Resources for Family Mass: October

Download Resources for a Family Mass.pdf


Orla Walsh is a Deputy Principal in

St Vincent’s Secondary School, Dundalk, Co Louth


Resources for Family Mass


2 October • Luke 17:5-10

Theme: The Mustard Seed

Sacred Space: Mustard seeds, large plants

Homily: The Mustard Seed

This Sunday’s Gospel is about our faith and how valuable it is in our lives. Jesus tells us that if our faith was the size of a mustard seed it would still be relevant and necessary. We often tend to disregard something that is small and vulnerable like a mustard seed. But today, Jesus is telling us that if our faith is real and a part of us, despite being tiny and vulnerable, it is valid and authentic. Here, Jesus is explaining to us is that if we have a small amount of genuine faith, true faith, it may start small, but, like the mustard seed, it will grow. Mustard seeds grow very quickly and so Jesus is advising us that a small amount of solid faith is acceptable and embraced by God. If we try to live out our beliefs in community with each other, then we are ok; our faith will grow strong and plentiful.


Prayer of the Faithful

1.  Lord, help us to embrace our mustard seeds of faith. Help them to flourish and grow in and through our living it with others.

2.  Teacher Jesus, we thank you for loving us through life, allowing us to understand and live the Gospel daily.

3.  Saving God, we ask for your help to live and increase our faith every day. Send your Holy Spirit to guide us as we pursue the Kingdom.




9 October • Luke 17:11-19

Theme: Your Faith has Healed You


Today’s Gospel is a Gospel that empowers us to act justly, to live humbly and to walk with our God. Sometimes we do not express our thanks to someone who has helped us. It is always important to return to the person who thought about us in a special way and perhaps offered a prayer for us, someone who may have smiled and asked us if we were ok or may have offered us some help with something. It is critical to show your appreciation and thank each person who offers you a part of them, their time, their thoughts or prayers. Today’s Gospel shows how one of the people who was a leper went back to Jesus and thanked him from the bottom of his heart. Jesus acknowledged this sincere gratitude, seeing that the man had great faith. It is easy to ‘take a break from faith’ as it can be something that we have to work at, but it is always necessary to keep our hearts open to prayer and therefore developing our loving relationship with ourselves, each other and God.


Prayer of the Faithful

1.  Loving God, let us be inspired by the Gospel message to live our lives with others to their true and full potential.

2.  Gentle God, empower us with your grace to always give thanks and love to each person who gives us support in any way.

3.  Saving God, we thank you for our faith, as vulnerable and searching as it is. Grant us the courage to share it with an open heart and loving spirit.



16 October • Luke 18:1-8 

Theme: Never Give Up!

Sacred Space: Praying hands/beads


Today’s Gospel is about perseverance in prayer. All the odds were stacked against the widowed woman, she has no male to back her up in the male-dominated society she lived in and the judge was both ruthless and unjust. However, against these odds the judge granted her request. Here, Jesus is telling us that, no matter how difficult it is to understand our faith, no matter how often we feel we have to ask God to help us, we need to be secure in the knowledge that God is listening and loves us. Jesus is asking us to persist in prayer and right relationship with God. We should not give up, for giving up is much easier than keeping on. Anyone who is an athlete and has had to train for an event or match knows this! Anyone who has given up a habit that was not good for them understands how difficult it often is to persist when trying to be the best we can be. God’s love is there for each one of us and we can work at developing our relationship in prayer and good works as God asks us never to give up on our faith!


Prayer of the Faithful

1.  God our Father, we pray heartfelt prayer to you, individually and as a community, urging each other on as we develop our faith.

2.  Gentle Jesus, help us to be in right relationship with ourselves, with each other and with God who loves us eternally.

3.  Holy Spirit, we pray for the intentions of Pope Francis who asks us to share the joy of the Gospel.



23 October • Luke 18:9-14

Theme: Be Humble Be

Sacred Space: Visuals of opposites/Near-Far/Large-Small/
Pictures of social Media logos/Selfies.


In this Sunday’s Gospel, Jesus asks us to be humble. What does this mean? The selfie culture we live in, the individualism we get caught up in, the biggest and best and shiniest next thing we long to have, all get in the way of our humility. Jesus is not interested in our flashy phones, our cool labels or our on-trend language. What Jesus came to the world to show us was that a man who is truly human and truly divine could work as a carpenter until he was thirty years old in a quiet and humble way. Jesus called a community of disciples around him and embarked on his difficult ministry to show us the way to walk towards God’s saving kingdom. The dictionary defines humility as being modest and not thinking that one is more superior to others. It is good to practice humility; it is difficult to practice it but good for the soul. Humility is about letting go of the likes and dislikes, the selfies, the group chats and the wish lists, allowing ourselves to be happy for others, to be joyful for the blessings we have in our lives without always wanting more.


Prayer of the Faithful

1.  Loving Father, grant us the grace to be humble and to practice humility in a genuine and real way.

2.  Saving God, we thank you for sending Jesus to show us the way, the truth and the life.

3.  Gracious God, we pray for our pope and his humble and loving presence with us.



30 October • Luke 19:1-10

Theme: Come down here, I’m Waiting for you!

Sacred Space: A single tree/visuals of money and the tax collectors


This Sunday’s Gospel is a wonderful parable for us. It is the story of Zacchaeus. Zacchaeus was a tax collector and the people of Jerico did not like him. However, when Zacchaeus saw Jesus coming, he rushed ahead to see Jesus and, as he was a short man, he climbed a tree to have a better view. Zacchaeus wanted to live a better life, he was eager and willing to listen to Jesus. Out of all the people who had gathered, Jesus saw Zacchaeus and immediately knew that he would spend time with Zacchaeus that day. We can say that Zacchaeus showed great bravery that day, he showed courage by offering his home and his faith to Jesus, he gave 100% commitment and assured Jesus that he would give back all he had unlawfully taken. Jesus was waiting with open arms for Zacchaeus, he knew that Zacchaeus had a new path to follow in life and was going to help him. ‘For the Son of man came to seek out and to save the lost’. No matter how afraid or down we may often become, it is of great importance to feel reassured and know that Jesus welcomes each and every one of us into the Kingdom of God. It is not always easy to do the right thing, to give back, to go the extra mile, but Jesus walks with us for every step of the way, and sent the Holy Spirit to empower us and guide us, giving us courage to act in a way that always shows love.


Prayer of the Faithful

1.  Lord God, we thank you for loving us and ask for the courage to live our lifes to the full in and through your mercy.

2.  Saving God, we ask for forgiveness for someone we have been unfair to, someone we have judged or not been friendly to, we seek forgiveness.

3.  Gracious God, we pray for those who have asked us to pray for them at one time or another. Grant your loving peace in their hearts.