Resources for Family Mass – March 2017

Click here to download or print our March Resources for Family Mass.

Orla Walsh is a Deputy Principal in St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk, Co Louth

Email walshorla@icloud.com

For more resources from our March issue, click here. 

 

5 March 2017

Gospel: Matthew 4:1-11

Sacred Space: Sand/Symbols of fasting/Prayer symbols.

Homily: ‘40 Days and 40 Nights’
This Sunday’s Gospel tells us about the period of time Jesus spent in the desert. Jesus spent that time separating himself from all of the worldly goods and benefits. During this time Jesus fasted and spent much time praying. Jesus was tempted by Satan to give in and break his fast but he held strong and knew that God was with him on his journey to holiness. If we ‘give up’ something during Lent we too are on a journey of holiness. It can be very hard to take away our favourite foods or games for Lent but the reason we do this is to try and strip ourselves of the ‘extras’ and live with our own selves to depend on. For example, if you give up chocolate for Lent, this can be really difficult but as you long for a square of your favourite bar on say week three, you become really strong as you stop yourself giving in. Sometimes we can decide to ‘take up’ something as well or instead of giving up. This means we try to pray more or help more or do something that takes an extra effort each day. Lent is a time that we try to journey to holiness, it is not for the faint hearted, it is not for those who can lose hope as we begin again each day. What will you do this Lent to help you on your journey towards holiness?

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord God, we ask you to help us see that you walk each step with us during Lent.
  2. Lord our Saviour, empower us as we try each day ensuring that we can begin again with your love.
  3. Loving God, we thank you for all the people in our lives that lead and journey with us in faith. Bless each one of them and help them reach out to others in your love.

*****

12 March 2017

Gospel: Matthew 17:1-9

Sacred Space: Transfiguration symbols/Candles lit/White
fabric.

Homily: ‘This is My Son, the Beloved’
In this Sunday’s Gospel we learn about the Transfiguration. This is when Jesus went to a quiet space up in the mountains with John, Peter and James. Here Jesus became transfigured or very changed. The disciples saw Jesus and he was in glowing white speaking with Moses and Elijah from the Old Testament. Moses represents the Law and Elijah represents the Prophets. One of the things this tells us is that the Old Testament (the law and the prophets) testifies to the fact that Jesus is the Messiah, the Chosen One of God. In Verse 7, a very beautiful thing happened. Jesus came and touched his friends on their shoulders and said, ‘do not be afraid.’ Jesus asks us not to be afraid every day. When we are in doubt, nervous or worried, Jesus whispers to us that we do not need to be afraid. The Old Testament is important because it points to Jesus. It is God’s inspired Word. But, right in front of Peter, James and John was the Messiah, the one whom the Old Testament was written about. A great and quite recent Pope named Pope John Paul II, now Saint John Paul, used this phrase up until his death. He was reminding us that with Jesus there is no need to be frightened or filled with anxiety, no need to be afraid.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Blessed Jesus, help us to be calm and at peace in our hearts. Enable us with the ability to stop being anxious and worrying ourselves about life issues big and small.
  2. Gracious Jesus, grant us the courage to be there for others in their hour of need. Allow us to give humbly and love wholeheartedly.
  3. Gentle Jesus, from the bottom of our hearts we love you, we thank you and give up our life challenges to rest in you.

*****

19 March 2017

Gospel: John 4:5-42

Sacred Space: Water/ Symbols of new life/Salt to represent
our thirst for living water.

Homily: ‘The Woman at the Well’
This Sunday’s Gospel is about the woman at the well. Jesus asks this woman for a drink but it is he that ends up giving her a drink from living water. ‘Living water’ is a metaphor for authentic faith and God’s everlasting love. As the woman was from a different community grouping, it would have been typical that she would have turned Jesus away, she could have ignored him, yet she chose to speak with him and to listen to what he had to tell her and then really hear the message he had for her. An old teacher used to say, God gave us one mouth and two ears, so we should listen twice as hard as we speak! This is so true of this Gospel story. Jesus is our saviour and in this Sunday’s gospel he tells us so. Are you listening, and if you are can you hear what Jesus is saying to us as we journey through Lent?

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord God, we come to you as the woman at the well did, to listen and hear your truth.
  2. Gracious God, we love you with all of our hearts, and this season of Lent is when we are trying hard to love you authentically and with good grace.
  3. Sacred healer, thank you for your unconditional love, even when we fail you are there for us with outstretched arms offering us living water, time and time again.

*****

26 March 2017

Gospel: John 9:1-41

Sacred Space: Bright lights/Candles/Symbols of illness.

Homily: ‘I am the light of the world.’
In this Sunday’s Gospel Jesus tells us that he is the light of the world. This is an amazing thing. Jesus cures the blind man and helps him see, in the very same way as he comes to help us see. Jesus is the light of the world and if we allow this light to dwell in our hearts and minds, right into our core, we will be filled with peace, love and compassion for others. Jesus felt sorry for the ill and the afflicted, he acknowledged them and healed them even though he was frowned upon by the Pharisees and the high priests. At the end of the Gospel the man who was blind speaks of Jesus helping him see, but no one actually believes his story. When Jesus meets him again he is happy to help him understand that God healed him because he gave his heart to God and is ready to follow Jesus unlike those who are trapped by material goods and earthly goods. Our Lenten journey is soon to end, what have we done to really heal others, show compassion or love? Our daily fast causes us to see what is really important and to accept what we can be as opposed to what we settle for.

Prayer of the Faithful

  1. Lord, you love me for who I am, thank you.
  2. Lord, you accept my failings and forgive them, thank you.
  3. Lord, help me to let your light settle in the core of my being and shine bright for all to see.
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