Resources for Family Mass – September
Newsletter, Family Mass and Irish Mass resources for the August are available free here.
We welcome you to use the following resources in any parish newsletter distributed free of charge.
For more resources from our September issue, click here.
3 September 2017
Gospel: Matthew 16:21-27
Theme: The disciple must follow Jesus in the way of suffering and self-denial
Sacred Space: A selection of crosses
Homily: In today’s gospel we learn about the inevitability of suffering. We know that suffering is part of the human condition and we accept this. No one likes it or wants to go through it but many have no choice when illness comes to them. However, to be told that we must suffer as Christians can often be hard to accept. Like Peter in today’s gospel we are told of the reality of taking up the cross to follow Jesus. Peter who has been called a ‘rock’ by Jesus, finds it hard to accept. Jesus knew he had to go through deep suffering and at one stage asked to have it taken away, but, knowing his truth he carried on and carried the pain the world threw at him. Jesus bore a cross to the end with conviction and love.
It can often be difficult for us to carry a cross to the end. We are asked to carry the cross of truth and love especially when additional pain can be inflicted by others.
On the way to Calvary, Jesus was given help and support by someone who will be remembered forever, Simon. We too can be offered help in very unexpected ways. It is important to recognise the love intertwined in support that is offered to us. It is good to accept help and support in love, even if it comes from a place that we may not have chosen. We ask God to help us help others who are asked to carry a burden in life. We can never be too shy to ask those near to us how we can help them carry the burdens of their lives.
Prayer of the Faithful
- Lord, help us to recognise you in our suffering and in the suffering of others. Allow your compassion to be carried in and through our actions.
- God, walk with us as we carry our crosses in life. Allow us to embrace our cross and carry it through.
- Jesus, bless you as you walk the road to Calvary. We watch you and love you for dying for our new life.
10 September 2017
Gospel: Matthew 18:15-20
Theme: The Christian Family
Sacred Space: Circles of plants intermingled with each other/community symbols/candles lit
Homily: This Sunday’s gospel tells us that we have been asked by Jesus himself to come together in prayer, in times of difficulty, in happiness and we are asked to do this regularly. Sometimes it might seem the easiest option to ‘skip’ Mass just this Sunday. Too much going on and too many people to be dropped here, there and everywhere. Back to school lists to be fulfilled, long summer days sadly coming to an end and God knows we are trying our best!
When we don’t feel entirely comfortable about a decision we often rationalise it, creating reasons for our actions or lack of them. Jesus tells us that coming together in his name is a deep respect for his word and will never go unnoticed or unanswered.
So we come together as a group of families within the Christian family each Sunday, blessed and broken, as fragile and vulnerable as each other. It is the coming together there is traction, there is unity, we build our additional voices in love, a shared devotion in person that tells us that we are a community of believers, a community of faith and we share a common goal. A community who are trying and making an effort, together.
Prayer of the Faithful
- Lord my God, bless us as we walk together toward the light of your love.
- Lord my God, grace us with stamina when we feel vulnerable to the modern world.
- Lord my God, love us as we hold each other and join with each other in your name.
17 September 2017
Gospel: Matthew 18:21-35
Theme: The spirit of the unforgiving debtor rebounds on himself
Sacred Space: Symbol of forgiveness: White lilies/Incense
Homily: This Sunday’s gospel tells us about real love and how it dovetails with real forgiveness. It can often be quite easy to love a friend, even an acquaintance. It can be a lot more difficult to love a family member, someone that may have hurt us or made us feel insignificant. Real love is about forgiveness. Real love is about embracing pain, embracing embarrassment caused by another, working hard to show unconditional love. God loves us in an unconditional way; this means that unlike so many deals we hear about, there are no terms and conditions to apply! We are loved in all our brokenness and narrowmindedness, our pride and our stubbornness. Because of this unconditional love, God calls us to be the same with others, not just to people we occasionally meet but with the people in our family, the ones who irritate us and perhaps annoy us on a more regular basis! Treat others as you are treated by God: a big ask, but asked of each one just the same.
Prayer of the Faithful
- Gracious God, accept our silly ways and stubborn mind-sets. Open our hearts to your unconditional love that calls us daily.
- Loving God, we pray for those who have hardened their hearts against love and do not want to forgive or learn to embrace real love.
- Saving God, let us hear your voice calling us in the wilderness of our modern world, help us and heal us as we join together in your name.
24 September 2017
Gospel: Matthew 20:1-16
Theme: The parable of the workers in the vineyard; God welcomes all into his kingdom
Sacred Space: Blocks and bricks
Homily: This Sunday’s gospel can become a stumbling block for us if our hearts are not in line with the heart of Jesus. We see that some people worked hard all day and were given the same wages as those who had just begun an hour previously.
This parable can remind us of the lack of generosity for others often found in our hearts.
We can have difficulty being overjoyed for those who ‘get on well’ or who ‘win the local lotto’ or even those who come into ‘a bit of luck’! Am I the type of person who loves others wholeheartedly, or do I want everyone to stay in line and wait their turn? Do I only love you if you are moaning and not getting on that well?
This gospel remains irritating if we resist the opportunity it offers us of being able to root ourselves in the heart of God. God has overflowing compassion for each and every one of us. God does not log the exact time that we embraced his great love but loves us as we were loved the moment of our conception, unconditionally and with immense compassion. God sees what we deserve and loves us like a tidal wave, no matter what amount of love we have shown. The generosity of God calls us to be generous too; any judgement that is biased and filled with unwritten conditions is uncalled for and against the love of God. Let us try to love with an open heart that has no weighing scales for the love others have shown us!
Prayer of the Faithful
- Jesus, you showed us the way, the truth and the life. Empower us with your Word and love us in our earthly endeavours as we work to respond to your love.
- Father, forgive our failings and teach us to forgive others. We ask you to show us your compassion and forgiveness, always.
- Spirit, guide us on our path, light our minds and ease our judgmental souls. Holy Spirit, we follow your peace.