Lent is a graced time for listening to and reflecting on God’s Word, especially on the Sunday Gospels. We are told on the first Sunday of Lent that we do not ‘live on bread alone’ but on God’s Word. We are encouraged then to put reflecting on God’s Word at the centre of our Lenten practices.
Pope Francis has also asked us to mark this Year of Mercy by contemplating Jesus, the Face of God’s Mercy, especially in the Scriptures. It’s only by doing this that we will become a Church that can reflect God’s compassion and mercy to others.
Cardinal Martini, who has so inspired Pope Francis, did much to encourage people to read the Scriptures. Sunday after Sunday in his cathedral in Milan, Cardinal Martini led sessions of Lectio Divina which drew crowds of all ages and backgrounds. This great advocate of the renewal of the Church said on one occasion
‘A people which has never come to use the Word remains passive and mute… it does not grow in communion with the mystery, and it cannot express
its faith in its day-to-day life.’
Could this also be true about our parish communities? Could we this Lent overcome our passivity and open ourselves to how God will surprise us as we reflect together on the Scriptures?
On this webpage, you will find a simple Lectio Divina method for reflecting on the Gospels for the first three Sundays of Lent. (The other Sundays will be added as we go on).
This approach is simply called Hearing, Happening, Hoping because these are the three steps.
In Step 1, Hearing, we listen together to the Word of God, taking time to really hear what the text is saying. Our aim to come ‘face to face with the text’ to hear what it is really saying.
In Step 2, Happening, we try to discover where this text is happening today, in our lives and in the world around us. What we will discover is that this Word is alive and active now, in our present reality.
In Step 3, Hoping, awakened by God’s Word and our reflection together, we turn again to God and place before him in prayer what we have felt and seen.
Those involved in the various parish ministries will find this approach to praying with the Scriptures enriching and nourishing. In some parishes the Ministers of the Word and Scripture Study Groups use it to help deeper their love and understanding of the Scriptures. In other parishes the one page resource Hearing, Happening, Hoping, is made available with the parish newsletter each week or left for taking at the back of the Church.