Resources for Family Mass – July

2 July, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 10:37-42

Theme: To be a real disciple is to put the spirit of Jesus before all else

Sacred Space: Tickets/walking shoes/walking stick/signpost 

Homily: In today’s Gospel Jesus is explaining to us that we are called to be loyal and resilient followers. This means that we need to listen to Jesus when he explains to us what it takes to follow with all of our hearts, minds and bodies. To love God is not a simple and easy thing. It takes years of trying, years of refining our spirituality and always willing to live in the sunshine of the Gospel. There is no quick fix, nor is there a moment where we can say ‘That’s it, I don’t have to try any more’. Following Jesus towards the kingdom of God is a worthy goal in our lives. However, we need to be aware of the kind of life journey this is and aware of our humanity as we journey together. For many, being a pilgrim follower of Jesus is what life is about. Always putting in the effort, some days more effort than others, but knowing nonetheless, that we are loved unconditionally and welcomed as wholeheartedly and lovingly as the prodigal son was. Jesus asks us to remind ourselves that we need to start with his love and then together, travel to a sense of faith, hope and love. Our journey is not a journey alone, but one with and for each other.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Let us pray today for the whole Church all over the world; let us pray for our Pope as the focus of unity for Christians everywhere.
  2. Let us pray for those who, while remaining faithful to the core doctrine of the Church, are creatively finding new ways to proclaim the message of the kingdom to people everywhere.
  3. Let us pray for those places where the Church is working undergreat difficulties; even in pockets of our own lives and parishes.

 

9 July, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 11:25-30

Theme: Jesus reassures us that he is always gentle and humble of heart

Sacred Space: Loving parent with baby/small bags to carry/ calming environmental space/peace lily

Homily: In today’s Gospel Jesus explains to us that no matter how sad or weakened from daily experiences we become, he is here, openhearted, loving, forgiving and championing us on. Jesus asks us to come to him and dwell in his love. He further explains to us that God reveals himself equally to children as well as adults through Jesus himself. This means that we should not walk away from the Word of God, scratching our heads, uttering that we are too puzzled and unable to understand it. Children appreciate the message of Jesus and so can each adult. Jesus tells us that he is humble and that he does not worry and stress all day! We can often end up worried and stressed over very little. When we think about it, children run free playing games and are eager to laugh and play with each other. They are not burdened with fretting and stressing about tomorrow. Jesus uses the notion of children being close to God and loving God in a full and complete way. He calls us to be like this in our whole and absolute love of God the Father.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord, we ask you to help us live with the humility and love of children, empower us to do your work in an absolute way.
  2. Gentle Jesus, forgive us for faltering as we work to love you more dearly, follow you more clearly and journey to the kingdom.
  3. Saving Spirit, together we pray for the Church as she encourages all of her pilgrims. Help her to heal the brokenness of our world.

 

16 July, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 13:1-23

Theme: The good soil that lies in an open hear

Sacred Space: Soil/seeds/variety of plants perhaps brought to the altar

Homily: In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus shares God’s unconditional love with us. Jesus explains that when we hear the Word of God, we must work hard to leave our worries aside, rest our heart and let it be open to receive the golden nuggets of love that can be poured in. If we are receptive and open to listening to God’s Word, then we will actually hear it. If we are wound up, fretting about life, feeling down and lost, it can be harder to hear God speaking to us. For a moment, let’s think of our hearts and minds as computer hard drives! If our hard drives are filled with ‘bits’ of worry and other ‘bits’ of nagging doubt, arguments, pain, fear, lack of confidence and so on, there will be no room on our hard drives for God’s love. Jesus is asking us to clear out the negativity and doubt, the ‘noise’ of life. Open our hearts, prepare the soil for the seeds of God’s love. Too many times we have allowed his love to bounce off us and not take root. Jesus calls us to have ears that listen to the words of Jesus in the Gospel today. Allow this Gospel to settle in our souls and speak to our lives.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Jesus, we ask you to help us prepare the soil of our hearts and minds so that we can nourish the seeds of God’s love in our daily lives.
  2. Jesus, we thank you for showing us the way and for helping us to listen.
  3. Jesus, we thank you for each other, praying together today, each trying to love the other.

23 July, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 13:24-43

Theme: Listen! For the kingdom of God is here

Sacred Space: Hearts for the love of God/sowers/wheat

Homily: Today’s Gospel tells us about our faith in God. Our faith needs to be ‘actioned’ in our lives. This means that faith is relational and communal. We have a personal relationship with God and this relationship is made holy through prayer and developing our spirituality. However, our faith cannot be private, it must be ‘actioned’ in our lives. Therefore, we show our faith to others when we pray and celebrate at Mass but also when we are blessed and broken during any day  of the week. When we offer a listening ear, when we share, when we show care and compassion, in fact each and every time we do a selfless task in the name of faith, we are sharing our faith with others. Jesus explains that no matter how small our faith-in-action may seem, when we work to allow our faith to guide and direct us, it will grow and blossom for all of our lives. Again Jesus urges us to ‘listen’! The kingdom of God is close at hand and we are being invited wholeheartedly to enter into it. If we do not listen and decide to ignore the Good news of God, we are excluding ourselves from the beauty and wonder of a joyous loving relationship with God that can guide and direct our daily lives.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Forgiving God, empower us with your love and help us daily to have ears that listen.
  2. Saving Jesus, enable us to help each other on the road to the kingdom.
  3. Loving Father, embrace our efforts at loving you. We thank you for loving us.

 

30 July, 2017 • Gospel: Matthew 13:44-52

Theme: The kingdom to be prized beyond everything else

Sacred Space: Images of the kingdom of God depicting God’s love in and through the actions of others

Homily: This Sunday’s Gospel shares three different parables. Each parable names something that describes the kingdom of God. Through these parables Jesus explains to us that to know God and to live according to the Gospel are the most precious things in life. Over the past number of Sunday’s Jesus has been urging us to listen, to take note and to prepare ourselves to enter into the kingdom of God. Through Jesus and the Gospel, we come to know and understand what the real meaning of life is, what the most important things in life are. We know we have read this parable before. Jesus says, ‘Yes, of course you have!’ But Jesus is asking us again, ‘have you really heard it?’ This is the task Jesus is urging us to embrace. When we listen to the Gospel, it is of ultimate importance to hear it in every sense of the word. This means praying in response to it, living in accordance to it, and finally, loving God in and through our relationships and actions with each other in a free and all-embracing way. That is what having ears to listen actually means. Have we ears to listen, and to actually hear?

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Loving God, we want to hear your Word, we want to live in the light of your love and we want to show one another the love in our hearts.
  2. Gracious God, we pray for those who cannot hear your Word due to addictions, troubled hearts and lack of love in their own lives. Help all of us to embrace your love.
  3. Father God, we thank you for our mother Church that helps us and reminds us of your faith in us.

 

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