07 April 2020

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

TUESDAY OF HOLY WEEK

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world.
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Collect

Almighty ever-living God,
grant us so to celebrate
the mysteries of the Lord’s Passion
that we may merit to receive your pardon.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 49: 1-6

I will make you the light of the nations so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.

Islands, listen to me,
pay attention, remotest peoples.
The Lord called me before I was born,
from my mother’s womb he pronounced my name.

He made my mouth s sharp sword,
and hid me in the shadow of his hand.
He made me into a sharpened arrow,
and concealed my in his quiver.

He said to me, ‘You are my servant Israel,
in whom I shall be glorified’;
while I was thinking, ‘I have toiled in vain,
I have exhausted myself for nothing’;

and all the whilst my cause was with the Lord,
my reward with my God.
I was honoured in the eyes of the Lord,
my God was my strength.

And now the Lord has spoken,
he who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
to gather Israel to him:

‘It is not enough for you to be my servant,
to restore the tribes of Jacob and bring back the survivors of Israel;
I will make you the light of the nations
so that my salvation may reach to the ends of the earth.’

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 70: 1-6, 15-17. R. v.15

My lips will tell of your help.

In you, O Lord, I take refuge;
let me never be put to shame.
In your justice rescue me, free me:
pay heed to me and save me. R.

Be a rock where I can take refuge,
a mighty stronghold to save me;
for you are my rock, my stronghold.
Free me from the hand of the wicked. R.

It is you, O Lord, who are my hope,
my trust, O Lord, since my youth.
On you I have leaned from my birth,
from my mother’s womb you have been my help. R.

My lips will tell of your justice
and day by day of your help
(though I can never tell it all).
O God, you have taught me from my youth
and I proclaim your wonders still. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Hail to you, our King!
Obedient to the Father, you were led to your crucifixion
as a meek lamb is led to the slaughter.

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 13: 21-33, 36-38

One of you will betray me; before the cock crows, you will have disowned me three times.

While at supper with his disciples, Jesus was troubled in spirit and declared, ‘I tell you most solemnly, one of you will betray me.’ The disciples looked at one another, wondering which he meant. The disciple Jesus loved was reclining next to Jesus; Simon Peter signed to him and said, ‘Ask who it is he means’, so leaning back on Jesus’s breast he said, ‘Who is it, Lord?’ ‘It is the one’ replied Jesus ‘to whom I gave the piece of bread that I shall dip in the dish.’ He dipped the piece of bread and gave it to Judas son of Simon Iscariot. At that instant, after Judas had taken the bread, Satan entered him. Jesus then said, ‘What you are going to do, do quickly.’ None of the others at the table understood the reason he said this. Since Judas had charge of the common fund, some of them thought Jesus was telling him, ‘Buy what we need for the festival’, or telling him to give something to the poor. As soon as Judas had taken the piece of bread he went out. Night had fallen.

When he had gone Jesus said:

‘Now has the Son of Man been glorified,
and in him God has been glorified.
If God has been glorified in him,
God will in turn glorify him in himself,
and will glorify him very soon.
I shall not be with you much longer.
You will look for me,
and, as I told the Jews,
where I am going,
you cannot come.’

Simon Peter said, ‘Lord, where are you going?’ Jesus replied, ‘Where I am going you cannot follow me now; you will follow me later.’ Peter said to him, ‘Why can’t I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you.’ ‘Lay down your life for me?’ answered Jesus. ‘I tell you solemnly, before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’

The Gospel of the Lord.

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual communion 

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You.
Amen.

Daily Prayer

All-powerful, ever-lasting God,
may our sacramental celebration of the Lord’s passion
bring us your forgiveness.

We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

06 April 2020

MONDAY OF HOLY WEEK

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

Gloria

Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you,
we bless you,
we adore you,
we glorify you,
we give you thanks for your great glory,
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,
you take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world.
receive our prayer;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father,
have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father.
Amen.

Collect

Grant, we pray, almighty God,
that, though in our weakness we fail,
we may be revived through
the Passion on your Only
Begotten Son.

Who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 42: 1-7

He does not cry out or shout aloud.

Here is my servant whom I uphold,
my chosen one in whom my soul delights.
I have endowed him with my spirit
that he may bring true justice to the nations.

He does not cry out or shout aloud,
or make his voice heard in the streets.
He does not break the crushed reed,
not quench the wavering flame.

Faithfully he brings true justice;
he will neither waver, nor be crushed
until true justice is established on earth,
for the Islands are awaiting his law.

Thus says God, the Lord,
he who created the heavens and spread them out,
who gave shape to the earth and what comes from it,
who gave breath to its people
and life to the creatures that move in it:

I, the Lord, have called you to serve the cause of right;
I have taken you by the hand and formed you;
I have appointed you as covenant of the people and light of the nations,
to open the eyes of the blind,
to free captives from prison,
and those who live in darkness from the dungeon.

The word of the Lord.

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 26: 1-3, 13-14. R. v.1

The Lord is my light and my help.

The Lord is my light and my help;
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
before whom shall I shrink? R.

When evil-doers draw near
to devour my flesh,
it is they, my enemies and foes,
who stumble and fall. R.

Though an army encamp against me
my heart would not fear.
Though war break out against me
even then would I trust. R.

I am sure I shall see the Lord’s goodness
in the land of the living.
Hope in him, hold firm and take heart.
Hope in the Lord! R.

Gospel Acclamation

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Hail to you, our King!
You alone have had compassion for our sins.

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 12: 1-11

Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial.

Six days before the Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom he had raised from the dead. They gave a dinner for him there; Martha waited on them and Lazarus was among those at table. Mary brought in a pound of very costly ointment, pure nard, and with it anointed the feet of Jesus, wiping them with her hair; the house was full of the scent of the ointment. Then Judas Iscariot – one of his disciples, the man who was to betray him – said, ‘Why wasn’t this ointment sold for three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor?’ He said this, not because be cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he was in charge of the common fund and used to help himself to the contributions. So Jesus said, ‘Leave her alone; she had to keep this scent for the day of my burial. You have the poor with you always, you will not always have me.’

Meanwhile a large number of Jews heard that he was there and came not only on account of Jesus but also to see Lazarus whom he had raised from the dead. Then the chief priests decided to kill Lazarus as well, since it was on his account that many of the Jews were leaving them and believing in Jesus.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual communion 

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You.
Amen.

Daily Prayer

Almighty God, grant that we who are constantly betrayed by our own weakness,
may draw the breath of new life
from the passion and death of your Only-begotten Son,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

04/05 APRIL 2020

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

It is a moving experience each year on Palm Sunday as we go up the mountain with Jesus, towards the Temple, accompanying him on his ascent. But what are we really doing when we join this procession as part of the throng which went up with Jesus to Jerusalem and hailed him as King of Israel? Does it have anything to do with the reality of our life and our world? To answer this, we must first be clear about what Jesus himself wished to do and actually did. He was journeying towards the Temple in the Holy City, towards that place which for Israel ensured in a particular way God’s closeness to his people. The ultimate goal of his pilgrimage was the heights of God himself; to those heights he wanted to lift every human being. Our procession today is meant, then, to be an image of something deeper, to reflect the fact that, together with Jesus, we are setting out on pilgrimage along the high road that leads to the living God.

PALM SUNDAY OF THE PASSION OF THE LORD

Jesus is King!

The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem gives way to his passion and death. Yet within a few days Jesus will rise triumphant from the dead. He is the firm ground of our hope that all suffering in this life are overcome in the power of his resurrection.


The Commemoration of the Lord’s Entrance into Jerusalem

As usual, we gather outside our Church, in the garden of the Presbytery.

Our Lady & St Philip Neri RC Church, Sydenham
Our Lady & St Philip Neri RC Church, Sydenham

With Palm Crosses in hand, we recite the Antiphon from Matthew 21:9.

Hosanna to the Son of David;
blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord,
the King os Israel.
Hosanna in the highest.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Address

Since the beginning of Lent until now
we have prepared our hearts by penance and charitable works.
Today we gather together to herald with the whole Church
the beginning of the celebration
of our Lord’s Paschal Mystery,
that is to say, of his Passion and Resurrection.
For it was to accomplish his mystery
that he entered his own city of Jerusalem.
Therefore, with all faith and devotion,
let us commemorate
the Lord’s entry into the city for our salvation,
following in his footsteps,
so that, being made by his grace partakers of the Cross,
we may have a share also in his Resurrection and in his life.

Prayer

Almighty ever-living God, sanctify these branches with your blessing, that we, who follow Christ the King in exultation, may reach the eternal Jerusalem through him.

Who lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen.

Reading

A reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew 21: 1-11

When they were near Jerusalem and come in sight of Bethphage, on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village facing you, and you will immediately find a tethered donkey and a colt with her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, you are to say, ‘The Master needs them and will send them back directly.'” This took place to fulfil the prophecy:

‘Say to the daughter of Zion:
Look, your king comes to you,
he is humble, he rides on a donkey
and on a colt, the foal of a beast of burden.’

So the disciples went out and did as Jesus had told them. They brought the donkey and the colt, then laid their cloaks on their backs and he sat on them. Great crowds of people spread their cloaks on the road, while others were cutting branches from the trees and spreading them in his path. The crowds who went in front of him and those who followed were all shouting:

“Hosanna to the Son of David!
Blessings on him who comes on the name of the Lord!
Hosanna in the highest heavens!”

And when he entered Jerusalem, the whole city was in turmoil. “Who is this?” people asked, and the crowds answered, “This is the prophet Jesus from Nazareth in Galilee.”

Procession

Like the crowds who acclaimed Jesus in Jerusalem, let us go forth in peace.

At this point, we process into the Church, singing the following Antiphon from Psalm 23:

The children of the Hebrews, carrying olive branches,
went to meet the Lord, crying out and saying:
Hosanna in the highest.

The Lord’s is the earth and its fullness,
the world, and those who dwell in it.
It is he who set it on the seas;
on the rivers he made it firm. R.

Who shall climb the mountain of the Lord?
The clean hands and pure of heart,
whose soul is not set on vain things,
who has not sworn deceitful works. R.

Blessings from the Lord shall he receive,
and right reward from the God who saves him.
Such are the people who seek him,
who seek the face of the God of Jacob. R.

O gates, lift high your heads,
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is this king of glory?
The Lord, the mighty, the vailiant;
the Lord, the valiant in war. R.

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is this king of glory?
He, the Lord of hosts,
he is the king of glory. R.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

Entrance Antiphon

Six days before the Passover,
when the Lord came into the city of Jerusalem,
the children ran to meet him;
in their hands they carried palm branches
and with a loud voice cried out:

Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!

O gates, lift high your heads;
grow higher, ancient doors.
Let him enter, the king of glory!
Who is this king of glory?
He, the Lord of hosts, he is the king of glory.

Hosanna in the highest!
Blessed are you, who have come in your abundant mercy!

Collect

Almighty ever-living God,
who as an example of humility for the human race to follow
caused our Saviour to take flesh and submit to the Cross,
graciously grant that we may heed his lesson of patient suffering
and so merit a share in his Resurrection.

Who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever, and ever.

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Isaiah 50: 4-7

I did not cover my face against insult – I know I shall not be shamed.

The Lord has given me
a disciple’s tongue.
So that I may know how to reply to the wearied
he provides me with speech.
Each morning he wakes me to hear,
to listen like a disciple.
The Lord has opened my ear.
For my part, I made no resistance,
neither did I turn away.
I offered my back to those who struck me,
my cheeks to those who tore at my beard;
I did not cover my face
against insult and spittle.
The Lord comes to my help,
so that I am untouched by the insults.
So, too, I set my face like flint;
I know I shall not be shamed.

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 21: 8-9, 17-20, 23-24. R. v.2

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?

  1. All who see me deride me.
    They curl their lips, they toss their heads.
    “He trusted in the Lord, let him save him;
    let him release him if this is his friend.” R.
  2. Many dogs have surrounded me,
    a band of the wicked beset me.
    They tear holes in my hands and my feet.
    I can count every one of my bones. R.
  3. They divide my clothing among them.
    They cast lots for my robe.
    O Lord, do not leave me alone,
    my strength, make haste to help me! R.
  4. I will tell of your name to my brethren
    and praise you where they are assembled.
    “You who fear the Lord give him praise;
    all sons of Jacob, give him glory.
    Revere him, Israel’s sons.” R.

Second Reading

A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Philippians 2: 6-11

He humbled himself, but God raised him high.

His state was divine,
yet Christ Jesus did not cling
to his equality with God
but emptied himself
to assume the condition of a slave,
and became as men are;
and being as all men are,
he was humbler yet,
even to accepting death,
death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name
which is above all other names
so that all beings
in the heavens, on earth and in the underworld,
should bend the knee at the name of Jesus
and that every tongue should acclaim
Jesus Christ as Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Gospel Acclamation

Philippians 2: 8-9

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory:
Christ was humbler yet,
even to accepting death, death on a cross.
But God raised him high
and gave him the name which is above all names.
Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory.

Gospel

The passion of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew 26: 14-27: 66

The symbols in the following passion narrative represent:
N – Narrator
J – Jesus
O – Other single speaker

C – Crowd, or more than one speaker

N
One of the Twelve, the man called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said:

O
What are you prepared to give me if I hand him over to you?

N
They paid him thirty silver pieces, and from that moment he looked for an opportunity to betray him. Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread the disciples came to Jesus to say,

C
Where do you want us to make the preparations for you to eat the Passover?

N
He replied:

J
Go to so-and-so in the city and say to him, ‘The Master says: My time is near. It is at you house that I am keeping Passover with my disciples.’

N
The disciples did what Jesus told them and prepared the Passover. When the evening came he was at table with the twelve disciples. And whilst they were eating he said:

J
I tell you solemnly, one of you is about to betray me.

N
They were greatly distressed and started asking him in turn,

C
Not I, Lord, surely?

N
He answered:

J
Someone who has dipped his hand into the dish with me, will betray me. The Son of Man is going to his fate, as the scriptures say he will, but alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! Better for that man if he had never been born!

N
Judas, who was to betray him, asked in his turn,

O
Not I, Rabbi, surely?

N
Jesus answered:

J
They are your own words.

N
Now as they were eating, Jesus took some bread, and when he had said the blessing he broke it and gave it to the disciples and said:

J
Take it and eat; this is my body.

N
Then he took a cup, and when he had returned thanks he gave it to them saying:

J
Drink all of you from this, for this is my blood, the blood of the covenant, which is to be poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins. From now on, I tell you, I shall not drink wine until the day I drink the new wine with you in the kingdom of my Father.

N
After psalms had been sung they left for the Mount of Olives. Then Jesus said to them,

J
You will all lose faith in me this night, for the scripture says: I shall strike the shepherd and the sheep of the flock will be scattered. But after my resurrection I shall go before you to Galilee.

N
At this, Peter said:

O
Though all lost faith in you, I will never lose faith.

N
Jesus answered him,

J
I tell you solemnly, this very nights, before the cock crows, you will have disowned me three times.

N
Peter said to him,

O
Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.

N
And all the disciples said the same.
Then Jesus came with them to a small estate called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples,

J
Stay here while I go over there to pray.

N
He took Peter and the two sons of Zebedee with him. And sadness came over him, and great distress. Then he said to them:

J
My soul is sorrowful to the point of death. Wait here and keep awake with me.

N
And going on a little further he fell on his face and prayed:

J
My Father, if it is possible let this cup pass me by. Nevertheless, let it be as you, not I, would have it.

N
He came back to the disciples and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter:

J
So you had not the strength to keep awake with me one hour? You should be awake, and praying not to be put to the test. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

N
Again, a second time, he went away and prayed:

J
My Father, if this cup cannot pass by without drinking it, your will be done!

N
And he came again back and found them sleeping, their eyes were so heavy. Leaving them there, he went away again and prayed for the third time, repeating the same words. Then he came back to the disciples and said to them,

J
You can sleep on now and take your rest. Now the hour has come when the Son of Man is to be betrayed into the hands of sinners. Get up! Let us go! My betrayer is already close at hand.

N
He was still speaking when Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared, and with him a large number of men armed with swords and clubs, sent by the chief priests and elders of the people. Now the traitor had arranged a sign with them. He had said:

O
‘The one I kiss, he is the man. Take him in charge.’

N
So he went straight up to Jesus and said:

O
Greetings, Rabbi,

N
and kissed him. Jesus said to him,

J
My friend, fo what you are here for.

N
Then they came forward, seized Jesus and took him in charge. At that, one of the followers of Jesus grasped his sword and drew it; he struck out at the high priest’s servant and cut off his ear. Jesus then said:

J
Put your sword back, for all who draw the sword will die by the sword. Or do you think that I cannot appeal to my Father who would promptly send more than twelve legions of angels to my defence? But then, how would the scriptures be fulfilled that say this is the way it must be?

N
It was at this time that Jesus said to the crowds:

J
Am I a brigand, that you had to set out to capture me with swords and clubs? I sat teaching in the Temple day after day and you never laid hands on me.

N
Now all this happened to fulfil the prophets in scripture. Then all the disciples deserted him and ran away.
The men who had arrested Jesus led him off to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders were assembled. Peter followed him at a distance, and when he reached the high priest’s palace, he went in and sat down with the attendants to see what the end would be.
The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus, however false, on which they might pass the death sentence. But they could not find any, though several lying witnesses came forward. Eventually two stepped forward and made a statement,

O
This man said: ‘I have power to destroy the Temple of God and in three days build it up.’

N
The high priest then stood up and said to him:

O
Have you no answer to that? What is this evidence these men are bringing against you?

N
But Jesus was silent. And the high priest said to him:

O
I put you on oath by the living God to tell us if you are the Christ, the Son of God.

N
Jesus answered:

J
The words are your own. Moreover, I tell you that from this time onward you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven.

N
At this, the high priest tore his clothes and said:

O
He has blasphemed. What need of witnesses have we now? There! You have just heard the blasphemy. What is you opinion?

N
They answered:

C
He deserves to die

N
Then they spat in his face and hit him with their fists; others said as they struck him:

C
Play the prophet, Christ! Who hit you then?

N
Meanwhile Peter was sitting outside in the courtyard, and a servant-girl came up to him and said:

O
You too were with Jesus the Galilean.

N
But he denied it in front of them all, saying:

O
I do not know what you are talking about.

N
When he went out to the gateway another servant-girl saw him and said to the people there:

O
This man was with Jesus the Nazarene.

N
And again, with an oath, he denied it,

O
I do not know the man.

N
A little later the bystanders came up and said to Peter:

C
You are one of them for sure! Why, your accent gives you away.

N
Then he started calling down curses on himself and swearing:

O
I do not know the man.

N
At that moment the cock crew, and Peter remembered what Jesus has said, ‘Before the cock crows you will have disowned me three times.’
And he went outside and wept bitterly.
When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people met in council to bring about the death of Jesus. They had him bound, and led him away to hand him over to Pilate, the governor. When he found that Jesus had been condemned, Judas his betrayer was filled with remorse and took the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests and elders saying:

O
I have sinned. I have betrayed innocent blood.

N
They replied:

C
What is that to us? That is your concern.

N
And flinging down the silver pieces in the sanctuary he made off, and went and hanged himself. The chief priests picked up the silver pieces and said:

C
It is against the Law to put this into the treasury; it is blood money.

N
So they discussed the matter and bought the potter’s field with it as a graveyard for foreigners, and this is why the field is called the Field of Blood today. The words of the prophet Jeremiah were then fulfilled: One was priced by children of Israel, and they gave them for the potter’s field, just as the Lord directed me.
Jesus, then, was brought before the governor, and the governor put to him this question:

O
Are you the king of the Jews?

N
Jesus replied:

J
It is you who say it.

N
But when he was accused by the chied priests and the elders he refused to answer at all. Pilate then said to him:

O
Do you not hear how many charges they have brought against you?

N
But to the governor’s complete amazement, he offered no reply to any of the charges.
At festival time it was the governor’s practice to release a prisoner for the people, anyone they chose. Now there was at the time a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. So when the crowd gathered, Pilate said to them,

O
Which do you want me to release for you: Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?

N
For Pilate knew it was out of jealousy that they had handed him over. Now as he was seated in the chair of judgement, his wife sent him a message,

O
Have nothing to do with that man; I have been upset all day by a dream I had about him.

N
The chief priests and the elders, however, had persuaded the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas and the execution of Jesus. So when the governor spoke and asked them:

O
Which of the two do you want me to release for you?

N
They said:

C
Barabbas.

N
Pilate said to them:

O
What am I to do with Jesus who is called Christ?

N
They all said:

C
Let him be crucified!

N
Pilate asked:

O
Why? What harm has he done?

N
But they shouted all the louder,

C
Let him be crucified!

N
Then Pilate saw that he was making no impression, that in fact a riot was imminent. So he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd and said:

O
I am innocent of this man’s blood. It is your concern.

N
And the people, to a man, shouted back:

C
His blood be on us and on our children!

N
Then he released Barabbas for them. He ordered Jesus to be first scourged and then handed over to be crucified.
The governor’s soldiers took Jesus with them into the Praetorium and collected the whole cohort round him. Then they stripped him and made him wear a scarlet cloak, and having twisted some thorns into a crown they put this on his head and placed a reed in his right hand. To make fun of him they knelt to him saying:

C
Hail, king of the Jews!

N
And they spat on him and took the reed and struck him on the head with it. And when they had finished making fun of him, they took off the cloak and dressed him in his own clothes and led him away to crucify him.
On their way out, they came across a man from Cyrene, Simon by name, and enlisted him to carry his cross. When they had reached a place called Golgotha, that is, the place of the skull, they gave him wine to drink. When they had finished crucifying him, they shared out His clothing by casting lots, and then sat down and stayed there keeping guard over him. Above his head was placed the charge against him; it read: ‘This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.’ At the same time two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.
The passers-by jeered at him; they shook their heads and said:

C
So you would destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days! Then save yourself! If you are God’s son, come down from the cross!

N
The chief priests with the scribes and elders mocked him in the same way, saying:

C
He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down from the cross now, and we will believe in him. He put his trust in God; now let God rescue him if he wants him. For he did say, ‘I am the son of God.’

N
Even the robbers who were crucified with him taunted him in the same way.
From the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried out in a loud voice:

J
Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?

N
That is: ‘My God, my God, why have you deserted me?’ When some of those who stood there heard this, they said:

C
The man is calling on Elijah,

N
and one of them quickly ran to get a sponge which he dipped in vinegar and, putting it on a reed, gave it him to drink. The rest of them said:

C
Wait! See if Elijah will come to save him.

N
But Jesus, again crying out in a loud voice, yielded up his spirit.

Kneel and pause a moment.

N
At that, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom; the earth quaked; the rocks were split; the tombs opened and the bodies of many holy men rose from the dead, and these, after his resurrection came out of the tombs, entered the Holy City and appeared to a number of people.
Meanwhile the centurion, together with the others guarding Jesus, had seen the earthquake and all that was taking place, and they were terrified and said:

C
In truth this was a son of God.

N
And many women were there, watching from a distance, the same women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him. Among them were Mary of Magdala, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
When it was evening, there came a rich man of Arimathaea called Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Pilate thereupon ordered it to be handed over. So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean shroud and put it in his own new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a large stone across the entrance of the tomb and went away. Now Mary of Magdala and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the sepulchre.
Next day, that is, when Preparation day was over, the chief priests and the Pharisees went in a body to Pilate and said to him,

C
Your Excellency, we recall that this imposter said, while he was still alive, ‘After three days I shall rise again.’ Therefore give the order to have the sepelchre kept secure until the third day, for fear his disciples come and steal him away and tell the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ This last piece of fraud would be worse than what went before.

N
Pilate said to them:

O
You may have your guards. Go and make all as secure as you know how.

N
So they went and made the sepulchre secure, putting seals on the stone and mounting a guard.

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion 

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You.
Amen.

Daily Prayer

Almighty, ever-living God,
you gave our Saviour the command
to become man and undergo the cross,
as an example of humility for all men to follow.
We have the lessons of his sufferings:
give us also the fellowship of his resurrection.

We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

04 April 2020

SATURDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Ezekiel 37: 21-28

I will make them into one nation.

The Lord says this: ‘I am going to take the sons of Israel from the nations where they have gone. I shall gather them together from everywhere and bring them home to their own soil. I shall make them into one nation in my own land and on the mountain of Israel, and one king is to be king of them all; they will no longer form two nations, nor be two separate kingdoms. They will no longer defile themselves with their idols and their filthy practices and all their sins. I shall rescue them from all the betrayals they have been guilty of; I shall cleanse them; they shall be my people and I will be their God. My servant David will reign over them, one shepherd for all; they will follow my observances, respect my laws, and practice them. They will live in the land that I gave my servant Jacob, the land in which your ancestors lived. They will live in it, they, their children, their children’s children, for ever. David my servant is to be their prince for ever. I shall make a covenant of peace with them, an eternal covenant with them. I shall resettle them and increase them; I shall settle my sanctuary among them for ever. I shall make my home above them; I will be their God, they shall be my people. And the nations will learn that I am the Lord the sanctifier of Israel, when my sanctuary is with them for ever.’

Responsorial Psalm

Jr 31: 10-13. R. v.10

The Lord will guard us
as a shepherd guards his flock.

O nations, hear the word of the Lord,
proclaim it to the far-off coasts.
Say: ‘He who scattered Israel will gather him
and guard him as a shepherd guards his flock.’ R.

For the Lord has ransomed Jacob,
has saved him from an overpowering hand.
They will come and shout for joy on Mount Zion,
they will stream to the blessings of the Lord. R.

Then the young girls will rejoice and will dance,
the men, young and old, will be glad.
I will turn their mourning into joy.
I will console them, give gladness for grief. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Jn 3:16

Glory to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!
God loved the world so much that he gave his only Son;
everyone who believes in him has eternal life.
Glory to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 11: 45-56

To gather together in unity the scattered children of God.

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what Jesus did believed in him, but some of them went to tell the Pharisees what he had done. Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting. ‘Here is this man working all these signs’ they said ‘and what action are we taking? If we let him go in in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy the Holy Place and our nation.’ One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year, said, ‘You don’t seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is better for one man to die for the people, than for the whole nation to be destroyed.’ He did not speak in his own person, it was as high priest that he made this prophesy that Jesus was to die for the nation – and not or the nation only, but to gather together in unity the scattered children of God. From that day they were determined to kill him. So Jesus no longer went about openly among the Jews, but left the district for a town called Ephraim, in the country bordering on the desert, and stayed there with his disciples.

The Jewish Passover drew near, and many of the country people who had gone up to Jerusalem to purify themselves looked out for Jesus, saying to one another as they stood about in the Temple, ‘What do you think? Will he come to the festival or not?’

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion 

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You.
Amen.

Daily Prayer

Lord God, at all times you are working out the salvation of man, but now more especially you enrich your people with grace.
Look kindly on this people; keep the seal of baptism inviolate in those who have received it and in those who still await their rebirth in the Spirit.

We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

03 April 2020

FRIDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

Day of Prayer for Victims and Survivors of Abuse.

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Jeremiah 20: 10-13

The Lord is at my side, a mighty hero.

Jeremiah said:

‘I hear so many disparaging me,
“Terror from every side!’
Denounce him! Let us denounce him!”
All those who used to be my friends
watched for my downfall,
“Perhaps he will be seduced into error.
Then we will master him
and take out revenge!”
But the Lord is at my side, a mighty hero;
my opponents will stumble, mastered,
confounded by their failure;
everlasting, unforgettable disgrace will be theirs.
But you, Lord of hosts, you who probe with justice,
who scrutinise the loins and heart,
let me see the vengeance you will take on them,
for I have committed my cause to you.
Sing to the Lord,
praise the Lord,
for he has delivered the soul of the needy
from the hands of evil men.’

Responsorial Psalm

Ps 17: 2-7. R. Cf. v.7

In my anguish I called to the Lord
and he heard my voice.

I love you, Lord, my strength,
my rock, my fortress, my saviour.
My God is the rock where I take refuge;
my shield, my mighty help, my stronghold.
The Lord is worthy of all praise:
when I call I am saved from my foes. R.

The waves of death rose about me;
the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the snares of the grave entangled me;
the traps of death confronted me. R.

In my anguish I called to the Lord;
I cried to my God for help,
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came to his ears. R.

Gospel Acclamation

Mt 4: 17

Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!
Repent, says the Lord, for the kingdom of heaven is close at hand.
Glory to you, O Christ, you are the Word of God!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 10: 31-42

They wanted to arrest Jesus, but he eluded them.

The Jews fetched stones to stone him, so Jesus said to them, ‘I have done many good works for you to see, works from my Father; for which of these are you stoning me?’ The Jews answered him, ‘We are not stoning you for doing good work but for blasphemy: you are only a man and you claim to be God.’ Jesus answered:

‘Is it not written in your Law:
I said, you are gods?
So the Law used the word gods
of those to whom the word of God was addressed,
and scripture cannot be rejected.
Yet you say to someone the Father has consecrated and sent into
the world,
“You are blaspheming,”
because he says, “I am the Son of God.”
If I am not doing my Father’s work,
there is no need to believe me;
but if I am doing it,
then even if you refuse to believe in me,
at least believe in the work I do;
then you will know for sure
that the Father is in me, and I am in the Father.’

They wanted to arrest him then, but he eluded them.

He went back again to the far side of the Jordan to stay in the district where John had once been baptising. Many people who came to him there said, ‘John gave no signs, but all he said about this man was true’; and many of them believed in him.

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Prayer for Spiritual Communion 

I prostrate myself at your feet, O my Jesus, and I offer you the repentance of my contrite heart, which abases itself in its nothingness in Your Holy Presence. I adore you in the Sacrament of Your Love; I desire to receive You in the poor abode that my heart offers You. While waiting for the happiness of a Sacramental Communion, I want to possess You in spirit. Come to me, O my Jesus, that I may come to You. May Your love inflame my whole being, in life and in death. I believe in You. I hope in You. I love You. Amen.

Prayer for Healing and Reconciliation 

Praise to you Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
the source of all consolation and hope.
Be the refuge and guardian of all
who suffer from abuse and violence.
Comfort them and send healing
for their wounds of the body, soul and spirit.
Help us all and make us one with you
in your love for justice
as we deepen our respect for the dignity of every human life.
Giver of peace, make us one in celebrating
your praise, both now and forever.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Daily Prayer

Lord, break the bonds of sin which our weaknesses have forged to enchain us, and in your loving mercy forgive your people’s guilt.

We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

02 April 2020

THURSDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

First Reading

A reading from the book of Genesis 17: 3-9

You shall become the father of a multitude of nations.

Abram bowed to the ground and God said this to him, ‘Here now is my covenant with you: you shall become the father of a multitude of nations. You shall no longer be called Abram; your name shall be Abraham, for I make you father of a multitude of nations. I will make you more fruitful. I will make you into nations, and your issue shall be kings. I will establish my Covenant between myself and you, and your descendants after you, generation after generation, a Covenant if perpetuity, to be your God and the God of your descendants after you. I will give to you and to your descendants after you the land you are living in, the whole land of Canaan, to own in perpetuity, and I will be your God.’

God said to Abraham, ‘You on your part shall maintain my Covenant, yourself and your descendants after you, generation after generation.’

Responsorial Psalm

Psalm 104: 4-9. R. v.8

The Lord remembers his covenant for ever.

Consider the Lord and his strength;
constantly seek his face.
Remember the wonders he has done,
his miracles, the judgements he spoke.

O children of Abraham, his servant,
O sons of the Jacob he chose.
He, the Lord, is our God:
his judgements prevail in all the earth.

He remembers his covenant for ever,
his promise for a thousand generations,
the covenant he made with Abraham,
the oath he swore to Isaac.

Gospel Acclamation

Cf. Jn 6:63,68

Glory and praise to you, O Christ!
Your words are spirit, Lord, and they are life;
you have the message of eternal life.
Glory and praise to you, O Christ!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 8: 51-59

Your father Abraham rejoiced to think that he would see my Day.

Jesus said to the Jews:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
whoever keeps my word
will never see death.’

The Jews said, ‘Now we know for certain that you are possessed. Abraham is dead, and the prophets are dead, and yet you say, “Whoever keeps my word will never know the taste of death.” Are you greater than our father Abraham, who is dead? The prophets are dead too. Who are you claiming to be?’ Jesus answered:

‘if I were to seek my own glory
that would be no glory at all;
my glory is conferred by the Father,
by the one of whom you say, “He is our God”
although you do not know him.
But I know him,
and if I were to say: I do not know him,
I should be a liar, as you are liars yourselves.
But I do know him, and I faithfully keep his word.
Your father Abraham rejoiced
to think that he would see my Day;
he saw it and was glad.’

The Jews then said, ‘You are not fifty yet, and you have seen Abraham!’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
before Abraham ever was,
I Am.’

At this they picked up stones to throw at him; but Jesus hid himself and left the Temple.

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Daily Prayer

Stand by your people, Lord, who place all their trust in your mercy. Wash away the stain of our sins, make us live in your presence our whole life long, and bring us to the inheritance you have promised.

We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

01 April 2020

WEDNESDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle.

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen.

Examen

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

First Reading

A reading from the prophet Daniel 3: 14-20, 91-92, 95

He has sent his angel to rescue his servants.

King Nebuchadnezzar said, ‘Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, is it true that you do not serve my gods, and that you refuse to worship the golden statue I have erected? When you hear the sound of horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, or any other instrument, are you prepared to prostrate yourselves and worship the statue I have made? If you refuse to worship it, you must be thrown straight away into the burning fiery furnace; and where is the god who could save you from my power?’ Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to King Nebuchadnezzar, ‘Your question hardly requires an answer: if our God, the one we serve, is able to save us from the burning fiery furnace and from your power, O king, he will save us; and even if he does not, then you must know, O king, that we will not serve your god or worship the statue you have erected.’ These words infuriated King Nebuchadnezzar; his expression was very different now as he looked at Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. He gave orders for the furnace to be made seven times hotter than usual, and commanded certain stalwarts from his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the burning fiery furnace.

Then King Nebuchadnezzar sprang to his feet in amazement. He said to his advisers, ‘Did we not have these three men thrown bound into the fire?’ They replied, ‘Certainly, O king.’ ‘But,’ he went on ‘I can see four men walking about freely in the heart of the fire without coming to any harm. And the fourth looks like a son of the gods.’

Nebuchadnezzar exclaimed, ‘Blessed by the God of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego: he has sent an angel to rescue his servants who, putting their trust in him, defied the order of the king, and preferred to forfeit their bodies rather than serve or worship any god but their own.’

Responsorial Psalm

Daniel 3:52-56. R. v.52

You are blest, Lord God of our fathers.
To you glory and praise forever more.
Blest your glorious holy name.
To you glory and praise forever more.

You are blest in the temple of your glory.
To you glory and praise forever more.
You are blest on the throne of your kingdom.
To you glory and praise forever more.

You are blest who gaze into the depths.
To you glory and praise forever more.
You are blest in the firmament of heaven.
To you glory and praise forever more.

Gospel Acclamation

Matthew 4:4

Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!
Man does not live on bread alone,
but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Praise and honour to you, Lord Jesus!

Gospel

A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 8: 31-42

If the Son of Man makes you free, you will be free indeed.

To the Jews who believed in him Jesus said:

‘If you make my words your home
you will indeed be my disciples,
you will learn the truth
and the truth will make you free.’

They answered, ‘We are descended from Abraham and we have never been the slaves of anyone; what do you mean, “You will be made free”?’ Jesus replied:

‘I tell you most solemnly,
everyone who commits sin is a slave.
Now the slave’s place in the house is not assured,
but the son’s place is assured.
So if the Son makes you free,
you will be free indeed.
I know that you are descended from Abraham;
but in spite of that you want to kill me
because nothing I say has penetrated into you.
What I, for my part, speak of
is what I have seen with my Father;
but you, you put into action
the lessons learnt from your father.’

They repeated, ‘Our father is Abraham.’ Jesus said to them:

‘If you were Abraham’s children,
you would do as Abraham did.
As it is, you want to kill me
when I tell you the truth
as I have learnt it from God;
that is not what Abraham did.
What you are doing is what your father does.’

‘We were not born of prostitution,’ they went on ‘we have one father: God.’ Jesus answered:

‘If God were your father, you would love me,
since I have come here from God; yes, I have come from him;
not that I came because I chose,
no, I was sent, and by him.’

Profession of Faith

The Apostles’ Creed

I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen,

Prayers

Intercessions 

Pray for family and loved ones so that they may be held in God’s compassionate care. Pray for other countries who are struggling with the effects of the COVID 19 virus. 

For those in authority: may they offer advice with care and integrity, may they seek to protect the poor and vulnerable. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For all who work in healthcare: give strength to all who look after the sick so that they may bring comfort and relief to the suffering. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

For the Church: may she offer prayers and consolation for all those affected.

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer

For our local community and all for those in need: may those who are isolated know the support and service of their neighbours. 

Lord, in your mercy. Hear our prayer.

Lord’s Prayer 

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed by thy name;
they kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Daily Prayer

God of mercy, shed your light on hearts that have been purified by penance, and in your goodness give us a favourable hearing when you move us to pray. We make our prayer through our Lord.

Memorare

Remember O most gracious Virgin Mary,
that never was it known that anyone
who fled to thy protection, implored thy help,
or sought thy intercession was left unaided.
Inspired by this confidence, we fly unto thee,
O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do we come,
before thee do we stand sinful and sorrowful.
O Mother of the Word incarnate, despise not our petitions,
but in thy mercy hear and answer us. Amen

Prayer for the Year of the Word

Living God, you walk alongside us and speak to us throughout the Scriptures.
Your Son, Jesus Christ, listens to our hopes and fears and shows us how to live for one another.
Send us the Holy Spirit to open our hearts and minds, so that we may be your witnesses throughout the world. Amen.

Your word is our path and your truth is our light.
This day and every day.
Our Lady of the Annunciation. Pray for us.
St Matthew. Pray for us.
St. Jerome. Pray for us.

Conclusion

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

31 March 2020

TUESDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

You may find it helpful to have a space as a focus for your prayer. This might include a crucifix, icon or another holy image, and a lighted candle. 

Sign of the Cross 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

Examen 

Before listening to the Word of God take a moment to reflect. 

For what am I grateful to God for today? Where did I stray from God: through words, actions or things I did not do. How might I do better tomorrow? What grace do I ask from God in order to live more closely in his love? 

You may wish to conclude by saying: 

Lord Jesus, you have revealed yourself as the way to the Father:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

You have poured out on your people the Spirit of truth:
Christ, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. 

You are the Good Shepherd, leading us to eternal life:
Lord, have mercy. Lord, have mercy. 

First Reading
A reading from the book of Numbers 21: 4-9

If anyone is bitten and looks at the fiery serpent, he shall live.

The Israelites left Mount Hor by the road to the Sea of Suph, to skirt the land of Edom. On the way the people lost patience. They spoke against God and against Moses, ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt to die in this wilderness? For there is neither bread nor water here; we are sick of this unsatisfying food.’

At this God sent fiery serpents among the people; their bite brought death to many in Israel. The people came and said to Moses, ‘We have sinned by speaking against the Lord and against you. Intercede for us with the Lord to save us from these serpents.’ Moses interceded for the people, and the Lord answered him, ‘Make a fiery serpent and put it on a standard. If anyone is bitten and looks at it, he shall live,’ So Moses fashioned a bronze serpent which he put on a standard, and if anyone was bitten by a serpent, he looked at the bronze serpent and lived.

Responsorial Psalm
Psalm 101: 2-3, 16-21. R. v.2

O Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry for help reach you.

O Lord, listen to my prayer
and let my cry for help reach you.
Do not hide your face from me
in the day of my distress.
Turn your ear towards me
and answer me quickly when I call.

The nations shall fear the name of the Lord
and all the earth’s kings your glory,
when the Lord shall build up Zion again
and appear in all his glory.
Then he will turn to the prayers of the helpless;
he will not despise their prayers.

Let this be written for ages to come
that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord;
for the Lord leaned down from his sanctuary on high.
He looked down from heaven to the earth
that he might hear the groans of his prisoners
and free those condemned to die.

Gospel Acclamation

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

I am the light of the world, says the Lord,
anyone who follows me will have the light of life.

Praise to you, O Christ, king of eternal glory!

Gospel
A reading from the holy Gospel according to John 8: 21-30

When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will know that I am He.

Jesus said to the Pharisees:

‘I am going away; you will look for me
and you will die in your sin.
Where I am going, you cannot come.’

The Jews said to one another, ‘Will be kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, “Where I am going, you cannot come”?’ Jesus went on:

‘You are from below;
I am from above.
You are of this world;
I am not of this world.
I have told you already: You will die in your sins.
Yes, if you do not believe that I am He,
you will die in your sins.’

So they said to him, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus answered:

‘What I have told you from the outset.
About you I have much to say
and much to condemn;
but the one who sent me is truthful,
and what I have learnt from him
I declare to the world.’

They failed to understand that he was talking to them about the Father. So Jesus said:

‘When you have lifted up the Son of Man,
then you will know that I am He
and that I do nothing of myself:
what the Father has taught me
is what I preach;
he who sent me is with me,
and has not left me to myself,
for I always do what pleases him.’

As he was saying this, many came to believe in him.

Conclusion 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Amen. 

30 March 2020

MONDAY IN THE FIFTH WEEK OF LENT

First Reading – Daniel 13: 1-9, 15-17, 19-30, 33-62

Have I to die, innocent as I am?

In Babylon there lived a man named Joakim. He had married Susanna daughter of Hilkiah, a woman of great beauty; and she was God-fearing, because her parents were worthy people and had instructed their daughter in the Law of Moses. Joakim was a very rich man, and had a garden attached to his house; the Jews would often visit him since he was held in greater respect than any other man. Two elderly men had been selected from the people that year to act as judges. Of such the Lord said, ‘Wickedness has come to Babylon through the elders and judges posing as guides to the people.’ These men were often at Joakim’s house, and all who were engaged in litigation used to come to them. At midday, when everyone had gone, Susanna used to take a walk in her husband’s garden. The two elders, who used to watch her every day as she came in to take her walk, gradually began to desire her. They threw reason aside, making no effort to turn their eyes to heaven, and forgetting its demands of virtue. So they waited for a favourable moment; and one day Susanna came as usual, accompanied only by two young maidservants. The day was hot and she wanted to bathe in the garden. There was no one about except the two elders, spying on her from their hiding place. She said to the servants, ‘Bring me some oil and balsam and shut the garden door while I bathe.’

Hardly were the servants gone than the two elders were there after her. ‘Look,’ they said ‘the garden door is shut, no one can see us. We want to have you, so give in and let us! Refuse, and we will both give evidence that a young man was with you and that was why you sent your maids away.’ Susanna sighed. ‘I am trapped,’ she said ‘whatever I do. If I agree, that means my death; if I resist, I cannot get away from you. But I prefer to fall innocent into your power than to sin in the eyes of the Lord.’ Then she cried out as loud as she could. The two elders began shouting too, putting the blame on her, and one of them ran to open the garden door. The household, hearing the shouting in the garden, rushed out by the side entrance to see what was happening; once the elders had told their story the sevants were thoroughly taken aback, since nothing of this sort had ever been said of Susanna.

Next day a meeting was held at the house of her husband Joakim. The two elders arrived, in their vindictiveness determined to have her put to death. They addressed the company: ‘Summon Susanna daughter of Hilkiah and wife of Joakim.’ She was sent for, and came accompanied by her parents, her children and all her relations.

All her own people were weeping, and so were all the others who saw her. The two elders stood up, with all the people round them, and laid their hands on the woman’s head. Tearfully she turned her eyes to heaven, her heart confident in God. The elders then spoke. ‘While we were walking by ourselves in the garden, this woman arrived with two servants. She shut the garden door and then dismissed the servants. A young man who had been hiding went over to her and they lay down together. From the end of the garden where we were, we saw this crime taking place and hurried towards them. Thought we saw them together we were unable to catch the man: he was too strong for us; he opened the door and took to his heels. We did, however, catch this woman and ask her who the young man was. She refused to tell us. That is our evidence.’

Since they were elders of the people, and judges, the assembly took their word: Susanna was condemned to death. She cried out as loud as she could ‘Eternal God, you know all secrets and everything before it happens; you know that they have given false evidence against me. And now have I to die, innocent as I am of everything their malice has invented against me?’

The Lord heard her cry and, as she was being led away to die, he roused the holy spirit residing in a young boy named Daniel who began to shout, ‘I am innocent of this women’s death!’ At which all the people turned to him and asked, ‘What do you mean by these words?’ Standing in the middle of the crowd he replied, ‘Are you so stupid, sons of Israel, as to condemn a daughter of Israel unheard, and without troubling to find out the truth? Go back to the scene of the trial: these men have given false evidence against her.’

All the people hurried back, and the elders said to Daniel, ‘Come and sit with us and tell us what you mean, since God has given you the gifts that elders have.’ Daniel said, ‘Keep the men well apart from each other for I want to question them.’ When the men had been separated, Daniel had one of them brought to him. ‘You have grown old in wickedness,’ he said ‘and now the sins of your earlier days have overtaken you, you with your unjust judgements, your condemnation of the innocent, your acquittal of guilty men, when the Lord has said, “You must not put the innocent and the just to death.” Now then, since you saw her so clearly, tell me what tree you saw them lying under?’ He replied, ‘Under a mastic tree.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God has already received your sentence from him and will slash you in half.’ He dismissed the man, ordered the other to be brought and said to him, ‘Spawn of Canaan, not of Judah, beauty has seduced you, lust has led your heart astray! This is how you have been behaving with the daughter of Israel and they were too frightened to resist; but here is a daughter of Judah who could not stomach your wickedness! Now then, tell me what tree you surprised them under?’ He replied, ‘Under the holm oak.’ Daniel said, ‘True enough! Your lie recoils on your own head: the angel of God is waiting, with a sword to drive home and spilt you, and destroy the pair of you.’

Then the whole assembly shouted, blessing God, the saviour of those who trust in him. And they turned on the two elders whom Daniel had convicted of false evidence out of their own mouths. As prescribed in the Law of Moses, they sentenced them to the same punishment as they had intended to inflict in their neighbour. They put them to death; the life of an innocent woman was spared that day.

Gospel – John 8:1-11

If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.

Jesus went to the Mount of Olives. At daybreak he appeared in the Temple again; and as all the people came to him, he sat down and began to teach them.

The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman along who had been caught committing adultery; and making her stand there in full view of everybody, they said to Jesus, ‘Master, this woman was caught in the very act of commiting adultery, and Moses, has ordered us in the Law to condemn woman like this to death by stoning. What have you to say?’ They asked him this as a test, looking for something to use against him. But Jesus bent down and started writing on the ground with his finger. As they persisted with their question, he looked up and said, ‘If there is one of you who has not sinned, let him be the first to throw a stone at her.’ Then he bent down and wrote on the ground again. When they heard this they went away one by one, beginning with the eldest, until Jesus was left alone with the woman, who remained standing there. He looked up and said, ‘Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ ‘No one, sir’ she replied. ‘Neither do I condemn you,’ said Jesus ‘go away, and don’t sin any more.’

28/29 March 2020

There are only two weeks to go until Easter and the Bible Readings of this Sunday all speak about resurrection. It is not yet that of Jesus, which bursts in as an absolute innovation, but our own resurrection, to which we aspire and which Christ himself gave to us, in rising from the dead. Indeed, death represents a wall as it were, which prevents us from seeing beyond it; yet our hearts reach out beyond this wall and even though we cannot understand what it conceals, we nevertheless think about it and imagine it, expressing with symbols our desire for eternity. Christ pulls down the wall of death and in him dwells all the fullness of God, who is life, eternal life.

FIFTH SUNDAY OF LENT

Christ our resurrection and our life.

When we are dead through sin, Christ brings us his Spirit so that we may truly live the new life of grace. We are brothers and sisters of Christ through God’s Spirit who raised Jesus from the dead.

First Reading – Ezekiel 37:12-14

I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live.

The Lord says this: I am now going to open your graves; I mean to raise you from your graves, my people, and lead you back to the soil of Israel. And you will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and raise you from your graves, my people. And I shall put my spirit in you, and you will live, and I shall resettle you on your own soil; and you will know that I, the Lord, have said and done this – it is the Lord who speaks.

Second Reading – Romans 8:8-11

The Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you.

People who are interested only in unspiritual things can never be pleasing to God. Your interests, however, are not in the unspiritual, but in the spiritual, since the Spirit of God has made his home in you. In fact, unless you possessed the Spirit of Christ you would not belong to him. Though your body may be dead it is because of sin, but if Christ is in you then the spirit is life itself because you have been justified; and if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, then he who raised Jesus from the dead will give life to your own mortal bodies through his Spirit living in you.

Gospel – John 11:1-45

I am the resurrection and the life.

There was a man named Lazarus who lived in the village of Bethany with the two sisters, Mary and Maratha, and he was ill. It was the same Mary, the sister of the sick man Lazarus, who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair.

The sister sent this message to Jesus, “Lord, the man you love is ill.” On receiving the message, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death but in God’s glory, and through it the Son of God will be glorified.”

Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus, yet when he learned that Lazarus was ill stayed where he was for two more days before saying to the disciples, “Let us go the Judaea.”

The disciples said, “Rabbi, it is not long since the Jews wanted to stone you; are you going back again?” Jesus replied:

“Are there not twelve hours in the day?
A man can walk in the daytime without stumbling
because he has the light of this world to see by;
but if he walks at night stumbles,
because there is no light to guide him.”

He said that and then added, “Our friend Lazarus is resting, I am going to wake him.” The disciples said to him “Lord, if he is able to rest he is sure to get better,” The phrase Jesus used referred to the death of Lazarus, but they thought that by “rest” he meant “sleep”, so Jesus put it plainly, “Lazarus is dead; and for your sake I am glad I was not there because now you will believe. But let us go to him.” Then Thomas – known as the Twin – said to the other disciples, “Let us go too, and die with him.”

On arriving, Jesus found that Lazarus had been in the tomb for four days already. Bethany is only about two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to sympathise with them over their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus had come she went to meet him. Mary remained sitting in the house. Martha said to Jesus, “If you had been here, my brother would not have died, but I know that even now, whatever you ask of God, he will grant you.” “Your brother,” said Jesus to her, “will rise again.” Martha said, “I know he will rise again at the resurrection on the last day.” Jesus said:

“I am the resurrection and the life.
If anyone believes in me, even though he dies he will live,
and whoever lives and believes in me
will never die.
Do you believe this?”

“Yes Lord,” she said, “I believe that you are the Christ, the Son of God, the one who has come into this world.”

When she had said this, she went and called her sister Mary, saying in a low voice. “The Master is here and he wants to see you.” Hearing this, Mary got up quickly and went to him. Jesus had not yet come into the village; he was still at the place where Martha had met him. When the Jews who were in the house sympathising with Mary saw her get up so quickly and go out, they followed her, thinking that she was going to the tomb to weep there.

Mary went to Jesus, and as soon as she saw him she threw herself at his feet, saying, “Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” At the sight of her tears, and those of the Jews who followed her, Jesus said in great distress, with a sigh that came straight from the heart, “Where have you put him?” They said, “Lord, come and see.” Jesus wept; and the Jews said, “See how much he loved him!” But there were some who remarked, “He opened the eyes of the blind man, could be not have prevented this man’s death?” Still sighing, Jesus reached the tomb: it was a cave with a stone to close the opening. Jesus said, “Take the stone away.” Martha said to him “Lord, by now he will smell; this is the fourth day.” Jesus replied, “Have I not told you that if you believe you will see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. Then Jesus lifted up his eyes and said:

“Father, I thank you for hearing my prayer.
I knew indeed that you always hear me,
but I speak
for the sake of all these who stand round me,
so that they may believe it was you who sent me.”

When he said this, he cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, here! Come out!” The dead man came out, his feet and hands bound with bands of stuff and a cloth round his face. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, let him go free.”

Many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary and had seen what he did believed in him.