Fifth Sunday of the Year YC

PRIEST: We celebrate today that Jesus calls and makes disciples:  people who will follow him anywhere,  do whatever he tells them,  share the work with him. Disciples are not some elitist group in the Church – they are you and me. And when he calls,  it involves leaving something behind so that we can give ourselves to mission,  to action. What is our answer to the call of Christ?  What do we need to leave behind? 

READER: For protecting ourselves against the challenging call of Christ,
for reckoning that it is always someone else who is called, and not me

                            LORD HAVE MERCY

For being afraid of holiness,  for being afraid of the God who is Holy,  for counting ourselves as unworthy of his work…

                            LORD HAVE MERCY

For wanting to ‘do our own thing’ and being unwilling
to work with others for the sake of the Gospel:
for not considering the work and the love of Christ
important enough to change our lives…

                            LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST: May the God of Holiness purify our hearts with his mercy;
                    may the Redeemer who calls, summon us to work for
                    the world’s healing and reconciliation;
                    may the Spirit empower us with compassion
                    that sets us free to liberate others
                    and bring us all to everlasting life…

                            AMEN!

Fourth Sunday of the Year C – Penitential Rite

PRIEST: We celebrate the Prophet of a Love that knows no limits! He challenges us in today’s Gospel to love the stranger, those different from us, teaching us compassion and generosity of heart: Gospel values so necessary for our own age.  Are our parishes, our homes and our communities truly places of welcome where the ‘stranger’ can become the ‘friend’, where the ‘excluded’ can ‘belong’ – communities where the Gospel will be seen in action?

READER: When our hearts and communities are filled
with more hostility than hospitality…

SUNG RESPONSE

When our welcome is superficial and cold, when we refuse
to share or build a justice that will set another free…

   SUNG RESPONSE

When we are afraid to listen with compassion,
or accept another without judgement;
When our love is offered only to our own…

       SUNG RESPONSE

PRIEST: May the God of Limitless Love pardon us that we may learn how to forgive; May Jesus the Prophet forgive and challenge every narrowness of mind and heart; May the Spirit enfold us in mercy and enflame us with Divine Love; and so bring us to everlasting life…

  AMEN!

Third Sunday of the Year

PRIEST: We celebrate today the dramatic beginning of Jesus’ ministry … ‘with the power of the Spirit in him’ he returns to his home synagogue,  to proclaim the New Age that his life and ministry, his death and resurrection bring to the world – a New Age of equality and justice,  of freedom and partnership.  We are the Body of Christ,  bearers and makers of this New Age in our own land and our own century.  As we begin our Eucharist,  let us ask ourselves whether or not this text is indeed being fulfilled in our lives and our Church today even as we listen…

READER: ‘Sent to bring Good News to the Poor’ …
are we Good News to the poor of our Inner City,
of our nation, or our world?

                                   LORD HAVE MERCY

‘Sent to bring new sight to the blind’ …
are we quick to see other’s blindness and heard hearts,
                        and slow to be honest about our own?

                                   CHRIST HAVE MERCY

‘Sent to give liberty to captives’ …
                         do we avoid those held captive in their woundedness;
                         do we care about how prisoners are treated,
or their families cope?

                                   LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST: May the God who has chosen to dwell among the poor
                           have pity on the poverty of our love;
                   May the Redeemer who raises the downtrodden
                           set us free with forgiveness;
                  May the Spirit who sends us with Power to heal our world,
                           anoint us with life-giving mercy;
                  and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                    AMEN!

Second Sunday of the Year

PRIEST:   As we share this Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and celebrate Peace Sunday, we witness Jesus’ first miracle, His first Sign of Glory – insipid water turned into rich wine! The water is transformed because in Mary’s words, the servants do what he tells them! The world can be transformed if only we, the Church, the community of the Servants of God, do what He tells us. But our disunity shows well that we do not. Our disunity is not only a scandal that silences the Good News for so many, but makes our work for Peace ring hollow to the world in conflict. Let us embrace the Lord’s forgiveness, that he may change our disobedient hearts, and heal the wounds of division in His Body, the Church that we might better serve the Peace of our world.

READER:   When we feel complacent and superior as Catholics;
for our failure to recognise the values and faith of others…

                                         LORD HAVE MERCY

For judgmental attitudes towards our fellow Christians;
                         for conflicts and divisions in the Body of Christ
                         that diminishes our witness for Peace and Reconciliation 

                                         LORD HAVE MERCY

When we make no effort
                         to understand Christian thinking different from our own,
                         ways of witnessing and praying  different from our own;
                         for not having the courage to blend love
with the search for truth

                                         LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:  May the God of perfect unity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit,
                    fill us with mercy, clothe us with forgiveness,
                    and empower us with reconciliation,
                    that together we may heal the Church
                    and build a world of unity and peace,
                    bringing all to everlasting life…

                                             AMEN!

Baptism of the Lord

PRIEST: Today the Christmas Season draws to a close as we celebrate that holy day when Jesus sanctified the waters of baptism by his own humble baptism in the Jordan River at the hands of his servant and prophet, John. Jesus committed himself to be forever the sign of the Father’s Love, His Word of Liberating Truth, and the Servant of His Kingdom. Today, we call to mind our own baptism, and we say ‘yes’ once more to being the same Love, speaking the same Truth and serving the same Kingdom.  And we welcome that Holy Water that affirms and strengthens the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that is ours by baptism.

                                                [the blessing of water]

Loving Father, you sent Your Beloved Son to make Your Word dwell among us. And you washed Him in Jordan’s water, and filled Him with Your Spirit of Love so that His Word would bring freedom, and His touch healing. Bless + this water, and sanctify + this community, that filled with the same Spirit, we may live the Baptism we have embraced and serve the Kingdom we proclaim.

READER:       Knowing that we are sinners,
but confident in the forgiveness
Baptism has brought us, we commit ourselves afresh
                             to the journey of holiness as disciples of Christ Jesus…

                                             WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

Aware of our many failures, but ready to begin again,
we commit ourselves again to proclaim
the Word that is Christ, by our lips and by our lives…

                                               WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

Acknowledging our lack of courage
and our many compromises,
                               we nevertheless commit ourselves in the Holy Spirit
                               to build the Kingdom of the Beatitudes in our society,
                               and to serve the needs of all
our sisters and brothers in the world…

                                             WE COMMIT OURSELVES TO CHRIST

                                 [water is sprinkled as we sing Taizé Kyrie]

PRIEST:      May our loving Father forgive our sins,
                         send us the freedom of Christ
and the love of the Holy Spirit;
                         and as we celebrate Jesus’ Baptism
and our own by this Eucharist,
                         may He rekindle within us the Spirit’s fire
                         and life everlasting…        

                                                AMEN!

FEAST OF THE EPIPHANY OF THE LORD

PRIEST: The Wisdom of God has guided each of us here today, as surely as the Magi’s Star:  for we too are pilgrims on a journey searching for wisdom,  walking by faith and yearning in hope for the peace for our world.  We gather to offer our gifts,  our talents and our very selves on this feast of the Epiphany,  the Manifestation of Christ’s Redeeming Light to all the Nations of the world, the glory of the Father’s infinite Mercy to all creation.  Let us find in the Wise Men inspiration to give all we are in the service of the Light of Christ’s Good News.

READER:     We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Gold…
our love given to Christ our King:
                          may we so grow in love that we can offer the world
Christ’s healing, justice and New Life…

                                              O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Frankincense…
our worship for our God in human flesh:
                           may we so grow in prayer that we will find strength
and inspiration to shine before the world
with Christ’s Light…

                                             O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

We welcome the wisdom of the Gift of Myrrh…
our share in the passion of Christ
for the salvation of our world:
                          may we so grow in his sacrificial love that we may place
the demands of the Kingdom
                                    before our own desires and wants…

                                           O … ADORAMUS TE DOMINE [x2]

PRIEST:     May our God forgive the coldness of our love,
                                 the poverty of our prayer,
                                the shallowness of our sacrifice;
                       that we may shine with the splendour of Christ’s Light,
                                and journey with Gospel Wisdom to everlasting life…

                                            AMEN!

FEAST OF THE HOLY FAMILY

PRIEST: As we draw near the end of this year we gather as a family of families … around the simplicity and poverty, the love and the faith of the Holy Family of Bethlehem and Nazareth.  Theirs was not a trouble-free family life: homeless, fleeing for their lives into exile because of the fears of the powerful, destined to be refugees for years.  Yet we celebrate the wonder of God’s great confidence in us and in our families, entrusting His own Son to a family like ours, for Jesus to grow and develop into the power of love that He became.  Let us rededicate ourselves to the task of love, recognising that our failures are forgiven…

READER:         The family is the school of love:
                              that we may replace harshness with forgiveness,
                              criticism with encouragement,
deafness with sensitive listening

                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

The family is called to be a healing community:
                              that we may care rather than judge, accept rather than
reject,
cherish rather than take for granted

                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY

The family is called to be a place of prayer:
                              that Christ may be the centre of our homes,
not on the edge,
                               that parents may be the first and best of teachers
                                        of their children in the ways of faith,
                               that love may set all free to search and develop,
                                        not criticism  to stifle and limit

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May our God who is family, Father, Son and Spirit,
                       bring mercy to our failures, fire to our love grown cold,
                       healing peace to our hurting hearts,
                      and renewed hope to the challenge of love and growth
                      bringing us all to everlasting life…       

                                                AMEN!

 

NEW YEAR’S DAY – FEAST OF MARY THE MOTHER OF GOD

PRIEST: On this first day of the New Year, the Church celebrates Mary the Bearer of God to the world. We look to the first and greatest disciple as we are about to embark on making this year truly the Year of Our Lord 2019. We commend all that is past into the Mercy of God, all that is present into the Love of God and all that is the future into the Providence of God, and journey ahead in faith and trust in the God who leads us. 

READER:      Mary said ‘Yes’ to God with her whole being holding
nothing back:
For the weakness of our ‘yeses’ and
                                      the strength of our ‘no’s’

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY

Mary pondered and treasured the Word she carried in
her heart
so that she could treasure the Word enfleshed in her
womb:
for so often taking the wonder of the Word for granted 

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Mary embraced an unknown future for the sake of the
Kingdom
trusting that the promises of God would be fulfilled;
for our fears of God’s unknown, failing to trust that
                                       God is Love

                                                  LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:  May the Father strengthen our ‘yes’ with His forgiving
mercy;
                     May the Word be enfleshed in our lives with the healing of
forgiveness;
                     May the Spirit carry us forward into God’s Future of
Reconciliation
                     To bring all the world to everlasting life…

                                                  AMEN!

 

NEW YEAR VIGIL

PRIEST: We gather the year that is past with thankfulness for the many touches of grace and goodness that have been the gifts of God; with sorrow for all that has wounded our world through sin and selfishness, war and injustice; with healing prayer for hurts we have endured or have inflicted. We seek to enter the New Year with hearts purified in the fire of Divine Love and lives focussed on the God who makes all things new!

READER:    For Peace not won, and Justice not achieved;
For poverty still rampant and power still abused
We ask your mercy, O God of Peace

                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

For forgiveness withheld and wounds inflicted;
For relationships broken and lives abused
We ask your mercy, O God of Pardon

                                  CHRIST HAVE MERCY

For touches of grace not welcomed and gifts not
accepted;
For the Good News not proclaimed and unity not
achieved
We ask your mercy, O God of Oneness

                                    LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the God of Pardon bring mercy to our failures,
                       The God of Unity bring fire to our love grown cold,
                       The God of Peace bring healing to our hurting hearts,
                        and renew hope as we journey into this New Year
                       To bring all the world to everlasting life…

                                      AMEN!

Christmas Day

PRIEST: Today is a wondrous day … a day for untold rejoicing as we gaze upon the awesome mystery of our God in vulnerable human flesh … the All-powerful contained in the powerless frame of a tiny baby.   Looking into the eyes of this child we can only treat every child with immense respect and love, embrace every human person with a divine love. Yet our world is not like that … and too often neither are we. So we repent of all evil, and seeking the way of peace for ourselves and our world: then our joy will be full this day!

READER:    Father,  come and speak Your Word of Forgiveness
                                  to every human heart:
                         forgive us when we close our heart to Jesus’ brothers and
sisters,
                          when there is no room in our nation for the stranger and
refugee;
                          come free us to welcome Your forgiveness

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY

                          Jesus, come and speak Your Word of Peace
 into the violence and war of our world:
                          for every anger that we harbour within,
                          for every injustice that makes some victims,
                          for being so slow to work for the peace proclaimed at
Your birth…

                                               CHRIST HAVE MERCY

                          Holy Spirit, come and speak Your Word of Love
                                  to a world that forgets how to accept each other:
                          for every refusal to love, to heal,  to give ourselves in
compassion and sacrifice…

                                               LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the Father who has so loved the world that He has
sent His beloved Son embrace you in forgiveness;
                       May the Son and Saviour Jesus who died to reconcile us all
                               touch your heart with pardon and peace;
                       May the Holy Spirit who hovers over this day more brightly
than the Star 
fill your lives with light and healing;
                       and may our God who is with us bring us and all the world
to everlasting life…   

                                              AMEN!