Hermit, Biblical Scholar and Poet

8 May 2019
Dr Bonnie Thurston (left). Image: Julian Sieber/Institute for Mission.

 

Hermit, Biblical Scholar and Poet – A great experience at the Institute for Mission

50 parishioners, pastoral associates, catechists and teachers gathered at the Diocese of Parramatta’s Institute for Mission at Blacktown for an enriching day of reflection on May 7.

The day was led by Dr Bonnie Thurston, an eminent New Testament Scripture scholar, who also has a doctorate in Christian spirituality. Bonnie now is based at her hermitage in the mountains of West Virginia.

Bonnie is currently in Australia as a guest of the Association of St Marcellin Champagnat to deliver their annual Marian lectures.

In three wonderful, energising and prayerful meditations, Dr Bonnie led the diverse group in a ‘Lectio Divina’ (spiritual reading) of the story of the Raising of Lazarus from John’s Gospel.

Dr Thurston beautifully helped all present to deepen their understanding of the power of this Gospel story where Jesus raises Lazarus (and us today) from death to new life.

Dr Bonnie Thurston. Image: Julian Sieber/Institute for Mission.

In the John 11 reading, in the midst of disease and delay, Jesus challenges us to face the areas where we too need to be awakened to new life. When we confess him as our Lord and Master, Jesus calls forth with compassion and challenges us to form community.

In a profound spiritual reading of the Lazarus Johannine drama, Bonnie suggested three important questions for our spiritual journey: from what tombs am I being called out? Whom shall I unbind? and How will I respond to the Lord’s Voice of liberation and life?

People today are thirsting for the Word of God. This initiative of the diocese’s Institute for Mission helped participants break open the Scriptures in the context of their daily lives.

Sincere thanks was given to Dr Thurston at the end of a great day.

Special thanks to Fr Paul Roberts, Director, Institute for Mission and Vicar for Evangelisation, Sr Grace Roclawska, Programs & Engagement Representative, Institute for Mission, Julian Sieber, Team and Media, Institute for Mission and all the Institute for Mission staff for organising such a spiritually refreshing day of reflection and new life.

 

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