Points to Ponder

Weekly thoughts on the Sunday Gospel, readings or a topic...


seeing your life through the lens of the gospels – John 11:1-45
1. Martha and Mary were people of faith but Jesus led them to an even deeper faith. Who were the people who led you to a deeper faith in Jesus? Remember them and give thanks.
2. Martha and Mary were struggling to come to terms with their bereavement. What has helped you in similar situations?
3. The concern of Jesus is palpable and touching. Recall those who matter to you and to whom you matter. Such love mediates God’s love, which surpasses human love with the gift of new life and Easter joy.
4. One can imagine Lazarus as a symbol of people and groups that are written off as dead (sometimes by themselves), and yet through faith come back to life again. Have you had the experience of being revived by faith? Has faith helped to free you from what held you in bondage, or was destructive of your life?  – John Byrne, OSA

The Deep End
In today’s Gospel, Jesus is surrounded by a culture of death. The disciples are afraid to go back to Bethany, the Jews want to stone Jesus to death, Mary and Martha are distraught over the death of their brother Lazarus, and Lazarus himself lies bound in the darkness of the tomb. It appears as if there is no hope. Jesus weeps for his friend and for those around him.
Yet, surrounded by a culture of death and despair, Jesus gives compassion and new life to those in turmoil. It is easy to say that nothing can be done when we are faced with difficult situations in our own lives. Yet Jesus says ‘Lazarus, come forth’ and to the people he says ‘Unbind him, let him go.’ It is a message for all of us to come away from a culture of death; to help unbind one another and to allow ourselves to emerge from the tomb. We are called to take away the stone. Today’s Gospel is a story of liberation. Jesus gives a new insight into the power of faith over death. It is an active faith, one that urges us on to work for change and new life.
‘What did you do while the planet was plundered? What did you do as the earth was unravelling? Surely you did something as the seasons started failing? Surely you did something as the mammals, reptiles and birds were all dying? Did you fill the streets with protest when democracy was stolen? What did you do once you knew?’ (From ‘Hieroglyphic Stairway’ by Drew Dillinger)  – Jane Mellett

(from Intercom)


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Building Hope
Pilgrim God, we give you thanks and praise.
You constantly journey with us even in our darkness and doubts.
We seek your way of loving kindness to walk together as one family.
Open our eyes to recognise you in the faces of one another,
in the breaking of bread and in the splendour of creation.
May the risen Christ sow seeds of hope and new life deep within us.
May our hearts and minds be filled with your Word, bringing forth truth, justice and peace.
May the Holy Spirit working in and through us do much more
than we can dare to imagine as we live out our baptismal calling in humble and loving service.
We make this our prayer through Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Mary, Mother of the Church, pray for us.
St Laurence O’Toole, pray for us.
St Kevin, pray for us.
St Brigid, pray for us.

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