QUESTIONS FOR REFLECTION AND DISCUSSION
for the “half week” between Ash Wednesday and the First Sunday of Lent.
Lent is a time for “metanoia,” a change of mind. This is discipleship: To read, reflect on the word of God, call into question goals, attitudes, priorities, lifestyle.
Invitation: Take time to think. Ask where you are going spiritually. Join a discussion group. Make changes in your priorities, time-schedule, interests. Check your focus..
Ask yourself in prayer and others in discussion, for each statement below: “Do you see this in the Scripture reading? What response does it invite?
Joel 2:12-18: Lent summons us as individuals to convert as a community. Whom does our “community” include?
Matthew 6: 1-18: We have to embrace both “religion,” and “spirituality.”
The watchword for Christian authenticity is “both-and” as opposed to “either-or.”
One’s interior, divine act of sharing in God’s knowledge might “take flesh” in human concepts and words that do not perfectly agree with the truth we possess in faith. We “possess” more than we “profess.”
2Corinthians 5:20 to 6:2: Is it time to open our doors to everyone we recognize as having “become Christ” through Baptism?
Deuteronomy 30: 15-20: The basic “either-or” choice of human existence (post revelation) is to listen to God’s words and try to act on them; or to refuse.
We read God’s word with expectations based not on our abilities, but on God.
Luke 9:22-25: Jesus did not come to teach a human way of life. He calls us to live on the level of God and empowers us to do it.
Isaiah 58: 1-9 and Matthew 9: 14-15: The heart and soul of Christianity.is relationship with Jesus and through him with the Father and Spirit.
The Pharisees see religious acts as doing. Jesus sees them as expressions of relationship
Isaiah 58: 9-14: Two levels of response to God are: 1. To focus on living well (in both senses) on earth; 2. To focus on relationship with God and “life to the full.”
The first focus brings well-being on earth, restores and renews human society. The second brings “delight in the Lord” himself.
Luke 5: 27-32: If we are good enough not to feel we are bad, we may settle for decent human behavior. But it is “unnatural” not to long for the “supernatural.”
Participate in both Catholic and Protestant Lenten observances.
Make the choice: commit d
uring Lent to learning from Jesus.
Be a thinker. Ask what you are expressing when you act.