Engaging with the Gospels

By Lisa Bright, 22 August 2019
Image: Priscilla du Preez/Unsplash

How long have you been going to Mass for? I have been going to Mass each week for the best part of 40 years. I have heard the same Gospels on a three-year rotation for that entire time. Over the past few months I have been intentionally focusing on each daily Gospel. And wow! How my life has changed!

So many of us go through our life on automatic pilot. It’s just the way it is sometimes. When I go to Mass I would hear a Gospel, hear what the homilist has to say and yep, that was all good. But like any good relationship, it can only grow and transform you once you engage with it and share a bit more of yourself than merely being a passive recipient of what the other has to share.

I believe there is a difference between reading a Gospel and engaging with a Gospel. Each morning when I wake, I go to the Diocese of Parramatta Facebook page and I read the daily Gospel which they post on Facebook and Instagram at 6am each day. I read it, have a think about it and try and listen to what it is saying to me for my life today and for our world today.

I could leave it at that. But the next thing I do is write a reflection about it – sometimes short and sometimes long – depending on what I hear and depending on how many times my children yell out “Mum, come here!” during that time.

I could leave it at that. Then I send that reflection to a friend or two who also enjoy engaging in conversations about the Gospel and we share our reflections on the Gospel. It is great to hear their thoughts because there could be a line or a concept that they have picked up on that I had never thought about which helps me see the Gospel in a whole new way.

I could leave it at that. But recently I had a thought. How do we engage in a larger conversation around the Gospel to really break open the word? Weekly physical meetings are difficult to get to for me with activities for three children, work after hours and school and parish meetings during the week – plus trying to work, rest and play! I love the physical conversation when I meet with people but it is just not going to happen. And then I went back to the daily Facebook post of the Gospel on the Diocese of Parramatta Facebook page. What would happen if I shared my reflections on that page? What if I invited my friends to also engage in that forum?

View this post on Instagram

GOSPEL OF THE DAY 2/2 LK 12:32-48 … Then Peter said, “Lord, is this parable meant for us or for everyone?” And the Lord replied, “Who, then, is the faithful and prudent steward whom the master will put in charge of his servants to distribute the food allowance at the proper time? Blessed is that servant whom his master on arrival finds doing so. Truly, I say to you, the master will put the servant in charge of all his property. But if that servant says to himself, ‘My master is delayed in coming,’ and begins to beat the menservants and the maidservants, to eat and drink and get drunk, then that servant’s master will come on an unexpected day and at an unknown hour and will punish the servant severely and assign him a place with the unfaithful. That servant who knew his master’s will but did not make preparations nor act in accord with his will shall be beaten severely; and the servant who was ignorant of his master’s will but acted in a way deserving of a severe beating shall be beaten only lightly. Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”

A post shared by Diocese of Parramatta (@parracatholic) on

What if we challenged each other to see and hear new parts of the Gospel that we hadn’t noticed before? That would be awesome!

So that’s what I am doing. And that is what I invite you to be part of. An online conversation to engage with the Gospel to help each of us understand it all a bit better. Everyday the Gospel challenges me. What is Jesus saying? Why did he do this? To do this alone is hard but to do this as community is life-giving. And that is what Jesus calls us to. “I have come so that you may have life, and have it to the full.” (John 10:10)

The other benefit of engaging and liking the Gospel on Facebook is that it will then have a wider reach. If more people engage with a post then the more prominent it features on Facebook. So isn’t that what we are called to do, share Jesus’ message? This is but one way. I look forward to engaging in conversation with you.

Lisa Bright is a Project Officer in the Pastoral Planning Office, Diocese of Parramatta.

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