20th Sunday of the Year – C

PRIEST: As we gather today around the Table of the Eucharist and the Table of the Word, we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses on every side, encouraging us to continue the sometimes hard journey of the disciple and the prophet – a journey that leads us to the fire of conflict in order to live truly the Gospel of Jesus. The prophets among us, help us all to see and understand our contemporary world differently, more authentically with the love of Christ.  But the path of the prophets leads to suffering – let us not flinch from ‘the Love of Christ that urges us on’, or the Fire of the Spirit in our bones leading us along the often lonely Way of Christ.

READER:               When we do not seek to throw off the sin that clings so easily;
when we lose sight of Jesus and avoid the Cross

                                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we are afraid to stand out against the crowd
                                     for the sake of the values of the Gospel;
when we seek acceptance more than faithfulness to the Lord

                                                                            CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

When we want respectable Christianity rather than
                                    the radical Gospel of Christ that leads to love’s conflict for justice

                                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:               May the God of fire purify us with his merciful love;
                                may the truth-bearer Christ heal our hearts of fear;
                               may the Spirit empower us for holiness and wholeness
                                               and bring us all to everlasting life

                                                                             AMEN!

19th Sunday Year C

PRIEST: Today we celebrate our faith in Christ Jesus: we look to Abraham as our Father in Faith who risked all to journey an unknown path to an unknown land;  and we watch for Jesus to come in the unexpected moments, the dark hours of lonely night;  and in the most unlikely events and people.  Faith challenges us to gaze with honesty into our hearts and ask ourselves: ‘What is my real treasure? – faith in Jesus, or something far less?’ As we recognise the poverty of our love for Him, let us also recognise the wealth of His mercy towards us…

READER:     For the times when our inner darkness overwhelms our faith
and we lose sight of our Christ, we cry for your mercy…

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

For the times when we are afraid to risk new adventures of faith
new challenges to serve and to love, we cry for your mercy…

                                                    CHRIST HAVE MERCY

For the times we do not watch with prayer, wait with longing,
                          hold another with love and welcome Jesus, we cry for your mercy…

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:        May the God of Abraham call our hearts to journey
                                      the pilgrimage of forgiveness;
                           may Jesus, the one who comes, come with mercy
                                      into the night of our sin and fears;
                           may the Spirit stir our hearts to watch with longing love
                                      for the touch of divine peace;
                           and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                      AMEN!

18th Sunday of the Year

PRIEST:     In a world of plenty, millions starve!  In a society where the employed are overworked, millions are unemployed and millions more exploited and enslaved.  Today, Jesus challenges this crazy world where the rich get richer and the poor are further dispossessed.  Jesus makes us ask ‘What is real happiness, what makes for true security? – plenty of possessions,  or generous humanity?’  Solutions might be hard to find, but let us begin by risking to recognise what is wrong and selfish within ourselves and our world.

READER:                    Jesus cries out:  ‘Happy are the poor in the Spirit!’
For every possessiveness of heart,
                                          for each form of greed and for all our selfishness…

                                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY …

Jesus cries out:  ‘Happy are you if you hunger and thirst for justice!’
                                          For the ways we ignore the plight of the starving;
for pretending that there is nothing we can do;
                                          for thinking that it is not our problem…

                                                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

Jesus cries out:  ‘Happy are you when you make peace upon earth!’
For the violence that is rooted in the lust for wealth and power;
                                          for the vanity of a peace that is not justice for the oppressed…

                                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:      May the God, creator of our bountiful world,
                                     forgive every selfish refusal to share;
                         May Jesus our Brother redeem and save us
                                    from the injustice that kills;
                         May the Spirit, Who is Sharing,
inspire us to heal our world 
of possessiveness;
                         and bring all humanity to everlasting life…

                                                                    AMEN!

17th Sunday Year C

PRIEST: Today Jesus challenges us to pray…to pray with perseverance, to pray with faith, and to pray for the coming of the Kingdom.  We are challenged to believe in a God always waiting to be merciful.  We are challenged to so live our baptism that we die in Christ and come alive to a new life, a new love in the Spirit. Let us humbly confess to the Lord the ways and times we have neglected his love, been weak of faith and failed to pray:

READER:        For the times we have refused the invitation to prayer,
                             and filled our minds and hearts with noise and superficiality…

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

For the times our prayer has been selfish or self-centred,
focussing on our own wants,
                             and not on the needs of God’s Kingdom…

                                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

When we have scorned others’ prayer,
                              and hardened our hearts against compassion;
when there was little love in our words or thoughts before God,
                              when we have prayed with little expectancy or hope…

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:            May the All-loving God whom we name ‘Abba’, Father,
                              embrace us with His Love,
                              lead us to the fountain of life that is the reconciliation of Christ,
                              and burn within as fire of the Spirit’ love,
                              to bring us to everlasting Life…

                                                                 AMEN!

16th Sunday Year C

PRIEST: This morning you are all very welcome – let us welcome one another,  as we recognise Jesus’ welcome to us.  We are going to hear how the People of God welcomed their God: Abraham and Sarah discovering God in the strange visitors to their tent;  Martha and Mary welcoming Jesus to their Bethany home. The stranger is often the bearer of God to us.  Let us ask forgiveness whenever we fail to welcome our brother,  our sister into our heart,  into our community,  for then we failed to welcome Jesus.

READER:          When we fail to listen to the Words of Jesus
                                in the cries of the poor and the victims of war;
                                for not welcoming the voices from the streets of the Inner City…

                                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we fail to welcome the stranger,  the refugee, the traveller,
                                those of different race or culture or religion…

                                                           CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When our love is too weak to struggle for justice,
when our compassion is too shallow to feed the hungry
when our faith is too small to listen to God in the silence…

                                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:        May the God whose heart is always open,
                                 welcome us at the gates of his mercy;
                          May Jesus  who welcomes our humanity, heal us to welcome him
                                in the flesh and skin of every race of the earth;
                          May the Spirit who is alive in the stranger,
                                transform the hostility of our hearts into divine hospitality
                           and bring all to everlasting life…

                                                               AMEN!

Feast of Ss Peter and Paul

PRIEST:       We celebrate today the two great founding Apostles, Peter and Paul. In celebrating them we celebrate also who we are as Church, for they more than any others have shaped for all time the Body of Christ. In Peter we have the uniting Shepherd who knows his own weakness only too well and so gathers us gently as one: a Rock of Faith who is not hard! In Paul we have the fearless Prophet, the adventurer for Christ who breaks new ground and reshapes the Church to be truly Universal. Together they teach us to be at once a gentle Pastor and a fearless Prophet. Let us embrace the mercy of God so that we might be such a Church …

READER:       Peter is the Rock of Faith who affirms us in faith
                            when our weakness overwhelms us:
For the times we do not affirm, heal and encourage each other …

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY …

                             Paul is the bold Pioneer of the Gospel,
                             ever open to the the new challenges of the Spirit:
when cling to the things of the past and make the Church a museum
rather than the creator of a new future

                                                      CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

                              Peter and Paul together gather the One People of God
                              into a unity rich with diversity:
when we do not value each other’s differences and gifts
when we do not strive for unity in Christ

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:         May the God who calls fill us with mercy;
                           may the Lord who sends heal our every wound with His forgiveness,
                           may the Spirit who empowers encourage us in our weakness;
                           and bring us all with the Saints to everlasting life

                                                        AMEN!

FIFTEENTH SUBDAY OF THE YEAR C

PRIEST: ‘Who is our neighbour?’ Jesus is asked in today’s Gospel.  ‘Wrong question!’ is Jesus reply. You are to be the neighbour, he says, to everyone, and especially the most wounded.  A very timely parable given the closing of borders to Refugee brothers sisters around the world, as we see a despised foreigner being the neighbour to the wounded man.  Jesus the Samaritan carer challenges us to place the wounded world at the very centre of our worship and our vision of God.  Perhaps our willingness to be involved in the pain and struggle of the world is the true measure of our love and worship of God.

READER:       When fear causes us to pass by on the other side of the road,
                             and we will not touch the wounds and pain of another…

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY

When we seek to find comfort in worshipping God
                              while neglecting to tend the hurting body of the Lord
                              on our streets and among the starving…

                                                         CHRIST HAVE MERCY

When our words and actions hurt others,
                               when we make victims of others and cause suffering instead of healing…

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:      May the God of Compassion touch us with his mercy;
                        may Jesus our Samaritan Brother lift us up with
                                          his forgiveness and new life;
                         may the Spirit of healing be poured out like generous oil `
                                            and joyful wine;
                          and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                         LORD HAVE MERCY!

FOURTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR C

PRIEST:     Today,  God’s word challenges us to take up our mission: Jesus calls us and sends us just as he did the Seventy Two so long ago.  We are all called to labour in His harvest of salvation. And there is an urgency in His words,  asking of us a single-minded determination to offer the world the Gospel of peace,  the Good News of Life.  Today’s Mass encourages us to form a missionary community, a ‘Parish in communion for mission’, giving ourselves for those who do not join us week by week.  Do we take up the challenge of Jesus?

READER:                For the times and ways that God sends us
                                      but we find excuses for not going,  not doing what he asks…

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

Whenever we bring strife rather than peace to another’s home;
                                       when our presence, actions and words are hurting
                                       rather than healing for another…

                                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

For spending more energy on preserving the Church
                                       than proclaiming the Gospel;
                                       for carrying unnecessary baggage of the past, hindering us
                                       from bringing the Good News of Jesus to today’s people

                                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:                     May the God of outreaching love forgive our fears;
                                        may Jesus who came to bring Life in all its fullness
                                        have mercy on our narrowness;
                                        may the Holy Spirit be purifying fire in our hearts
                                        to empower us for the mission of Peace,
                                         and bring us and our world to everlasting life…

                                                                     AMEN!

FEAST OF 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; we share the banquet that challenges us to feed the world with justice and love. 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!

FEAST OF THE HOLY & UNDIVIDED TRINTY

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 today 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!