Sunday, February 18, 2024

Collect Series Year B first Sunday Lent

 COLLECT SERIES

The Mass: Collect Series Icon.



The Collect for the First Sunday of Lent Year B reads as follows:


Let us pray,
Grant almighty God,
througn the yearly observances of holy Lent, 
that we may grow in understanding
 of the riches hidden in Christ
 and by worthy conduct pursue their effect.
through our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, 
who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit 
one God, for ever and ever.

In making this prayer tangible, the following reflection questions emerged:

  1. What is our attitude towards the season of Lent?
  2. What are the riches hidden in Christ?
  3. How may I grow in understanding of these riches hidden in Christ?
  4. What are the effects of the riches hidden in Christ?
  5. What areas of my life are not completely worthy conduct?
  6. What is my spiritual goal for this Lenten season and how will I give Jesus permission to attain this goal?

In the northern hemisphere, Lent coincides with springtime and in fact, the word itself probably came from the old English lencten meaning the lengthening of the days that occur in spring. Spring offers the possibility of new life and when hearts lift from the dreariness of the winter season. Lent offers the opportunity to renew and reawaken the life of the spirit, which can make it a season of joy, despite the penitential nature of Lent. Those of us who live in the southern hemisphere do not have the advantage of the season of spring to accompany us on our journey have a different season- late summer going into autumn. Autumn is a season of a change of colour, where the trees lose their green leaves and turn all sorts of beautiful colours. It is also a time when we can have cool nights so we can sleep better and be refreshed. Therefore autumn to me, is an ideal time for Lent as I like to think of Lent as a season to change colour. It is a season to change from mediocrity in our spiritual lives to bursting forth with a change of colour ( change of heart) to be the beautiful colour God has instilled in us. It is a time to lose our leaves (sins and bad habits) and allow the grace of God turn our leaves (souls) into something beautiful to behold. It is a time to sleep well at night and allow God's grace to refresh our whole being. So whether we live in the northern or southern hemisphere, the message of Jesus is still the same which we hear in today's Gospel "Repent and believe the Good News"

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Gospel Acclamation in Lent Series: Saturday After Ash Wednesday.

 GOSPEL ACCLAMATIONS IN LENT SERIES

Gospel Acclamation Series Icon.


SATURDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

 

The word Alleluia is not used in Lent. It means to praise God.  Obviously, we still praise God but it is as though the church invites us in this way to find other ways to praise God.

Glory to You, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ,
I do not wish the sinner to die, says the Lord, but turn to Me and live.

Glory to You, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ.

 

Personal Reflection:

How can I embrace the Lord's invitation to turn away from sin and choose life.

What grace do I need to cultivate a repentant heart and a renewed commitment to follow Jesus?"

Response to God’s Voice:

In what specific ways can I actively listen to God's compassionate call, allowing His mercy to guide me in turning towards Him and embracing the gift of life He offers?

Lenten Practices:

How can my Lenten practices be a tangible expression of my desire to turn to the Lord and live.?

How can I foster spiritual growth and transformation during this season of reflection?

Gratitude and Praise:

In what ways can I express gratitude for the Lord's mercy, acknowledging His desire for the sinner to live, and offering praise for the redemptive power of His Word in my life?

How have I experienced the mercy of God during my life and what attitudes do I need to change to be open to receiving His mercy?

Community Support:

How can I support and encourage others in my faith community to turn towards the Lord, fostering a communal commitment to life in Christ during this season of Lent?

 



 

 

 

 

Gospel Acclamation in Lent series: Friday after Ash Wednesday.

 GOSPEL ACCLAMATIONS IN LENT SERIES.

Gospel Acclamation in Lent Series Icon.



FRIDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY
 

The word Alleluia is not used in Lent. It means to praise God.  Obviously, we still praise God but it is as though the church invites us in this way to find other ways to praise God.

Glory and Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ,
Seek Good and not evil
so that you may live and the Lord will be with you.

Glory and Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ,

Personal Reflection:

How can I actively seek good and avoid evil in my daily life,

How can I align my actions with the Lord's will, and thereby ensuring His presence in my life?"

Response to God’s Voice:

In what ways can I deepen my receptivity to God's voice.

How can I allow His guidance to shape my decisions and actions during this Lenten season, fostering a closer relationship with Him?

Lenten Practices:

How can I incorporate intentional and meaningful Lenten practices into my daily routine striving to grow spiritually and draw closer to the Lord during this season of reflection and preparation?

Are my Lenten practices performed out of  the great love God has lavished upon us by saving me?

How have my Lenten practices gone so far. Do I need to review them for the coming week. What do I need to adjust.?

 

Gratitude and Praise:

How can I cultivate a spirit of gratitude and praise in my heart, recognizing the blessings in my life

Express thankfulness to the Lord for His grace and presence each day.

Community Support:

How can I actively contribute to and seek support from my faith community during this Lenten journey, fostering a sense of unity and shared commitment to seeking good.

What are the forms of evil that are evident in my faith community which I need to avoid? 

 

 

 



 

 

 

 

Thursday, February 15, 2024

Gospel Acclamations In Lent Series Year B: Thursday after Ash Wednesday

 GOSPEL ACCLAMATIONS IN LENT SERIES

Gospel Acclamation Series in Lent Icon.


THURSDAY AFTER ASH WEDNESDAY

Welcome to my series Gospel Acclamations during Lent. 

  •   Do you get distracted at Mass? 
  •    Does your parish have a sheet with the acclamations printed for you?
  •   Do you have a sheet or read it from your phone but do not connect with the words?
  •  Do you not have a sheet or phone and try to listen to congregation reciting it and cannot decipher any of the words?
  •  Do you wish you knew scripture more and could use scripture in prayer during the day and/or in time of crisis/need or anxiety.

 

Well, the good news, this series in Lent may be for you.  I will provide the short text of the Gospel acclamation and then, provide a few reflection questions each day during Lent under the following headings:

  • Personal Reflection
  • Responding to God's Voice
  • Lenten Practices
  • Gratitude and Praise.
  • Community Support. 

The word Alleluia is not used in Lent. Today the Gospel Acclamation reads:

Praise and honour to You Lord Jesus Christ,
Repent, says the Lord the kingdom of heaven is at hand.

Praise and honour to You Lord Jesus Christ,

You are invited to use the reflection questions in any way you may find helpful. Use the acclamation too itself as a form of prayer- either in full or as separate prayers throughout the day eg sweeping the floor, waiting for the computer to warm up, stacking the dishwasher.  

Personal Reflection

  • How have I embraced a spirit of repentance in my personal reflections during this Lenten season?
  • In what ways has the awareness of the imminent kingdom of heaven influenced my daily thoughts, actions, and priorities?

 Response to God’s Voice.

  • Reflecting on the call to repentance, how have I responded to the Lord's invitation to turn away from sin and draw closer to Him?
  • Are there areas in my life where I need to be more attentive to God's voice, especially in the context of preparing for the kingdom of heaven?

 Lenten Practices

  • How have my Lenten practices deepened my sense of repentance and readiness for the kingdom of heaven?
  • Are there additional spiritual disciplines or adjustments to my current practices that can enhance my preparation for the coming of the kingdom?

 

Gratitude and Praise

  • In what ways have I expressed gratitude for the opportunity to repent and prepare for the kingdom of heaven during Lent?
  • How can I incorporate moments of praise and thanksgiving into my daily routine as a response to the Lord's call to repentance?

 Community Support:

  • How have I engaged with my faith community during this Lenten season to seek and offer support in our collective journey towards repentance and the kingdom of heaven?
  • Are there specific ways I can actively contribute to the spiritual growth and support of others in my community during this sacred time?

 

 

 



 

 


Gospel Acclamations in Lent Year B Ash Wednesday


 GOSPEL ACCLAMATION SERIES IN LENT

 

Gospel Acclamations in Lent icon


Welcome to my series Gospel Acclamations during Lent. 

  •   Do you get distracted at Mass? 
  •    Does your parish have a sheet with the acclamations printed for you?
  •   Do you have a sheet or read it from your phone but do not connect with the words?
  •  Do you not have a sheet or phone and try to listen to congregation reciting it and cannot decipher any of the words?
  •  Do you wish you knew scripture more and could use scripture in prayer during the day and/or in time of crisis/need or anxiety.

 

Well, the good news, this series in Lent may be for you.  I will provide the short text of the Gospel acclamation and then, provide a few reflection questions each day during Lent under the following headings:
Personal Reflection
Responding to God's Voice
Lenten Practices
Gratitude and Praise.
Community Support.

The beautiful aspect of the Gospel Acclamations is that they can provide a great source of reflection and a great source for a short prayer and turning our attention to God in the busyness of the day.

You are invited to use the reflection questions in any way you may find helpful. Use the acclamation too itself as a form of prayer- either in full or as separate prayers throughout the day eg sweeping the floor, waiting for the computer to warm up, stacking the dishwasher.  I am already one day behind.!!! Let’s begin.

 

 ASH WEDNESDAY

The word Alleluia is not used in Lent. It means to praise God.  Obviously, we still praise God but it is as though the church invites us in this way to find other ways to praise God.

Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ,
King of endless glory!

If today you hear His voice, harden not your hearts.

Praise to You Lord Jesus Christ,
King of endless glory!

 

 

 

Personal Reflection

1.    How have I actively listened for the voice of the Lord in my life and how will I actively listen during this Lenten season?

2.    In what ways have I allowed my heart to remain open and receptive to God's calling, and where have I encountered challenges in doing so?

Response to God’s Voice.

1.    Reflecting on moments when I have heard God's voice, how have I responded?

2.    Have my actions aligned with His teachings, or have I faced moments of resistance or hesitation?

3.    In what areas of my life is God inviting me to soften my heart and respond more fully to His call?


Lenten Practices:

1.    How will my Lenten practices, such as prayer, fasting, and almsgiving, contributed to creating a more open and receptive heart to God's voice?

2.    Am I open to making adjustments to my Lenten disciplines (if needed) to deepen my spiritual awareness and responsiveness to God's call?

 

Gratitude and Praise

1.    In moments of recognizing God's presence and hearing His voice, how have I expressed gratitude and praise?

2.    What specific actions or prayers can I incorporate into my daily routine to express gratitude for God's continual invitation and guidance?

 

 

Community and Support

1.    How have I shared my journey of faith and Lenten reflections with my community?

2.    In what ways can I support others in their efforts to remain open to God's voice and avoid hardening their hearts during this season of Lent?

 

Wednesday, January 31, 2024

About the Mass Series: Invitation to Communion Part 15

 ABOUT THE MASS SERIES VOL 2

About the Mass Series Vol 2 Icon.

‘INVITATION TO COMMUNION’ Part 15
 

After the private preparation of the priest and people, the priest genuflects and shows the Host to the congregation (known as the second elevation- the first being at the consecration.  This is different and quite distinct from the raising of the host on the paten and the chalice at the Doxology-(Through Him with Him, in Him), which is the only liturgically correct and theologically sound action at that time.

As the host is elevated, he says:

 ‘This is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.  Happy are those who are called to His supper’. Both statements are taken from Scripture- the first from John 1:29 and the second from Revelation 19:9. Some priests introduce the invitation with other prayers relevant to the Sunday Gospel or their own congregation but will complete their own prayer as they elevate the host with the words mentioned above.

 Before 1969, the response was ‘Lord I am not worthy to receive Thee under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed’.  This was repeated three times This too is taken from Scripture-the words of the centurion (Mt 8:9). 

 In the current translation of the Mass since 2010, this is what we pray at this time. We pray it once only.  It is important that we are focused at this time especially so that we can pray these words as our own and can pray them with humility and genuineness of heart.

 

In the previous translation of the Mass post Vatican 2,  we used to respond ‘Lord I am not worthy to receive you but only say the word, and I shall be healed’.

 We may have our personal preference here- some would say by using the word I, rather than my soul that we are including our complete self –body, mind and spirit. Others prefer the concept of ‘my roof’ and all that it entails.  Whatever our personal preference may be, it is wonderful, and yet, humbling to remember that it is only through the Lord’s word that we shall be healed. The text as it presently stands aims to strike a balance between worthiness rooted in Baptism (I am a child of God), and the humility possessed by the centurion, which we are invited to imitate. It is a response of humility and awe. No other gift can compare to this, and it is God’s invitation, which makes us worthy to receive it. 

 

What does such an invitation evoke in You?




Sunday, January 14, 2024

Collect Series: Collect for Second Sunday Ordinary Time.

 COLLECT SERIES

The Mass: Collect Series Icon.




COLLECT 


The Collect for the Second Sunday of Year B reads as follows:

Almighty ever-living God,

Who governs all things, both in heaven and on earth,

Mercifully hear the pleading of Your people

And bestow Your peace on our times.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son,

who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever.

 

 

REFLECTION QUESTIONS

 

In making this prayer tangible, the following reflection questions emerged:

  1. What is my relationship with God as Creator?
  2. Does my life exemplify myself as the Creator in the way of live or does it exemplify God as Creator- is God first in my life?
  3. What are my pleading for Your people?  Do I intercede for the Church and for His people?
  4. What does God’s peace mean to me?
  5. What areas in my life need God’s peace?
  6. What steps can I take this coming week to experience God’s peace in my life and in the lives of those whom I meet, work, parishioners, family, friends?

 

GOSPEL REFLECTION

The Gospel for today is from Jn 1:35-42, which gives us the calling of the first four apostles. You will notice the steps involved in the calling.


Step 1:  The first 2 apostles listen to John the Baptist. His statement " There is the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world" made an impression on them and they left John to follow Jesus.  This is reminiscent of the Epiphany which we celebrated last week. Herod tried to hold onto power whilst the wise men from the East sought the Lord of Lords to be their King.  John the Baptist does not try to hold on to his power or hold them back but lets them go. He releases them knowing that he was to point the way to Jesus.  Are we able to point others to Jesus and release them in their journey. 

Step 2: The 2 disciples stay with Jesus for the day.  Imagine what they would have talked about during that day- the questions, the curiosity they would have had about Jesus. They wanted to get to know Jesus, so they spent time with Him.  Do we want to get to know Jesus? Do we spend time with Him to get to know Him more?  Do we set aside time for retreat to have a day with the Lord? Why not look at your diary this coming week and lock in a retreat before the diary gets filled with other things.  If we are not able to spend a day with Him, why not commit to one hour regular adoration either online or in person. It is a wonderful way to get to know Jesus and to get to know ourselves before Him. 

 Step 3: Andrew finds his brother and tells him about Jesus.  You will notice that from his own experience of Jesus, he tells Peter about Jesus. Andrew realises that they have found the Messiah.  Because he has spent time with Him, he is able to say that they had found the Messiah.  What experience have we had that we can share with others about Jesus so that we can say like Andrew ' We have found the Messiah'.  Personal testimony is very powerful.

 Step 4: Andrew brings Simon Peter to Jesus.  The Gospel does not tell us whether Peter came to Jesus because of his brother’s testimony only or whether from his testimony, his own heart was sparked. What is important though is that Peter came to  see Jesus.  What does this mean for us?  When people come to the church, they may be coming for a whole range of reasons which may/may not be initially helpful to their faith journey. When they encounter Jesus, these reasons will find their own place and their faith journey with Jesus begins. It is not the initial motives that are important since these can be purified along the way, rather it is for those of us who know Jesus to introduce Him to other people. What are we doing to bring other people to Jesus? What commitment will I make this coming year to bring other people to Jesus? eg invite people to Alpha course in your parish or set up an Alpha course in your parish or simply ask someone to come to Mass with you.

 

Step 5: When encountering Jesus, Simon’s name was changed to Peter.  He received the call. What do we do to encourage vocations?  Do we pray for vocations sincerely? Do we walk alongside those studying for priesthood and give them support?
Changing a name is significant. It is giving a person a new identity-a new role, a new mission.  When we encounter Jesus, are we given a new identity, a new role or a new mission.  How are we changed when we encounter Jesus?

 

This Gospel therefore provides us with much food for thought and food for action as well. What difference will this Gospel make to our lives this coming week/this coming year.