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Faith Formation Ink Slingers Kerri Prayer

Lectio Divina: The Feast of Christ the King (2016)

christ-the-king-2016I have never mentioned it in these posts, but most of the time I do my lectio divina prayer time in preparation for this article in front of the Blessed Sacrament. I have a regular hour on Monday nights and it is the perfect time to sit in quiet contemplation with the Word.

My parish’s Adoration Chapel is beautiful, and the architecture of it is very inviting for prayer and time with our Lord. Above our gorgeous monstrance hangs a large crucifix. This past Monday while I was reading the upcoming Sunday Gospel and writing out my thoughts, my eyes kept gazing upon the crucifix. It was pretty powerful to be contemplating both the crucifix in front of me as well as the Blessed Sacrament while reading a short account of the crucifixion. It was a great reminder of the pain and suffering Jesus went through for us.

This coming Sunday is the Feast of Christ the King. It is also my parish’s patronal feast day, so it is a big deal in my parish. I will be on retreat this weekend so will not be at my home parish for Mass, I will miss the extra musical instruments and the regal sound they bring to the music. The next time I share a lectio divina article it will be the liturgical new year. So I wish you a happy Feast of Christ the King and a good start to your Advent.

To follow along with me on this lectio divina prayer time, you will want to have the upcoming Sunday Gospel reading for November 20 handy. If you need to review the steps of lectio divina you can find a quick outline from St. Meinrad Archabbey. Remember to read the Gospel passage at the start of each of the four sections below (the ones that start with an “R” word).

READ

What caught my attention:

“Jeered at him.”

“Remember me”

REFLECT: What is God saying to you?

Like I said in my introduction, I found myself continually contemplating the crucifix while I was working on this in the adoration chapel. It was hard not to do. At the same time the hymn “Jesus, remember me” kept going through my head.* It’s such a simple tune, the words are taken directly from this Gospel passage and they are the only words. As a musician I played/sang this tune many times; I find it mesmerizing. The saying, “When you sing, you pray twice” is definitely true with that hymn.

But what I found particularly fascinating about this passage was the words of the Good Thief (traditionally known as St. Dismas) that are so incredibly insightful. How is it that when everyone else thinks that this is the end, that Jesus’ death means that everything is over, this man being crucified for his criminal acts has the wisdom to know that Jesus has done nothing criminal and that he will come into his kingdom. He knows that Jesus is King!! I pray that I can have that much trust and faith.

RESPOND: What do you want to say to God?

Dear Jesus, you are my Lord and my King. Thank you for suffering for me and my sins. I pray that my trust and faith in you is enough. Please help me to increase my faith. Jesus, remember me.

REST

Spend some time in silence after your fourth reading of the passage.

YOUR TURN

Share in the comments, what do you feel God is saying to you in this passage? How would you respond to him? If you use Instagram, be sure to follow Catholic Sistas there and participate in the lectio divina discussion every Friday.

*If you are unfamiliar with the hymn “Jesus, remember me” here is a beautiful version of it on YouTube.

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Discipleship Evangelization Faith Formation Ink Slingers Jesus Is Lord Jesus Is Lord course Martina Series

Jesus Is Lord: Series Introduction

Over the past couple of years, I have had friends, family, and acquaintances ask me about my parish program, Jesus Is Lord, a course that is designed to feed adults in the Faith. Centered upon the core Gospel teachings found in the Kerygma, the Jesus Is Lord course is designed to challenge even the most well-educated Catholics. This past July, I was honored to do a review of chapter five of Sherry Weddell’s book Forming Intentional Disciples. In my discussion, I included a small snippet of what my volunteer work looks like from a facilitator standpoint of this wonderful program.

christ-king3

After much prayer and consideration of the work it would require to bring an otherwise in-person experience to an online platform, I decided to pull the trigger this semester and go for it. I know that not all parishes offer Adult Faith Formation programs and, in some cases, some people are unable to make it for one reason or another. I wanted to share each class not to replace the experience of attending in person, but rather to bring another dimension of learning to the ever-growing digital continent. Our task as Catholics is to reach out and evangelize on the digital continent – I believe sharing the course online is almost necessary to fit the bill of the pope’s call to evangelize. In that spirit, I offer you the classes {or installments} of what it’s like to attend the Jesus Is Lord course at St. William Catholic Church in Round Rock, Texas.

Come, take a walk through our Christian beginnings and learn the truth about our Catholic faith and heritage that is built up on the Word of God. The Word that became flesh in Jesus Christ. Come! Jesus invites you to learn about the innermost mysteries about the Trinity and how we fit into God’s plan.

The Adult Faith Formation program was designed to bring you the truth about the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as you journey with Christ. No matter where you are on your spiritual walk with Christ, the Adult Faith Formation program is for you. 

WHAT IS THE KERYGMA?

sermon_mount02Hector Molina does a great job of explaining what the Kerygma is. Briefly, it is the core Gospel message – the message that all Christians are called to proclaim to the ends of the earth. Catechesis builds upon the Kerygma, but most Catholics do not know what the Kerygma is, much less know how to proclaim it. It is, as Father Uche referred to it on Orientation Night recently, the very essence of what we believe. We can’t make sense of the rest of the teachings of the Church unless we first understand what the Kerygma is.

WHO NEEDS TO KNOW THE KERYGMA?

Anyone who calls themselves Christian should not only be aware of the Kerygma, but unafraid to share it with others.

WHO CAN TAKE THE JESUS IS LORD COURSE?

At our parish, anyone who is a fully initiated Catholic is welcome to participate. Given that this will be an online version, I expect and welcome non-Catholics to join in and participate as well!

BUT I KNOW ALL THAT STUFF ALREADY. I AM A CATECHIST, ATTENDED CATHOLIC SCHOOLS, EVEN GOT A DEGREE FROM A CATHOLIC UNIVERSITY. TELL ME WHY I SHOULD SPEND VALUABLE TIME LEARNING ABOUT THIS…AGAIN?

This is one of my favorite questions. Having spent seven semesters entrenched in our Adult Faith Formation program, six of those facilitating and attending training meetings to both train and mentor incoming facilitators, I feel confident in saying it doesn’t matter how much you think you know. I hate to burst bubbles, but most adults are walking around with grade school level catechesis. I have heard people tell me their Catholic resume and list the reasons why they don’t think they need to attend the Jesus Is Lord course.

Is it basic information? Yes. Is it information that is convicted in the hearts of all Catholics? No. Why should you attend? Because you are a committed student of the Faith and as such you are not in a position to say that your spiritual cup is full. I say this to you because I say it to myself each semester. I have been listening to these same talks for years now. I have yet to attend a class in which I walked away not feeling challenged to learn something new. The course is not about head knowledge – it’s about converting hearts toward a life centered in Christ.

I promise you will be challenged.

OK, OK. NOW WHAT? WHAT DO I DO? CAN A FRIEND JOIN ME?

Great!! Of course friends are invited! It would be a wonderful idea to gather some friends together to go over the material presented each week, followed by answering questions and working on homework in the interim. You will also ideally need a prayer partner, so if you go through this program with friends, you can pray for each other. Going through it by yourself? Ask a friend to pray for you and commit to pray for them as well.

THE NUTS AND BOLTS OF THE NEXT 16 WEEKS

I will be sharing the following each week

  • a summary of the main portion of the class, broken into segments {i.e. teaching, scripture, testimony}
  • videos {where possible},
  • questions for you to answer that cover the content from the evening
  • homework
  • concluding prayer

And there you have it! The new series has begun, so I encourage you to subscribe to the blog if you aren’t already so you don’t miss out on the weekly classes. See you in class, friends!

Meet instructors of the Jesus Is Lord course, Noe Rocha - director of Adult Faith Formation and Father Uche Andeh.
Meet instructors of the Jesus Is Lord course, Noe Rocha – director of Adult Faith Formation and Father Uche Andeh.