Tips for good story telling during the reflection on the readings in the Liturgy.
· Some personal detail makes the story interesting; too much detail makes the story boring.
· Dont try to prepare a homily; dont give a sermon.
· Have two people share reflections during each Liturgy.
· Keep it short, but unrushed. (Everybody who has sat in pews should know the danger of long sermons. Dont fall into that clerical trap, for goodness sake.
An additional bonus: People who try this method inevitably find it easy. It catches peoples attention and it works. It is easy because it is a natural and satisfying thing for us to share part of our life story. Try it.
Gospel: Mark 2:1-12 The healing of the paralysed man who was let down
through the roof.
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.
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