5th SUNDAY 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.  Let us repent, and invite Jesus to rise victorious over sin and oppression within us, unbinding us and setting us free.

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

                                                   LORD HAVE MERCY

When we bind each other by our criticism and condemnation;
                                    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 and holiness

                                                   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!

 

4TH SUNDAY YEAR C

PRIEST:      Today a touch of joy lightens the austerity of our Lenten journey:  for we fast and repent only to create more space for Christ’s joy.  And what is our joy?   On this ‘Mothering Sunday’ we recognise that our deepest joy is to give life to others by our love and our faith.  Our joy is to be welcomed home by our Father Who is prodigal in His Love, His Mercy, His Faithfulness to us for us,  His acceptance of us:  let us not be afraid to return home to His forgiveness…

READER:          Sometimes we are afraid to be honest with ourselves;
afraid to face the shadows we find within us
                                       and our need for forgiveness:
                                that we might trust God’s generous mercy…

                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

Often we can be like the elder brother,
                                 refusing to forgive,  to welcome the sinner home;
                                 that our mercy may be like our Father’s…

                                                            CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Christ’s forgiveness makes us a New Creation,
                                 summoning us to be ambassadors for Reconciliation:
                                 when as a parish we do not express mutual forgiveness
                                 and fail to offer the healing that flows from divine mercy…

                                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:             May the Father’s love call us back to ourselves;
                                may Jesus our redeeming elder brother rejoice
                                             to heal our wanderings;
                                may the Spirit lighten our hearts with the joy of divine mercy;
                                and bring us all to everlasting life…

                                                              AMEN!

 

4th Sunday Lent YA

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 and poverty-stricken 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

PRIEST:    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. It is fitting that today we welcome especially our elected Catechumens to receive the gift of Faith expressed in handing on the Creed of the Church to them, as they prepare for Easter Sacraments. As with the Samaritan woman of today’s Gospel, so with us – he 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, 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 do not give 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,
                        do not want our plans 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!

Second Sunday of Lent YC

PRIEST: We have hardly begun our Lenten journey,  yet we are given a glimpse of the glory to come:  the glory Abraham beheld at the moment of covenant;  Jesus clothed in the glory of God on the mountain of the Transfiguration.  That vision will give him the courage to embrace the Cross that he sees lying ahead of him;  that vision will enable the apostles to hold on in the dark days of Calvary.  In our darkest moments God gives us enough light to guide our steps and encourage our faltering hearts.  But do we trust him?

READER:          ‘As he prayed,  his face was changed…’
                               For the times we have said no to prayer,
                               or have resisted the call to deeper prayer
and instead settled for superficial words…

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY

‘Master,  it is wonderful for us to be here:  let us build three tents…’
                               For wanting to stay in the place of our comfort,
                               avoiding the disturbing Gospel

                                                       CHRIST HAVE MERCY

‘This is my Son,  the Chosen One.  Listen to him.’
For not centring our lives upon Jesus our Redeemer,
for not listening to His Word in Scripture
and in the stillness of our hearts…

                                                       LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:         May the God of all Glory transfigure our every failure
                                          by the gift of his mercy;
                           may the Transfigured Christ embrace the sins of our
                                         woundedness and liberate us for Glory;
                           may the Spirit of God’s presence ever abide with us
                                         to empower us to reconcile with love;
                           and bring our world to the Glory of everlasting life

                                                        AMEN!

First Sunday of Lent

PRIEST:      We have begun our journey of these 40 days of Lent – like Jesus we enter into the desert to face the demons of our own hearts – demons of selfishness and of comfort,  demons of greed and exploitation.  Whatever our demons are,  Lent is a time to confront and defeat them in the power of Jesus’ love. Jesus seeks to set us free from everything that imprisons our hearts and limits our love. So let us enter upon the sacred and life-giving task and so grow in the freedom of the children of God…

READER:        Jesus is tempted to be popular with the crowd  rather than faithful to His Father:
                             when we conform to others wisdom and prejudices
rather than live by the challenging values of the Gospel

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY

Jesus is tempted to use His power for his own gain, rather than to enrich others with life:
                            when we use our power to diminish others or
                            to satisfy our own desires,  rather than to serve others

                                                          CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Jesus is tempted to take the quick and easy road to success,
                                       rather than the hard road through calvary to love’s victory:
                            when we opt for our own comfort,  when we do not want
                            to be disturbed or to disturb

                                                          LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the God who calls us to the desert of his love embrace us with mercy;
                       may the Redeemer who walks our path of temptation so forgive us
                      as to heal our sin;
                      may the Spirit change our hearts and give us the joy of repentance;
                      and bring us and the world to everlasting life

                                                          AMEN!

8th Sunday of the Year YC

PRIEST:     Jesus sees with a clear eye to the core of every human person;  he speaks a life-giving word from a pure heart of love;  his life bears God’s fruitfulness from the tree of the Cross.  Today His Word really challenges each of us who are His disciples:  as we near Lent and the beginning of this time of Renewal, we need to recognise how blind we can be to our own failures, while so prone to judge harshly the failures of others; we need to look at the soundness of our tree – whether we are truly rooted in Christ and so one heart with him, bearing the same fruit as him…

READER:     For all the hidden ways we judge each other,
see the faults of others without being honest about our own

                                         LORD HAVE MERCY…

For words that wound rather than heal,  deceive rather than enlighten,   tear down rather than build up

                                         CHRIST HAVE MERCY…

For the ways our heart is not a heart of prayer,  a heart of love, and so we do not bear the fruit that brings people to know our Beloved Christ

                                         LORD HAVE MERCY…

PRIEST:     May the God who sees to the heart challenge our hypocrisy and forgive our weakness;
                       may the Saviour transform us by the mercy of the Tree of His Cross;
                      may the Spirit be the light of love to heal us into the fruitfulness of God
                     and bring us all into everlasting life…

                                            AMEN!

7th Sunday of the Year YC

PRIEST: Today we hear how David refuses to give way to vengeance on King Saul; St Paul tells us to become more and more like Jesus, the heavenly man; and Jesus himself confronts us with the foolishness of God! He challenges us to love our enemies,  to return blessing for a curse.  He urges us to share the very compassion of God with a generous and giving heart. It is foolish talk,  unrealistic idealism for the world …  Is it the same for us?  Or have we the courage to live the foolish generosity of God here and now?

READER:    Jesus says: ‘Love your enemies’ …
                          when we hold onto grudges,
                          past hurts,  and meaningless animosities

                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

Jesus says: ‘Give to everyone who asks you’ …
                         for meanness of heart and pocket,  for lack of generosity
with our time, our energy and our caring

                                            CHRIST HAVE MERCY

Jesus says: ‘Be compassionate – do not judge’ …
                         when we ignore or make ourselves blind to the suffering of others,
                         because it will cost too much;
                         for being judgemental rather than forgiving and understanding

                                            LORD HAVE MERCY

PRIEST:     May the compassionate Father embrace us;
                       may Jesus who died for love of his enemies and ours forgive us;
                      may the Spirit given so generously empower us to be
                     servants of reconciliation and peace;
                     and bring all the world to everlasting life…

                                              AMEN!

SIXTH SUNDAY OF THE YEAR – PENITENTIAL RITE – YC

PRIEST: Jesus is the Prophet of the Poor – the Voice of the Voiceless. We hear this morning Luke’s version of the Beatitudes – the Blessings of the Kingdom. But if the Poor are blessed, if the world is to change to raise up the poor, then  the world of the rich must radically change! Jesus’ Kingdom turns the world’s order of things upside down!  Are we going to be ‘turning the world upside down’? Are we going to stand with Jesus where he is … among the poor, powerless and voiceless? What a challenge to the Church – what a challenge to you and me!

READER: When we trust in our own power and possessions

rather than trust in the foolish wisdom of Jesus

SUNG RESPONSE

For resisting the challenge to be truly identified with Jesus

who identifies with the struggles of the Poor

SUNG RESPONSE

When the words of our Church speak of Option for the Poor

but our own life-style and the way we use our energy as a parish

belie the fine words 

SUNG RESPONSE

PRIEST: May the God who saved the poor of Israel bring us mercy;

May Jesus born into the poverty of Bethlehem and Galilee

          share with us liberating compassion and strong justice;

May the Holy Spirit who renews the face of the earth 

        by turning the world upside down, renew us forgiveness

and bring all the world to everlasting life…

AMEN!

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!