March 22 – Tuesday of Holy Week

Posted on March 22, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

lightOfNationsToday’s Scripture

“I will make you a light to the nations, that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth,” (Isa 49:6 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

God is fond of light. Creation includes separation of light from darkness, and our own lives are marked by the same strife. However, we often do not feel very ‘enlightening’ to those closest to us, never mind the nations! In those moments, it is good to remember this promise: “I will make you the light…’ God will do it…if we let God fan into flame that spark of divine life in us. Amazing things happen when we do: we become bearers of God’s healing, well beyond the boundaries of our tiny lives.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself how I can allow God to work in me – and through me – even more? What is my particular mission to others?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 21 – Monday of Holy Week

Posted on March 21, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

beautifulLoveToday’s Gospel

“Mary took a liter of costly perfumed oil made from genuine aromatic nard and anointed the feet of Jesus and dried them with her hair; the house was filled with the fragrance of the oil,” (John 12:3 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

This gesture can seem wasteful – extravagant and over the top. And yet, this gesture of profound generosity transforms the entire atmosphere. Something priceless is released in this wasteful act of outrageous intimacy: a beautiful scent of love and care that perfumes the whole house. Not dissimilar is Jesus pouring out his life into our (sometimes not the cleanest) existence and filling it with exquisite aroma.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself what is my most precious commodity? Is it time, or is it something else? What stops me from ‘wasting’ it on Jesus? On others?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 20 – Palm Sunday

Posted on March 20, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

palmSundayToday’s Scripture

“Who, though he was in the form of God, did not regard equality with God something to be grasped. Rather, he emptied himself,” (Phil 2:6-7 ).

Daily Lent Reflection

Today we are entering the mystery of Christ’s humility. We start on a triumphant note, but quickly move to a terrible death on a cross, freely accepted! If we follow Christ’s example, it is not a mindless emptying so that horrors can defeat us. It is an emptying so that God can fill us with power beyond our own strength, and so transform our reality from within with consequences far beyond our wildest imagination.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I ask myself what fills my life? What do I need to let go of? Where do I experience moments of death? What areas of my life do I need to allow God to fill?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 19 – Fifth Saturday of Lent

Posted on March 19, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

beNotAfraidToday’s Gospel

“’Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home,’” (Matthew 1:20).

Daily Lent Reflection

St Joseph is one of the great examples of a person of faith. Matthew’s Gospel describes him as a man of honour, and he is faced with what is humanly a very difficult situation: his betrothed wife is expecting a baby and he is not the father. What must have been his thoughts and feelings when he found out? However, he is able to trust the voice in his dream.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself where do I hear God’s voice telling me not to be afraid? Am I able to trust? Or at least to pray for trust and courage?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

Pope Francis launches own Instagram account

Posted on March 18, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Screen Shot 2016-03-18 at 11.52.59 AM(Vatican Radio) Pope Francis on Saturday officially launches his own account on the Instagram photo-sharing social network site, under the name “Franciscus.” Founded in 2010, Instagram has around 400 million users worldwide and shares photos and videos with a community of followers.

The opening of the Pope’s Instagram account will increase his strong presence on social media platforms. He already has a Twitter account with the hashtag @ Pontifex that has over 26 million followers who are constantly increasing in number.

Click here to read the full post

March 11 – Fourth Friday of Lent

Posted on March 11, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

knowGodToday’s Scripture

“For their wickedness blinded them, And they did not know the hidden counsels of God, (Wisdom 2:21-22).”

Daily Lent Reflection

This reading from the book of Wisdom talks of the misguided reasoning of the godless. It describes a judgemental way of viewing God-fearing people. Perhaps we could try to read this today with a degree of humility, placing ourselves in the reading as a godless person rather than our usual stance of God-fearing Christians.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself how it feels to place myself in this reading as a godless person? Do I judge others in that way? How might this challenge to the norm change my view of myself? How might the fruits of this reflection change the way I view other people?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 10 – Fourth Thursday of Lent

Posted on March 10, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

godsWitnessToday’s Gospel

“’I came in the name of my Father, but you do not accept me; yet if another comes in his own name, you will accept him,’ (John 5:43).”

Daily Lent Reflection

In today’s gospel, Jesus rebukes the Jewish leaders who refuse to accept or believe in Him despite the evidence He gives them that He has been sent by the Father. He provides four witnesses: the witness of John the Baptist, the commissioning of the Father, the witness of the Old Testament, and the evidence from His own works.

Daily Lent Challenge

Who are the witnesses in my life that have pointed me to Jesus as the Christ, the Son of the living God? How can I provide witness to others today in order to help them accept and believe in Jesus too?

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

March 9 – Fourth Wednesday of Lent

Posted on March 9, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

godsWillToday’s Gospel

“’I cannot do anything on my own; I judge as I hear, and my judgment is just, because I do not seek my own will but the will of the one who sent me,’ (John 5:30).”

Daily Lent Reflection

Jesus put his trust in the Father and was obedient to his will. How often do we put our trust in God and allow him to work through us? We see God in others but do others see God in us? What is it we see when God works through someone?

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will think of someone I know who allows God to work through them. What qualities do they exhibit? I will ask God to work through me and exhibit similar qualities to others.

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark

5 Characteristics of a Contagious Staff Culture

Posted on March 8, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

Church StaffMany churches struggle with building a staff culture that is healthy, vibrant, and contagious. Oftentimes it seems like people are playing on different teams, facing off against one another rather than unifying around a common mission that glorifies God and strengthens the church.

I ran across an article last week where Father Michael White addresses this very topic and shares 5 characteristics of a contagious staff culture.

Click here to read the full article

March 8 – Fourth Tuesday of Lent

Posted on March 8, 2016 by - Vibrant Parish Toolkit

aNewLifeToday’s Gospel

“’When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been ill for a long time, he said to him, ‘Do you want to be well?,’ (John 5:6).”

Daily Lent Reflection

On the face of it, this seems a bizarre question. The man was by the pool at Bethesda waiting and hoping for the chance to be cured. However, as we all know, change is hard, even when we know we need to change and sometimes it’s easier to stay the way we are. We get used to our ways and can’t imagine life any other way. But Jesus calls us to a new life with Him, which means having to make some difficult choices.

Daily Lent Challenge

Today I will ask myself the question “Do I want to be well again?” I will think about one area of my life that I need to change in order to be more like Jesus and ask Him to help me make that change

Teresa Keogh, Archdiocese of Southwark