Twenty-Fifth Sunday of Year A

PRIEST: Today we hear the Lord’s call to each one of us to work in His vineyard … the world. He challenges us to build up His Kingdom upon the earth.  Even if we respond only at the eleventh hour, He rewards us with a most generous love that fulfils the yearnings of our heart and completes our joy.  Those going at the eleventh hour as we hear in today’s Gospel, represent those who are normally excluded and marginalised, but whom God calls and wants to be co-workers in the mission of the Church. Will we leave behind our sense of earlier rejection and recognise God’s urgent calling and answer with the gift of ourselves with renewed confidence?  Surely it is our deepest joy to share our faith and to proclaim His Gospel to our own people, our own city. Are we faithful to His calling,  do we work for His Kingdom everyday?

READER:        For narrowness of heart and meanness of the spirit
that does not welcome others who might be different from ourselves,
                             that is not willing to share the work of Christ with one another

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY…

For not answering God’s call to share the Good News,
for allowing past rejections to stop us responding to God’s urgent call
for our lack of enthusiasm in working in God’s Vineyard

                                              CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

When our ways are not God’s ways, our thoughts are not God’s thoughts;
when we fail to challenge our society to change according to the Gospel

                                              LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:         May the God who calls us forgive us every failure to serve,
                         send us once more into His Vineyard,
                         heal us by His mercy of the wounds of past rejection
                         and bring us and all Creation to everlasting life

                                                   AMEN!

Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Year A

PRIEST:     On this ‘Joy of the Gospel’ Sunday, Jesus challenges us to be a community of endless forgiveness, ever opening the gates of mercy to all peoples. For His Gospel of Joy  is news of limitless forgiveness. Broken, hurting and embittered people need to know a community that will go the extra mile to understand and forgive, before they will discover a God they need never fear and can bring them a joy beyond compare. Does our forgiveness of each other and ourselves speak the love of Christ to others? Do we open the gates of mercy to another?

READER:                 When we deprive another of freedom by withholding forgiveness;
                                      when we are held captive by an unbending and unforgiving heart;
when we reject others through our prejudices and harm their growth

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we are slow to forgive those who have hurt us,
slow to forgive ourselves our weakness and failure,
when our parish fails to be a place of reconciliation
and therefore fails to be a place of evangelisation

                                                    CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

Because your mercy is endless,  your love is healing,
your Gospel is joyful Good News of New Beginnings for everyone

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:       May the God of Forgiveness embrace us in mercy,
                        fill us with the joy of the Gospel of unconditional love,
                        and send us to our nation as bearers of reconciliation, healing and hope,
                       offering to all the Good News of everlasting life

                                   AMEN!

Twenty-Third Sunday of Year A

PRIEST: Today, the Word of God presents us with the vision of a community centred upon the Christ who is alive among us … a community that takes seriously the call to holiness:   and takes equally seriously the fact that each one of us is responsible in some measure for each other’s growth and development.  We are given to one another to encourage each other on the path of holiness and Christian maturity. We are part of one another’s gradual conversion to Christ. Today this involves what Pope Francis calls our ‘eco-conversion’, conversion to communion with our common Home the Planet Earth. Let us reflect on whether we accept such responsibility to help and challenge one another to hear the cry of the Earth, the Cry of the Poor – and to act!

READER:                    For the ways we stunt one another’s growth
by our resentments and unforgiveness,
                                       by our lack of caring and concern,
                                       by keeping ourselves to ourselves

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY…

For every refusal to love our neighbour as our self,
for being selective about who our neighbour might be;
for our neglect of our responsibility for the earth, for our environment and for the poor of our ‘common home’

                                                    CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For refusing others when they seek to help us, guide us, encourage us or correct us
For the ways we do not listen to the Prophets who challenge us

                                                    LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:           May the God of all love and compassion accept us as we are,
                            forgive us our every failure
                            and lead us forward by His Spirit to growth and holiness,
                           and bring us and all Creation  to everlasting life…

                                                      AMEN!

TWENTIETH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A

PRIEST:     Today we find strangely harsh words on the lips of Jesus, words that seem to reject a woman who comes to him in her need.  Yet her coming leads him to discover the depth of his mission from God his Father and to offer all peoples his saving love.  Let us ask forgiveness when we are not prepared to open our minds to new ideas and our hearts to new people…

READER:       For whenever we see people as a threat rather than as a gift

                                             LORD HAVE MERCY…

For whenever we are closed to new experiences of God or of our world;
                            when we hurt rather than heal

                                             CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For each refusal to welcome someone who is different,
                             someone we do not understand
every harshness in our words and contempt in our hearts

                                             LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:     May our God absolve us of our sins,
                                 heal us of our wounds,
                                cast out our every fear,
                      and open wide our hearts to the gift of every person,
                      and so bring us and all creation to everlasting life…

                                                AMEN!

NINETEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A

PRIEST: We have powerful images presented to us this morning: the prophet meeting God on the mountain; Paul willing to loose salvation if only his Jewish people would embrace His Lord;  and Peter walking towards Jesus on the storm tossed sea.  Powerful images that speak to us of the power of faith and prayer.  We have come to meet the living God in this Eucharist:  let us like Peter be aware of our weakness and bring that weakness before God with a repentant heart.

READER:               For not making space in our busy lives to listen
                                    to the whispering voice of God deep within us;
                                    for too often not having the faith really to pray…

                                                                                LORD HAVE MERCY …

For the times we lack the faith to trust in the God who calls us;
                                      When we do not have the courage
                                      to ‘launch out over the deep’, risking for God…

                                                                                CHRIST HAVE MERCY …

For the weakness of our faith when the storms overwhelm us;
                                       for the ways we no longer gaze upon the Lord who holds us
                                       in the darkest hour and most fearful turmoil

                                                                                LORD HAVE MERCY …

PRIEST:          May the God of Compassion come to us in every storm of guilt,
                                             and bring us peace;
                             may the Risen Lord draw close to us in our weakness
                                             and heal our fears with his mercy;
                             may the Holy Spirit whisper deep within our hearts the forgiveness
                                             that brings us peace beyond all understanding;
                              and may God raise 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 to everlasting life…

                                             AMEN!

SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR A

PRIEST:    We celebrate today that Jesus is the Wisdom of God, and we should give everything for the rich treasure that He is. We celebrate also that Jesus has given His whole self for us whom he speaks of as the pearl of great price. Jesus challenges us to help others discover the treasure, to rediscover themselves as His pearl of great value. He challenges us to ‘give everything’ as the only way to open ourselves to the incomparable treasures of His love. What in reality do we give,  what are we prepared to sacrifice … and more important what are we not prepared to sacrifice in order to be effective servants of the Gospel, bearers of the Kingdom to our world?

READER:            For listening to other wisdoms
                                 rather than live by the challenging wisdom of the Gospel

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

When we are prepared to sacrifice much for our ambitions,
                                  but little for our faith or the mission of the Gospel

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

Because Christ gave everything,  even life itself,
                                  to gain us for His Father,  and to give us New Life

                                                LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:     May the God of Wisdom pardon us,
                       may Jesus who sacrificed himself for us be ever merciful,
                       may the Spirit fill us with the peace of forgiveness,
                       and bring us and all creation to the rich treasure of everlasting life

                                                AMEN!

FIFTEENTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR

PRIEST:    We celebrate God’s great generosity in sowing so liberally the seed of His Word into our world and into our hearts.  He challenges us to be open soil,  prepared and receptive to welcome the Divine Gift of the Word that is Life.  He further challenges us to become new sowers of the seed of the Word in the field of today’s world.  Let us reflect on our openness to receiving the Word,  and our generosity in sowing the Word.

READER:     For the times we are hard ground,  unyielding and resistant
                          to the Word of God for today’s world,
                          closed to God’s new vision for today’s Church

                                                   LORD HAVE MERCY…

For the times we are shallow soil,  with hollow commitment
                          easily defeated by difficulty and suffering

                                                   CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For humanity’s sowing of seeds of exploitation and destruction
                          into the soil of our ‘common home’, the Earth;
for causing Global Warming and not acting decisively to heal our planet

                                                   LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:       May the Father speak His Word
                         of unconditional forgiveness to our hearts;
                         May Jesus the Word set us free for generous love;
                         May the Spirit utter the Word of God’s freedom deep within our being;
                         and bring all Creation  to everlasting life

                                                   AMEN!

Feast of the Holy & Undivided Trinity

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!

FEAST OF PENTECOST

PRIEST: Fifty days ago we celebrated Jesus’ Resurrection – now we celebrate the Power of Resurrection set free to transform the world! Today is not only the birthday of the Church in a ferment of Praise and Mission, it is also the beginnings of a New World, a New Creation, for through the Church and beyond it, the Spirit is recreating the face of the earth!  On this Pentecost day, this day of the Spirit bringing the Church to a new beginning, let us welcome, through the Global Synod we are all engaged in, the Spirit’s mighty wind and love’s fire into our lives and our community so that through forgiveness we will ever grow in holiness.

READER:       The Holy Spirit comes as a mighty wind!
For our fears and timidity, our lack of courage,
                            in witnessing to Jesus and speaking out Gospel Justice! 

                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

The Holy Spirit comes as flames of fire, fire of Love!
For every denial of love that starves the world of hope;
For every division between Christians that hides the face of Christ 

                                           CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

                                The Holy Spirit gives us a new language of faith and praise!
                               That we might ever speak the language of mercy and forgiveness
Healing and hope to our broken but beautiful world 

                                           LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:    May the Father set us free to be Children of God;
                      may Jesus enthroned in Glory pour out upon us the Spirit of Love and Mercy;
                     may the Holy Spirit rush through our lives to lead us to new beginnings
                      and bring all the world to everlasting life

                                              AMEN!