Contemplating the Word of God in small groups

This simple method is adapted to small groups who wish to deepen their understanding of Divine Mercy by reflecting on the Gospels. The method helps people to share a biblical text in a spirit of conversion to mercy. Ideally, groups (circa 6-15 people) meet either in a church location or in someone’s home.

Objective of the meetings
Through the meetings (the rhythm of which can be set according to the possibilities of each group) the group journeys together, helping each other become more aware of the merciful presence of the Lord, then and now. Each one learns to read Scripture with the help of "reading glasses of mercy !" This exercise consequently effects the way we read our own lives and the lives of those around us. We are therefore nourished with the desire to be merciful and to live in an ever-growing dependence on Mercy.

Assisting the group leader to prepare for the meeting
In order that the group may meet Christ in all his richness through the Bible-sharing and discover the depth of the Word, the following worksheets have been put together by a team in France. These worksheets have been used over the last few years by a large number of parish groups. Two collections of worksheets are available to date : "The parables of Mercy," and "the Gospel of St Mark in the light of Mercy." A worksheet example is available here on pdf format. To obtain more sheets please write to : ecolmi chez free.fr.
* These worksheets have been prepared in the light of the current exegesis of the Church and the Catechism of the Catholic church.

How a meeting is built up
(A short opening prayer to the Holy Spirit helps the group to welcome His presence and action in the meeting)
1 Understanding the text
After reading the text, everyone tries to respond to the question "What does the text say ?" Having prepared in advance with the help of the worksheet, the group leader will equipped now to guide this first part of the sharing.

2 Entering into inner dialogue with the Lord
Having read and understood the passage, this next step invites the participants to interiorise and meditate the Word. The group leader could suggest the following questions to nourish the reflection : "What is the Lord saying to me through this text ?" and "How is God expressing his love in this Bible passage ?"

3 Concluding prayer and sending out.
The meeting concludes with a time of prayer - praise and intercession - expressing aloud or in silence our response to the Word of God shared. The group leader can prompt the participants to pray spontaneously by asking the question : "At the end of this rich sharing, what would I like to say to the Lord in response ?"

The aim is to go forth into the week full of hope, confident in His Mercy ! And with a renewed desire to be witnesses to His Mercy.

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