29 February 2008

Reflection – Reconciliation – Renewal

Each year in our parish towards the middle of Lent, we hold a service of Reflection, Reconciliation and Renewal. It is a time for quiet self-examination and worship, penance and prayer. A short liturgy includes readings from Ezekiel 18:21-32, Psalm 103, and Luke 15:11-32. The following is a resource we offer to those who gather, which I have found helpful.

The questions below are offered for you to reflect upon your life by the light of the Gospel. Knowing and trusting that you are God’s beloved child, allow the Holy Spirit to surface where you have behaved contrary to the teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ in thoughts, words and deeds. When you have finished your reflection those who feel called may go to one of the available priests at the front of the sanctuary, or to a member of Messiah’s healing team at the back.

In relation to God:
• Is my heart set on God, so that I really love God above all things?
• Are private prayer, reading and meditation on Scripture, and Sunday worship with the community a priority?
• Have I love and reverence for the name of God?
• Am I hesitant or ashamed to witness to my faith in Christ in my daily life?
• Am I making an effort to grow spiritually? How? When?
• Am I living as a person of faith, hope and love?
• Do I turn to God only when I am in need?

In relation to my neighbors:
• Am I quick to forgive and slow to judge?
• Do I use others as a means to an end?
• Do I take care of the poor, sick, and defenseless?
• Am I sincere and honest in my dealings with others?
• Have I been the cause of another’s committing sin?
• Are there any relationships that are causing me concern at this time?
• Do I care for and respect the environment in which I live?

In relation to myself:
• Do I truly live as a follower of Christ and give a good example to others?
• Do I really believe that I am made in the image and likeness of God and therefore am one of God’s wondrous creations?
• Am I too concerned about myself, my health and my success?
• What do I spend most of my time thinking about?
• Have I kept my senses and my whole body pure and chaste as a temple of the Holy Spirit?
• Do I bear grudges; do I contemplate revenge?
• Do I seek to be humble and be an instrument of peace?

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