LECTIO DIVINA every Monday evening, 8.15pm-9.30pm,
led by two members of the Orlagh-in-the-city community, John Byrne and Bernadette Toal
in St. Augustine's, Taylor's Lane, Ballyboden


In addition to Kieran's notes (available at
tarsus.ie), the following collection of comments on the gospel may be of use to Lectio Divina groups.

October 6, 2019 (pdf version here)

October 13 here

October 20 here

Luke 17:5   The apostles said to the Lord, “Increase our faith!” 6 The Lord replied, “If you had faith the size of a mustard seed, you could say to this mulberry tree, ‘Be uprooted and planted in the sea,’ and it would obey you.

Luke 17:7   “Who among you would say to your slave who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field, ‘Come here at once and take your place at the table’? 8 Would you not rather say to him, ‘Prepare supper for me, put on your apron and serve me while I eat and drink; later you may eat and drink’? 9 Do you thank the slave for doing what was commanded? 10 So you also, when you have done all that you were ordered to do, say, ‘We are worthless slaves; we have done only what we ought to have done!’”
Throughout history the followers of Jesus have seen years of fidelity to the gospel as well as dark hours of infidelity, times of strong faith and times of crisis and uncertainty. Do we not need to ask the Lord to increase our faith?

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us that faith does not consist in believing in something but in believing in you, incarnate Son of God. Open or hearts to your Spirit; let your Word break through to us; may we learn to live the way you did and to follow closely in your footsteps. You are the one who awakens our faith.

Lord, increase our faith! Give us a faith focused on essentials, and not on additions that take us away from the core of the gospel - faith in your living presence in our hearts and in our communities of believers.

Lord, increase our faith! Give us a stronger life-giving relationship with you. Give us a radiant faith that will lead us to a new phase of Christianity, more faithful to your Spirit and to the course you trace.

Lord, increase our faith! Help us to identify ourselves with the project of the kingdom of God. Help us to live our faith humbly with passion for God and passion for every human being.

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us to make the change to a life more true to the gospel. Let us not resign ourselves to a watered down Christianity. Teach us to follow you by taking up our cross each day.

Lord, increase our faith! Teach us to discover that faith does not consist in believing in a God who suits us, but in one who strengthens our responsibility and expands our capacity to love.

Lord, increase our faith! Let us your experience your risen presence among us as you renew our` lives and inspire our communities.

JOSÉ A PAGOLA - Following in the Footsteps of Jesus
Thought for the day

The cry of the disciples to the Lord, “increase our faith,” resonates very much with us today. Is being a person of faith harder today than it has ever been? In one sense no: previous generations too had to struggle. But today has its particular challenges. For the most part, public discourse is against faith in general and against church in particular. It would be easy to lose heart. Just holding on to faith would be enough, not to mention growing!! We grow in faith by desire and by practice—desire for God and the practice of prayer. The times call us to focus on the heart of the Christian project—Jesus and the Gospel—and on the heart of discipleship—love and service.

KIERAN O’MAHONY OSA - www.tarsus.ie

THE PARABLE

The parable indicates that a servant’s place is to serve and it is foolish to think of their role in any other way. Here Jesus is not to be seen promoting systems that oppress; rather he is using an example from daily life to say to the disciples to be careful that your attitude to God is not one of asking ‘what’s in it for me?’ Again and again the gospel of Luke makes it very clear that the way of the disciple is hard but that is only because dying to yourself is hard.

The paradox is that this is the only way to be really alive and at peace with the world.

SEAN GOAN - Let the Reader Understand, Year C
If you decide to meditate on the first section, enter into the movement of the story, identifying with the request of the apostles as well as with Jesus’ response. Be careful how you handle the obvious exaggeration in the saying: remain faithful to the dramatic promise, but at the same time let your meditation be rooted in actual experience.
This warning is specially important here as we could draw wrong conclusions from this parable – that God is a harsh taskmaster, for example, or that employers should treat their employees as the parable suggests.  

Scriptural Reflections

    Lord, we remember with gratitude people we have known
       who have done good work without any fuss:
       – good neighbours,
       – those who care for the sick and the disabled.
       – parents,
       the kind of people who when they had worked hard all day and returned home,
       took it for granted that they must get supper laid,
       make themselves tidy and wait on others while they ate and drank,
       content that they themselves would eat and drink afterwards.

     
  “There is another manner of loving which is when the soul seeks to serve our Lord for nothing in return, for love alone, without demanding to know the reason why, and without any reward of grace or glory.”   Beatrice of Nazareth                Lord, forgive us that we turn our prayer life into bargaining with you,
       expecting that because we have done your will, you will tell us,
       “Come and have your meal immediately”.
       Lead us to that prayer where we leave ourselves totally in your hands,
 and when we have done all we have been told to do,
       we say, “We are merely servants who have done no more than our duty.”

MICHEL DE VERTEUIL - Lectio Divina on the Sunday Gospel
POINTERS FOR PRAYER

1. Faith can move mountains… well it can certainly get us moving. Recall a time when you were full of self-doubt, skepticism about a project, or lacking trust in God. What was that like? Contrast this with times when you believed in yourself, or in the value of a project you had undertaken, or when your faith and trust in God was strong. What kind of faith have you found enriched your life?

2. Faith is like a mustard seed, small, and sometimes we may be tempted to wait till our faith grows. Part of the message in the gospel is to use the faith we have, even though it may be small. That is how we grow in belief in ourselves and in God’s presence in our lives. Does your experience back up this?

3. It is nice when what we do is recognized and acknowledged, but the desire for recognition leaves us vulnerable. It is not always forthcoming. It can be helpful if our main motivation in doing something is the value of the action itself. Have you experienced this?

4. Love is a free gift. What is given lovingly is not given because of a claim. What is your experience of the freedom of love given and received?

JOHN BYRNE OSA - Intercom