TWELFTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR YB

PRIEST:    The Word of God is so rich for us today – God speaking to Job from the heart of the Tempest about humanity’s ‘proud waves’ breaking upon the rock of God’s love; the Psalm assuring us that He rescues us from our distress; St Paul speaking of Christ’s overwhelming love that makes us a New Creation; and Jesus bringing us the great Good News that he is there at the very centre of our every storm and turmoil – bringing us peace and healing. Let us allow the Love of Christ to overwhelm our sin with mercy, our storms with healing and so make us a new creation!  

READER:           When we do not recognise God at the heart of inner tempests
when we resist God’s call to enter the peace of his mercy

                                                        LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we doubt God’s love, despite Christ’s Cross of Love;
when we will not let go of the past
                                 and allow something new to emerge and grow

                                                     CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When we doubt when the turmoil comes;
when we no longer believe and trust
                                 because we are buffeted and hurt

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:      May the God of the storm bring peace to our hearts;
                        may the Redeemer who died for us make us a New Creation
                                      by his mercy and forgiveness;
                       may the mighty wind of the Spirit still our troubled minds
                                     and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                            AMEN!

Eleventh Sunday of the Year YB

PRIEST:     Today Jesus teaches us that to be a Christian is to be committed to constant growth – allowing the seed of faith, the seed of Christ to grow within us, ever transforming us. He also encourages us that even though our lives are made up of small beginnings, He can achieve great things in us – the mustard seed will become the great tree – if we live for others! Let us confess to God our complacency that is satisfied with the habit of religion rather than the dynamism of faith.

READER:          When we stifle the growth of God’s love in us;
when we expect little from God and welcome even less!

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we expect little of other people;
when we do not help others to grow and develop;
when we do not believe in and value another,

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

When we do not shelter and protect others
When we do not welcome the stranger among us
When we do not cry out with passion for justice and a love for the vulnerable,

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:            May the Father sow the seed of compassion into our hearts;
                               may the Son, the Redeeming Seed,
                              fall into the soil of heart and bring us to mercy;
                              may the Holy Spirit love us into growth  in forgiveness;
                              and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

FEAST OF THE BODY & BLOOD OF CHRIST (‘Corpus Christi’)

PRIEST: Today we lift our voices in thanksgiving and praise for the ‘inestimable gift’ of the Eucharist;  we lift our eyes to gaze upon the awesome presence of our Lord and Saviour in the poverty of bread and wine;  we lift up our hearts to embrace the love whereby God touches the depths of our being.  In the Eucharist we taste the redeeming Blood of Christ, we enter into the Sacrifice of Christ upon the Cross that saves the whole world. The Body and Blood of Christ we share gives us life, shaping and renewing our lives and our communities:  let us repent the ways we are not the love of Christ…

READER:         The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Unity and Love:
for all divisions among Christians,
                               for every denial of love in our own hearts

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY …

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Healing:
for the ways that our touch and words hurt rather          than heal;
                                for the ways our Church excludes rather than welcomes

                                                         CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

The Eucharist is the Sacrament of Christ’s Redeeming Sacrifice:
for the ways we do not love with a sacrificial love;
do not forgive with a divine generosity of mercy;
excluding others from our love, friendship and community

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:         May God rain down upon us the Bread of Forgiveness;
                           may Jesus pour out His redeeming Blood that heals our brokenness
                            and liberates freedom and love;
                            may the Spirit draw us into the Unity that reconciles;
                            and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                         AMEN!

TRINITY SUNDAY

PRIEST:       Having for months celebrated the great actions of God in Christ that bring us salvation and life, today we celebrate the being of God: not what God does, but Who God is! Today is a day for gazing with wonder, a day to contemplate the mystery of God Who is Love – always Love, never other than Love! And each one of us, without exception are made in the image and likeness of this God. Today we celebrate that there is such diversity in identity, creating such a profound harmony. So we celebrate who we truly are and all that God wants us to become – a freedom for Love … like God! And yet we know we are not such love! Let us ask for mercy …

READER:      Father, you so loved the world You sent Your Only Son
not to condemn, but to save and to give Life:
Confidently we cry out to you ….  

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY …

Eternal Word and Son, made flesh in the womb of Mary,
You came home into our humanity to set love free within us:
                            Confidently we cry out to you ….  

                                                    CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

Holy Spirit, love shared between the Father and the Son,
You are poured out into our hearts,
                            You flow through our lives into the world to renew the face of the earth
Confidently we cry out to you ….   

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:          May the God whose best name is Love …
                            Be the Father who forgives us, the Brother who redeems us,
                            and the Loving Holy Spirit who gives us a new heart,
                           bringing us and all creation to everlasting life

                                                      AMEN!

FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER

PRIEST:    We celebrate the wonder of our unity with Jesus and our unity with each other in Jesus: for we make up the Vine that He is.  It is the Church’s calling to be of one stock with Christ, branches of the Risen Lord reaching out in fruitfulness to all the earth. If our love for one another and for our and God’s world is not just mere talk, if we remain in and true to His Word, then we shall indeed bear fruit in plenty for the world to taste of God through us. If the Vine that is the Church is to bear the full weight of God’s fruitfulness,  we must enrich the unity of the Church, value our relationship together and allow ourselves to be lovingly and carefully pruned – such is the mercy and forgiveness of God.

READER:                 For preferring comfortable self-illusions
                                     to the sometimes painful Word of truth pruning us
and setting us free

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

For hiding from the mercy and forgiveness of God
that will prune us into wholeness, humanity and holiness

                                                          CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For hurting the unity of the Christian community
by our jealousies and resentments,
our narrow minds and closed hearts

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:        May the endless mercy of God make its home within us;
                          may the Word of Christ prune us with forgiveness;
                          may the Spirit heal us into the strong unity of the Divine Vine;
                          so that we might all bear the fruit of everlasting life

                                                            AMEN!

FOURTH SUNDAY OF EASTER – Good Shepherd Sunday

PRIEST:  Jesus calls himself the Good Shepherd – as the Flock of Christ we know we are safe and nurtured when we listen to His Voice, follow Him and walk His pathways of New Life. He is the Good Shepherd who calls to us, speaks to our heart. He also lays down his life for his sheep – for us. We discover our true life with him, as he challenges us to live our own particular vocation.  Indeed we all share the vocation to live for others, to be witnesses to the glorious truth of Christ, bearers of His transforming love to our world. We now pause to examine how well we have answered our special vocation.

READER:       not making space in our busy lives and noisy hearts
                             to listen to the voice of the Shepherd

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…

                            For listening to the voices of ambition and selfishness,
                            the voices of security and safe-options,
                            and not following the Shepherd where he leads us

                                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                           For when we leave the work of serving our community to others,
                           and do not play our part in building the Church or the Kingdom –
                           for the times we are not being a  shepherd to each other

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:     May the God who calls us into life, forgive us;
                       May our Redeemer and Shepherd, Jesus,
                                   free us with his mercy;
                      May the Holy Spirit empower us to give of ourselves          with generosity
                      and so find everlasting life…

                                                   AMEN!

SECOND SUNDAY OF EASTER – ‘LOW’ SUNDAY

PRIEST:  On this Octave Day of easter we hear in the Gospel a story of doubt that becomes magnificent faith;  a story of wounds that breath peace and healing;  a story of frightened empty men who become courageous in the Holy Spirit;  a story of a community witnessing the Risen Christ.  It is the story not only of the apostles, but also of each one of us;  not only the early Church,  but the Church of every age and land – the story of our own parish.  Let us welcome the Risen Jesus among us to transform us and our community – that we might be life-givers.

READER:             We give thanks for God’s mercy, flowing from the Father’s love
for He has brought us from doubt to deeper faith

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY…

                                   We give thanks for God’s mercy, made flesh in Jesus the Crucified
for his wounds are our peace

                                                       CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                                 We give thanks for God’s mercy, breathed into us by the Holy Spirit
for he has filled our emptiness
                                and sent us as bearers of reconciling love

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:           May God our creator give us the peace of his forgiveness;
                            may the Risen Jesus heal our wounds and transform our weak love;
                           may the Spirit breathe new courage and deeper faith,
                           reconciling us to everlasting life…

                                                      AMEN!

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR A

PRIEST: In just two weeks time we shall celebrate the incomparable joy of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. Jesus foreshadows his own resurrection by bringing his friend Lazarus from the tomb into life. He reveals to all that he is victorious over death itself.  But the greatest victory Jesus wins is over the death that is sin, which distorts and wounds our world with its oppressive structures, dehumanises our sisters and brothers, destroys our people with war and abuses our beautiful planet. There is so much to ‘unbind and set free’! Let us repent, and invite Jesus to rise victorious over sin and oppression within us, unbinding us, liberating us and sending us to heal and set free in the power of His Love.

READER:        For not setting free those trapped in the tombs
of war and violence, poverty, oppression and modern slavery;
                             for not loving enough to free people from loneliness & depression

                                                Lord have mercy…

When we bind each other by our criticism and condemnation,
our discriminations and injustices;
                              for entombing others in our un-forgiveness and harshness

                                                Christ have mercy…

Because you call our name and draw us out of death and sin
                               into life, freedom, wholeness, holiness and humanity

                                                Lord have mercy…

PRIEST:     You are a God of Life, not of death:
                        may your mercy unbind us and heal us,
                        your word call us into life and reconciliation,
                        and your forgiveness lead us to perfect freedom,
                        drawing us to everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

FOURTH SUNDAY OF LENT YEAR A – ‘LAETARE’

PRIEST: Today we rejoice:  it is ‘Laetare Sunday’ – a day to celebrate that the call to Lenten conversion is a call to a deeper joy. We hear the Gospel of the healing of the blind man at the pool of Siloam. Our deepest joy is to grow into Christ; to reflect his light onto our tragically war-torn, poverty-stricken and Covid-afflicted world; to embrace His world with a love that will heal humanity’s blindness to injustice and oppression.  That today is also ‘Mothering Sunday’ gives us yet more reason to rejoice as we thank God for the gift of the mothers who have given us life and love.  Let us ask forgiveness for so many refusals to recognise the depth of God’s love for us,  sometimes our mother’s love for us…

READER:              When we refuse to see the evil of war
                                    when we will not see the suffering or joy of those around us;
when we have closed our eyes and hearts to another’s need
                                    for friendship and caring …

                                                  Lord have mercy…

For ignoring the injustices in our world or in our own hearts;
when we take for granted the love of our mothers and families
and fail to give thanks –
                                   when we do not tell those to whom we are close that we love them …

                                                  Christ have mercy…

When we will not see and trust in God’s deep love for us;
                                     when pain or crisis makes us blind to the God who holds us,
to friends who care for us …

                                                  Lord have mercy…

PRIEST:         May the God of joy set us free with loving mercy;
                           may Jesus our brother heal us of wilful blindness to love;
                           may the Holy Spirit wash us clean in the pool of God’s compassion and forgiveness;
                          and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                         AMEN!

THIRD SUNDAY OF LENT – YEAR A

PRIEST: God quenches the thirst of His People as they journey through the desert – our world of today still locked into Covid Pandemic is such a desert journey: have we recognised the water of God’s love and drank of that Water of the Spirit? Have we been a source of such nWater of hope and healing to others during this past year of deprivation? Jesus comes among us, to offer the Water of New Life to all the peoples of the world.  He calls us to drink deeply of His Spirit and come to a new beginning. As with the Samaritan woman of today’s Gospel, so with us – Jesus knows us through and through! Being the Face of the Father’s mercy He reaches out to the most excluded and scorned! Let us all with honesty recognise when we judge and so exclude others from our hearts, and so bring our need for repentance and forgiveness to Him, and then drink of His mercy and His Spirit.

READER:      When we take God’s presence and love for us so much for granted,
                            neglect to pray, to drink from His well…

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we neglect the mission of Christ locally or globally,
when we reject others rather than offer the water of the Holy Spirit
                           to those around us thirsting for meaning and healing in their lives…

                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When we do not want to know God’s will for us,
when we will not recognise God’s love and acceptance of those we want to reject
                             when we will not allow our plans to be disturbed by another’s need…

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:          May the all-loving Father draw us to himself,
                            May His Redeeming Son, our brother Jesus, give us to drink of His mercy,
                           May the Holy Spirit be water of Life to forgive, cleanse and heal us,
                          and may we all come to everlasting life…

                                                 AMEN!