Caroline Jones writes in an article in The Age on Good Friday (The Age, 21 April 2000):
A persons own lived experience is truth. Everyone has a life story. In a just and humane society there should be room for everyones story to be told and to be heard, with respect and compassion. From the warp and weft of all the stories, the society is woven.
This connects with the suggested method of sharing reflections after the gospel: Start with a brief outline of an experience in your own life which can illustrate some aspect of a focus point in the gospel. Tell your story and develop the connection with the gospel focus point. It is better if two or three people do this at each liturgy. So each person needs to be brief in speaking.
We might say that from the stories told in relation to the gospel, with the Spirit of Jesus, a Christian community is born.
The sharing at our community gatherings could be an important part of such a process.
Perhaps prompted by what has been shared during the liturgy, a less formal and more extensive sharing of stories could well happen after the Liturgy outside the church building if the weather is fine. Even though not recognised officially, in fact such sharing has always been a very important part of the Sunday Gathering in many rural Catholic communities.
In each of these sets of notes I have suggested the use of a personal story in introducing reflections on the scriptures in the liturgy.
A good personal story is the best story. But something you have heard or read about or seen on TV can be the next best thing, especially if you add a personal dimension by giving your own reaction to the event or story and mentioning how it illustrates the gospel theme for you.
For example, around about Anzac Day there were media reports saying that the statue of Simpson and his donkey was the most popular site in the Shrine of Remembrance area. The Simpson-Gallipoli story still has the power to inspire and to elicit admiration and gratitude.
Reference to the Simpson and his donkey story, plus the speakers own feelings about it, could appropriately introduce a comment on scripture readings during Lent (and at other times).
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