Sunday lunchtime saw some of our group meeting at Karlie and Kevin’s for lunch and Lent group. This was an all age session.
In the first half we concentrated on the Gospel for Lent 2, Mark’s account of the Transfiguration. We started by looking at a range of artwork, some traditional, some modern, which portrayed the gospel story. This was followed by a game. Unknown objects were hidden beneath a cloth and individually people felt under the cloth to see if they could identify what was underneath. Some items were impossible to work out if you hadn’t seen them first. There were other aspects that had to be seen for us to know about the objects.
This activity led on to the reading of the reflection from the ‘Communion with Christ’ materials, the theme of which was glimpsing Christ’s glory, the lifting of the veil and seeing something of his divinity. In silence, the group reflected on the reading and on the question “Have we seen little examples of the transfiguration of reality around us, moments when we catch a small glimpse of the glory of God that is normally hidden in the world?” They then jotted down, if they wanted, their thoughts on paper. Here is some of was written:
“I see God’s glory in the seasons, spring in particular for me. The new buds on trees, flowers, the birth of new animals. In the beauty of the whole Earth. In the happiness of people when given good and uplifting news. In the innocence of the young. In our love for each other. In being in an area of peace and beauty, hearing ‘Be still and know that I am God.”
“I see God’s glory in my heart. I see God’s glory at home. I see God’s glory in my friends. I see God’s glory in my soul.”
“Sunsets, nature. Transformed lives. Moments of wonder.”
“Sunlight, in light. New life. Anything beautiful. In kindness. Creativity. In the Bible. In our imagination. In love. In people. In words.”
“Glory. Christ hidden in light. Approaching God with our intellect and we are blinded, stumbling around in the dark. My mind is not enough. Christ is too much.”
“How open am I? Hiding my face? Turning away? Confused or prepared to sit and worship? Remove all mourning veils. Is this done on the way to the Cross and Resurrection?”
“The Glory of God: In the faces of others. In friendly laughter. Moments of stillness. Times of healing. Acts of kindness and love. Listening to beautiful music. The birth of new life. The cosmos: in wonderment.”
The reflection on the Eucharistic Congress focused on the Communion of Saints. For this we split into two groups- one for the adults and the other for the children.
The adults had a wider ranging discussion:
“The image of the heavenly host, the vast array of the angels and communion of saints – that we are apart of that is simply inspiring.”
“We are made aware of the fact that the saints, walking in the nearer presence of God and unencumbered by worldly care, are able to actively pray more accurately and penetratingly for us, the Church Militant.”
“The veil of death explains why we are not always in a constant state of awareness of this heavenly host and presence of God.”
“When the veil is lifted and we glimpse, even partially, the heavens we find it overwhelming and almost to much to bare.”
“It’s a bit mind bending when thinking of the folding of time and space. The Church Militant, being purified and glorified all singing the One Song.”
The children had a ‘jigsaw’ to put together. It didn’t have one picture but instead had clues, which helped describe the Communion of Saints. The descriptions included these images:
• The One Song: In Mass, when we sing ‘Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hosts’ we are joining in with this the One Song, which is going on all the time. We song with the angels and all the saints in heaven.
• The Heavenly City: All the saints, who have died live in God’s presence in the Heavenly City. There is a multitude there.
• The Mass: When the mass is prayed the angels and saints help the priest. This is ‘making present’ Jesus’ sacrifice for the whole church.
• Prayer: All those who pray, all over the world and in heaven, join their prayers together.
• The Tree: A tree has roots that go deep down into the ground to bring up life that flows through the tree. The saints, who have gone before, leave us their wisdom. The Holy Spirit can use this to bring life to the whole Church on Earth now. A tree also gives shelter and protection. Our faith can be strengthened and grow with the help of the saints.
• Candles in the Dark: Imagine a dark room, with Jesus in the centre. As different people light up their candle they show a different aspect of Jesus so we see a fuller picture. The light from all the candles helps us see what would otherwise be hidden.
It was a full session and one that made us all think, more deeply about what it means to belong to the Communion of Saints.