Praying the Sunday Mass Readings with St Beuno’s Outreach

St Beuno’s Outreach is based in St Beuno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in the hills of North Wales, in the Diocese of Wrexham. The Outreach began in 1989, with the idea of helping people develop and maintain a personal relationship with God through Christ by praying the Word of God in the Sunday liturgy. From a prayerful awareness of the Spirit working in and through us will come a sense of mission, a desire to join Christ in his mission.

How to pray with Scripture - from St Beuno's Outreach
It is usually most helpful when entering into a formal period of prayer to spend some time quietening down and centring on God. The following indications, known as “Anchor Points” have been found to provide a good framework for your prayer. Particularly important after coming to some inner quiet is the slow entry and slow exit from prayer.

FOUR ANCHOR POINTS

  1. PREPARATION

Choose your place of prayer. Make yourself comfortable, you may like to light a candle. Get in touch with your feelings: What is my frame of mind? What do I want to say to the Lord; what do I desire?

  1. ENTRY INTO PRAYER

Become quiet and still. Relax. Try to put aside any distractions. Choose a passage of scripture. Make the sign of the cross, visibly or in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide your prayer. Read your chosen text slowly several times. Notice what comforts or disturbs you.

  1. SLOW EXIT FROM PRAYER

Speak to the Lord in your own words about this time of prayer, what has it meant to you. Perhaps finish with the Glory be to the Father or a favourite prayer of your own. Make a sign of the cross, internal or external. Leave your place of prayer, thanking God for the time he has spent with you.

  1. REFLECTION AFTER PRAYER

Ask for whatever grace you need to respond to our Lord, “with my whole heart, my whole soul, my whole mind”. If possible, do this in a different place. Recall the prayer period: Was it good to be at prayer?  Did you learn something; maybe feel that the Lord was asking something of you? Notice how you are feeling now. You may find it helpful to jot down your thoughts in a notebook.

Twenty-seventh Sunday in Ordinary Time, Year C, 2nd October 2022

The apostles said to the Lord, ‘Increase our faith!’

This Sunday’s readings invite us to think in terms of trust and faithfulness. They remind us to be patient.

Habbakuk (First Reading) feels the Lord isn’t listening when he asks why nothing is being done about the violence and outrage he sees. But the Lord reassures him that whatever the surrounding circumstances, the upright person will remain faithful, trusting in God.

In the Gospel, Jesus teaches about faith and service when the apostles ask him, ‘Increase our faith!’ He moves them away from considering faith as a quantity, to putting into practice what faith they do have. Jesus uses the size of a mustard seed to demonstrate the power of that faith. In the parable following, he then cautions the disciples about knowing one’s place in God’s plans, rather than having an attitude of ‘what’s in it for me?’ Our relationship with God is to be one of total and unconditional love and service.

St Paul tells us that the gift of faith in Christ is the Spirit of power, love, and self-control. Armed with this Spirit, we are ‘never to be ashamed of witnessing to the Lord’, even if it means going against the tide, or enduring hardship. (Second Reading)

The Psalmist urges us, ‘O that today you would listen to his voice!’ We are to come before the Lord with open hearts, giving thanks and praise.

Let’s pray for a deepening of our own faith and trust in God, and for guidance to use our precious God-given gifts with a servant’s heart. We also remember those suffering in war and conflict in Ukraine and beyond.

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