Resources for Family Mass – August

6 August, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

Theme: On Holy Ground

Sacred Space: Mountain top/symbols of holy ground/quiet place created with sand and rocks

Homily: In this week’s Gospel Jesus explains to us that while we are on our journey towards God we experience high moments, times when we find ourselves on holy ground, and God shows himself. This can happen at Mass, at a First Holy Communion celebration any other sacramental celebration in our lives. We may also find ourselves on holy ground during many other blessed occasions, for example, at the birth of a baby or at the passing of a loved one. When St Peter witnessed the Transfiguration of Jesus he realized he was on holy ground. He wanted to build a place to honour this. The voice of God calls the disciples to listen. They were in danger of being distracted by what they witnessed and might have missed the meaning that they had to listen closely. This is what Jesus has been asking us to do. If we really think about it, our entire lives are joined together by little stepping stones that are blessed and holy ground. We move from one holy stepping stone to the next trying not to lose our balance and fall in between! The disciples were encouraged because they saw Jesus in all his glory. We are called to take the time out to rest in this image and allow our lives to be blessed and holy today and tomorrow. This way we do not have to wait for the extraordinary events and delight in the ordinary every day.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord God, we pray that we might embrace the blessings that we have received, the little ones as well as the momentous ones.
  2. Gentle God, we ask you to allow us to hear your Word in all its fullness and grace.
  3. Saving God, we thank you for your love, for sending Jesus, your only Son to love us through life and carry your love in person to us.

 

13 August, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 14:23-33

Theme: Jesus Walks on Water

Sacred Space: Boat oars/rocks/footprints

Homily: The Gospel message this week is all about reaching out to Jesus when we need confidence and support. When Jesus walked on water he was showing us how powerful our faith can be. Peter began to walk on the water but when the wind became stronger and his vulnerability began to show, he began to sink. Jesus gave out to him saying ‘You of little faith, why did you doubt?’ In this line Jesus is saying to us, don’t doubt your belief in God, don’t allow doubt and unrest to take hold of your mind as it will overwhelm you and take control of you. When Jesus called Peter, he wanted him to go to him filled with faith, hope and love. Peter showed his humanity and became afraid. This is who we are, we too like Peter falter and sink at times. Jesus urges us on and will always reach out to save us, if we just ask.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Humble Jesus, we love you with all of our hearts, minds and bodies. Allow us to recognise our vulnerability and always be ready to start again.
  2. Loving Jesus, in times of doubt and sorrow, help us not to lose our way and falter, always secure in the knowledge that you are always calling us with open arms to come to you.
  3. Saving Jesus, we thank you for St Peter’s successor, Pope Francis. We ask you to help him stay strong and healthy as he continues to lead us on our way to God.

 

20 August, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 15:21-28

Theme: The Faith of the Canaanite Woman

Sacred Space: Many candles lit in trays of sand.

Homily: In today’s Gospel we hear the story of the Canaanite woman who shows her intense faith to Jesus. She shows her strength and conviction by not giving up, even though Jesus did not seem too keen to listen to her. However this woman recognized Jesus, she knew he was the one to save and heal her daughter. She did not allow her faith to become immersed in doubt, she pursued Jesus.

Sometimes we may not be able to recognize the presence of Jesus in our lives. Our humanity and vulnerability can easily distract us, causing us to lose our way. But the Canaanite woman shows us how to be strong, to be determined and to work hard in our faith and through our relationship with Jesus.

Jesus will answer our prayers, Jesus will grant us healing and love. Like the woman in today’s Gospel we are empowered to follow Jesus, so we are encouraged to be energized and complete in our relationship.

 Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord God, we bless all the Canaanite women and men in our community, keep them faithful and strong in their pursuit of healing faith.
  2. Gracious God, thank you for showing us the way of faith in and through your blessed Son, Jesus.
  3. Healing God, we pray for all who falter and fail. We pray that each person can survive their doubt and lack of vigour for faith.

 

27 August, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 16:13-20

Theme: Peter declares faith in Jesus and is promised the keys of the kingdom

Sacred Space: Keys/image of St Peter/Vatican City/rocks

Homily: In today’s Gospel Jesus chooses Peter to be the leader of the Church. The name Peter means ‘rock’. It is significant that we often call people we love and whom we know care and love us, our ‘rock’. Jesus asked Peter what the others said about him, but he really only cared what Peter thought. He knew that Peter was listening with an open heart and a blessed mind to God’s word.

Jesus knew that Peter was answering his question with openness, integrity and honesty. For Peter, Jesus was not another great or admirable figure, he was the ‘One’ who would transform his life forever. Jesus chose this new name for Peter to symbolize the stability and steadfastness of the Church that would be a constant when Jesus was no longer on earth. We can look to St Peter’s successor Pope Francis for direction and healing. Pope Francis brings us the Good news and the joy of the Gospel. He wants us to be in relationship with Jesus and to practice our spirituality and to live according to his will.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Blessed God, help us to love you more deeply in and through the doctrine of the Church.
  2. Loving God, help us to lead and guide each other towards the kingdom of God, just as St Peter led us.
  3. Holy God, we bless our Pope and each other as we do all that we can to share your love in and through our relationships with each other.

 

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