes to those who ‘hear God’s Word and keep it’!
We wish to acknowledge our newly appointed Deacons, Vincent Crowley, serving Tullow Parish, Liam Dunne, serving Rathvilly Parish & Chaplain in Carlow College & Eugene Keyes, serving Portlaoise Parish, for generously giving their time to contribute to our Lenten Scripture Sharing with such wonderful reflections and prayers. May these reflections and prayers inspire us all
1st Sunday of Lent
We come here to listen to your Word my God.
We keep vigil in these days with Christ, our brother.
Help us to have his openness to the fragility of our lives here on earth.
Bring us a new sense of our own dependence on you.
The time has come once more.
Help us to open our hearts, to turn around and hear the Good News.
With Mary, we pray:
Hail Mary ….
It is a good idea to read the Gospel a number of times, at least twice. Give some time to silence then….
Remember, this is the most important part of the time of prayer.
First Reading: Gen. 9:8-15
Second Reading: 1 Pet. 3:18-22
Read the Text
A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Mark 1:12-15
The Spirit drove Jesus out into the wilderness, and he remained there for forty days, and was tempted by Satan. He was with the wild beasts, and the angels looked after him.
After John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee. There he proclaimed the Good News from God. ‘The time has come’ he said, ‘and the kingdom of God is close at hand. Repent, and believe the Good News.’
Suggest that each person says a word or a phrase which stayed with them from the reading (with no comment from anyone else)
Our ancestors noticed that the days lengthen at this time of year – and the word lengthen became Lent. These early people rejoiced in their season of Lent, as they set to work in preparation for the new life and the new challenges in the year ahead.
Christian Lent is based on our Gospel reading today. Jesus is in the wilderness. He is exposed to temptation and ‘with wild beasts’. He stands up strongly to these challenges. But why is Jesus fasting out in the wilderness? The answer is that the words ‘The time has come, and the Kingdom of God is close at hand’ signal the start of the Ministry of Jesus on earth. Jesus has gone to the wilderness to get closer to God through self-denial and prayer.
Let us follow the example of Jesus this Lent. Let us draw closer to God through acts of self-denial and prayer. Let our Lent be a preparation for the new challenges and new life in the days ahead of us. If we do, we will be in keeping with both the original understanding of Lent held by our ancestors, and the example of Jesus in the Gospel today.
Allow for a period of five to ten minutes’ silence
Prayers of Intercession
God calls us every day. We have a choice. We can respond to the call or choose to ignore it. Today let us ask God to open our hearts and minds to the call of God.
- We pray for those who have lost their way in recent times. In particular those who feel a sense of hopelessness. We ask God to restore in them the sense that they are Children of a God who loves them and can bring them Hope. Lord hear us.
- Christ entered into ministry after his forty days in the wilderness.
Let us realise that in the wilderness of our world today, God gives meaning to our daily lives.
Lord hear us.
- We remember our own prayers, spoken and unspoken. We pray for these special intentions which are close to our hearts.
Lord hear us.
Together we pray to the Father in the words our Saviour gave to us.
Our Father ….
May, today, there be peace within you.
May you trust God that you are exactly where you are meant to be.
May you not forget the infinite possibilities, that are born of faith.
May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you.
May you be content knowing that you are a child of God.
Let his presence settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance,
and to bask in the sun.
It is there for each and every one of you.
Saint Teresa of Calcutta –
prayer for contentment.