Twenty-Third Sunday of Year B

PRIEST:     Today we celebrate Jesus, the Light of God, who opens eyes that they may see; Jesus the Word who opens ears that they may hear; Jesus, the Good News who loosens tongues that they may speak; Jesus the Love of God, who opens  hearts that they may wonder at the God of Love and the dignity of our humanity.  Jesus cries out to us:  ‘Be Opened’ – let us confess the many ways we are closed to Him, to one another and to our world …

READER:                 The deaf man’s ears were opened…
when we are deaf to God’s challenging Word to us,
                                      when we are deaf to the cries of pain, hunger and despair
in our brothers and sisters

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY…

The dumb man’s tongue was loosened…
when we are afraid to speak out for human rights and dignity;
when we are slow to praise another’s goodness and gift

                                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

 

The Good News of healing and life was published widely…
when we are afraid to proclaim the Good News
                                      to our neighbours,  our street,  our colleagues at work

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:         May the God of mercy open our hearts to his pardon;
                            may the Saviour,  our brother Jesus open our woundedness to his healing;
                            may the Holy Spirit open our lives to divine compassion;
                            and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                                    AMEN!

TWENTY-FIRST SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A

PRIEST: Jesus confronts his disciples with a decision:  will they trust him,  follow him,  reproduce his love;  or will they follow their own flawed logic and go their own way?  And the Eucharist crystallises this eternal challenge.  Our Eucharist demands a similar decision:  will we live the Eucharist that we celebrate, following Jesus always, living a Pilgrimage of Trust;  or will we resist the implications of today’s Eucharist  – living by faith in His Word and struggling for justice, freedom and sacrificial love?

READER:              When we say ‘no’ to the challenges
                                   of being faithful to Christ and his Gospel…

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we are selective about what demands of Christ
                                   we are willing to accept,
                                   and what we avoid…

                                                          CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

When we listen to the shallow wisdom of the world,
                                   to the narrow confines of ‘common sense’
                                   and do not risk listening to One who has words of eternal life…

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:              May the God of peace touch us with mercy,
                                 still our questioning hearts with tranquillity,
                                 embrace our broken lives with healing and forgiveness,
                                 and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                        AMEN!

FEAST OF THE ASSUMPTION OF MARY

PRIEST:      Today is a day of rejoicing,  a day of glory:  for Mary the poor virgin of Nazareth is raised above the angels; she has gone before us into the fullness of Christ’s Resurrection.  Her glory is His, she is a mirror, reflecting the wonder of Christ to us. She summons us likewise to be mirrors of Christ’s Glory to the world; she pleads with us to tread her same path of humble and faith-filled love, and like her to give of Christ’s endless life and hope to the people of our earth. Let us ask forgiveness for the ways and times we have clouded, not reflected Christ’s glory and love…

READER:             For the ways the poverty of our loving has hidden
the wonder of Christ from the people among whom we live;
for the ways we have not struggled for peace in a war-torn world…

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY …

For the ways and times we refuse a share in the sufferings of Christ,
                                   and so do not touch the glory of Christ…

                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For those times when we do not defend the dignity and rights
of the human person especially the poor and the vulnerable,
and those of races or sexual orientation other than our own…

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:        May the God of Life free us from the sin that is death;
                          May the Risen Jesus summon us by his mercy into the holiness
                                          that is His Resurrection;
                          May the Holy Spirit heal us into the glory that is our destiny
                                          and our witness to the world
                          and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                             AMEN!

Nineteenth Sunday of the Year B

PRIEST:         We have come together today so that like Elijah the Prophet we too can be nourished from the hand of God, strengthened as we journey through life with all its struggles. In loving obedience to Jesus in today’s Gospel, we come to share Bread … Bread come down from Heaven to give life. We have come to drink of the same Cup, partaking of the Blood of Christ. As sharers of this Bread and drinkers of this Cup we are called to be bearers of this life to our world:  a life that is full and compassionate,  a life that is tender with gentleness and strong with justice.  Let us ask ourselves whether we live Eucharist every day… 

READER:                 God is our life-giver…
when we do not give life because we choose
                                      to hurt and wound by our words and deeds…

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY …

Jesus is our pain-bearer…
when we are afraid to share another’s pain,
                                       to carry another’s burden,
                                       to get involved in another’s journey and sorrow…

                                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

The Spirit is our love-maker…
when we refuse love, diminish community,  act insensitively…

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:      May God the giver of life embrace us in mercy;
                        may Jesus the bearer of pain heal our wounds and set us free;
                        may the Spirit,  the maker of our love,
                       reconcile and heal our relationships and fill our emptiness
                       with the fulness of love;
                       and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                               AMEN!

Feast of the Transfiguration of the lord

PRIEST:   As we celebrate today the beautiful Feast of the Transfiguration of the Lord, we behold the Glory of God, the glory that each of us carries deep within our being. For we are all created in God’s image and likeness. And the Glory of God is humanity fully alive.  Transfiguration is only complete, however, when we have transformed our world from war and injustice into the glory of equality, justice and peace among all the peoples of the earth. Sadly today is also the anniversary of the dropping of first Atom Bomb – upon the city of Hiroshima in Japan. Its dark cloud of death and destruction has overshadowed the world ever since! To transform a world addicted to weapons of mass destruction will demand we truly listen to Him – God’s Word made flesh – and act! Let us now bring our world of war to the God of Peace and limitless Mercy.

READER:               For the human addiction to war and destruction
that it be transfigured to peace and healing

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY …

For the mountains of injustice and inequality
                                    that diminishes all human beings, both rich and poor alike

                                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For the transformation of our inhumanity that wounds
into the divine Humanity that is fully alive and life-giving

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:     May God our Father speak his words of forgiveness
and 
mercy to our hearts;
                       May the Transfigured Christ transform the darkness of
                                      our sin into the glory of His love;
                      May the Holy Spirit be the light of justice, healing
                                     and compassion in our hearts,
                      and bring us and all Creation to everlasting life…

                                                                  AMEN!

EIGHTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR B

PRIEST:           Jesus is the True Bread of God,  for comes to give life to all our world.  He breaks bread with us,  so that we too become a fragment of the Bread of God,  as we say ‘yes’ to living and loving in order to give life to our hungry world.  Do our families give life to those outside our own circle?  Do we play our part in helping our parish give life,  hope,  peace and new beginnings to those among whom we live and serve?

READER:                 Jesus is the Bread of Truth that sets free:
                                       forgive us when we enslave each other in criticism;
                                       when we fail to value each other as God values us…

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

Jesus is the Bread of Mercy that gives new life:
forgive us when we are not merciful,
                                       when we resist giving or receiving forgiveness,
                                       and so deny life to ourselves and others…

                                                           CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

Jesus is the Bread of Life that satisfies our deepest hunger:
                                      forgive us when we refuse to share equally
                                      the world’s rich resources,
                                     when we close  our hearts to the cries of the hungry
                                     and impoverished of our earth

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:           May the God of Life meet our hunger for forgiveness;
                             may Jesus be Bread of compassion and healing in the midst
                             of  the wounds our sins inflict;
                             may the Holy Spirit draw us to ever deeper unity,
                             so that we might bring all the  world to everlasting life…
                                                                AMEN!

Sixteenth Sunday of the Year

PRIEST:         This morning we celebrate Jesus the compassionate shepherd.  Longing for quiet time with his disciples, he sets aside his own (and their) needs,  because the hungry,  broken crowds bring their yearnings for life and hope to him.  Compassion and caring cost him; as St Paul reminds us today, peace and the healing of hostility cost the Cross! … it will cost us too if we seek to live and love like him, and to be bearers and makers of peace.  Are we prepared to pay the price of love?

READER:                 For the times when we care only when it is convenient to ourselves,
                                      and provided it does not cost us too much

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we avoid times of quiet,  reflection and peace;

when we fill our days with activism to avoid  the God
who whispers in the silence of the night

                                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For all hostility that we find in our heart towards any person;
                                     for the ways we do not proclaim the Gospel of Peace
                                     to each other and our world

                                                             LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:             May the God of all compassion touch our broken lives
                                        and set us free with his mercy;
                               may Jesus the Shepherd gather us into the peace of forgiveness;
                               may the Spirit of their love heal us and send us to our world
                                         with the same compassion,
                              to bring all to everlasting life

                                                         AMEN!

First Eucharist Sunday

PRIEST:     Today is a day of great joy for our parish:  on this day we share Jesus in the Eucharist for the first time with many of the children of our community.  To share Jesus with another is such a joy and a privilege – and these wonderful children express our hope for the future of this parish, the future of the Church.  Let us now entrust ourselves to the forgiveness of God,  our Loving Father who gives us this True Bread from Heaven.

READER:          God our Father calls us to be one family,
                               sharing this sacred meal at the table of his love:
we tell God our Father that we are sorry when we do not love…

                                                              LORD HAVE MERCY…

Jesus our brother gives us his very self
                                 in the Bread of Life and Cup of Love:
we tell Jesus that we are sorry when we do not want to give to others..

                                                              CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

The Holy Spirit comes to make us one family
                                and to change bread and wine into Jesus, given for us:
we tell the Holy Spirit that we are sorry
                                when we refuse to change in order to love more…

                                                              LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:            May our loving God always feed us with his forgiveness,
                                        give us to drink of his mercy,
                                        unite us together in his healing love
                               and bring us all the everlasting life…

                                                                AMEN!

Fifteenth Sunday of the Year B

PRIEST:  Today we gather to celebrate the richness of the Grace of God – we are all chosen from before all time, and then trusted by Jesus as he sends us like he sent the Apostles. This is perhaps the most prophetic action of God … to place his Gospel in our frail keeping,  vulnerable to our fragile witness.  Without exception everyone of us is empowered by the Grace of God to be his prophets, to reach out into our world and communities with his power to change and to heal, to challenge and to convert.  Are we prepared to open wide our lives to such rich Grace of God! to answer his calling with a single-minded love?  What in our lives hides the life-giving Gospel of Jesus from others?

READER:             For being ready to receive from the Church
                                 but  not to give of our time and energy,  skills and gifts
in the service of the Gospel…

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY ….

For remaining silent when we should speak out
                                against injustice, discrimination, inequality
and every false value which damages our world…

                                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY ….

When we do not accept the wounded and broken;
                                for any judgements and criticisms we harbour in our hearts
that wounds rather than heals…

                                                               LORD HAVE MERCY ….

PRIEST:              May the God of endless mercy forgive and purify our hearts;
                                may Jesus our Redeemer pardon us and send us
                                        to our world as bearers of reconciling love;
                                may the Spirit heal us into God’s peace and
                                        inflame us with the prophets courage,
                                that we might bring all to everlasting life…

                                                                AMEN!

Fourteenth Sunday of the Year B

PRIEST: Today we celebrate Jesus our Prophet.  In some ways it is easier for us to welcome Jesus as the centuries separate us from the simple experience of his humanity – but for his own village,  family and friends it was much harder.  It is understandable that they could not accept him:  how many prophets,  messengers of God do we not welcome because they are too familiar,  too ordinary for us.  Let us repent for refusing to recognise God in the simple, the everyday and the familiar.

READER:         When we do not welcome others in our hearts and homes,
when we do not want to recognise their gifts and so wound them…

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY …

When we are judgmental about others’ weaknesses
and withhold the compassion of God that can heal and forgive;
                              when we disown our own weakness as of no use to God…

                                                      CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For the ways we conform to standards that are not of the Gospel;
                             when we quieten our conscience
                            and refuse to speak out against injustices of all kinds…

                                                      LORD HAVE MERCY …

 

PRIEST:              May the God who welcomes our weakness
                                embrace us with mercy,
                                fill us with compassion,
                                and heal us with forgiveness,
                                bringing us and all the world to everlasting life…

                                                       AMEN!