Soul Food for Sundays

Soul Food for Sunday 26th March 2023

Reflections 26th March 2023
John 11:1-45

The Author: Ronan Barry
calendar_today Date: March 9, 2023 - 3 minutes read

As we move towards Psalm Sunday, today’s readings remind us that Jesus is the Resurrection and Life. Similarly, John was reminding his readers that Jesus was preparing his followers as he moved towards his inescapable future.  Jesus’ life is the hopeful message that we can have faith in.  At the core of our faith is Jesus’ resurrection; the overcoming of death and darkness into the fullness of life with God.

Jesus said, “I am the resurrection and the life; whoever believes in Me, even if he dies, will live, and everyone who lives and believes in Me will never die.” – John 11: 25

In reading this Good News, I am reminded about the contrast with the sad news dominating today’s media.  Our world seems to be tumbling from one crisis to another. Pope Francis, through his many public contributions, recognises this same reality of suffering including the disturbing reality of the abuse of minors. Central to March’s papal intention is the protection of minors.

For victims of abuse, we pray for those who have suffered harm from members of the Church; may they find within the Church herself a concrete response to their pain and suffering.

(Papal intention for March 2023)

As we continue to comprehend our past not only as a Church body but also as a society, we must ensure that our engagement within our world is inclusive of a compassionate response to the suffering of victims and survivors of child abuse. We must take responsibility together as a community to shape a new future.  A future where we work to eradicate the evil of child abuse from our society. As people of faith, we are invited to witness to the Good News of the Resurrection today, and so, we must work toward a society where all victims and survivors are offered the opportunity to overcome their hurt and live in the fullness of life today.  

In Rite & Reason Dr John Scally recently reminded us all of our call to live the Gospel. Today more than ever, in a world rocked by violence and injustice, we still need to hear the essence of Bonhoeffer’s message: “We speak when we do not speak. We act when we do not act.”

Prayer (Attributed to St. Augustine)

God of our life,          
There are days when the burdens we carry   
chafe our shoulders and weigh us down;       
when the world seems dry and endless,        
the sky is grey and threatening;         
When our lives have no music in them,        
and our hearts are lonely,      
and our souls have lost their courage.

Flood the path with light,      
run our eyes to where the skies are full of promise;  
tune our hearts to brave music;         
give us the sense of comradeship      
with heroes and saints of every age;  
and so quicken our spirits      
that we may be able to encourage the souls  
of all who journey with us on the road of life,          
to your honour and glory.

Image by Albrecht Fietz from Pixabay

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Ronan Barry

Ronan is Director of Spiritan Mission Ireland, set up in 2017 to respond, in line with Spiritan charism, to the current context of the Irish Spiritan Province and Church. He was part of the Spiritan education team for over ten years. He lives with his family in Kildare.