Sunday Half Hour

Service for Sunday 18th October

matthew 22

If there are times in the service when you say to yourself “I can really identify with what is being said and asked of us” and you turn those moments into the simplest and shortest of prayers then you’ll know you’re on the right track. 

World Mission Sunday is celebrated in every Catholic community in the world. It’s a moment of grace to express solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Christ who are living in situations of poverty, violence and oppression. Every parish, is being invited to help missionaries everywhere continue their work of proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ to those who have not heard it. We are Catholic Christians and we live out our lives in a multi-cultural society sharing life with a countless number of people who do not share our belief in Jesus the Risen and Ascended Lord.

We are, as the Scriptures will remind us today, citizens both of our country and the Kingdom of God and as such called to do all that we can in whatever setting we find ourselves to see to it that the laws of God and human rights are respected.

Let’s gather together our thoughts and prayers as we say:

Lord mighty God, you lead the world and all humanity to their destiny in you. Give to the leaders of the world and of our country, a vision of the future that is both imaginative and realistic and respectful of human rights and dignity. Help us to bear witness in every day life to the values of the Gospel and to be involved in the work of freedom, integrity and justice. May we build up a community that foreshadows our heavenly homeland. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen

The Word of God

The Persian King Cyrus, without knowing it, served the plan of God by setting free the Jews from exile having conquered Babylon. In that sense, he was an outsider. From a religious point of view, Isaiah sees the return of the people from exile as a sign of God’s love for his people and of his lordship over all people. As Isaiah was reminded by God: “there is no other God beside me.”

(Please click the button below to hear this week’s reading)

At the end of the reading, allow yourself time to take in the message of the Scriptures. 

Reflection:

There are some wonderful people in our world doing incredible work as they enrich the lives of people in a whole variety of different ways.  They are not all Christian believers are they? Do you think God chose them? Has God ever chosen you? If so, were you aware of it?

One spiritual writer raised an interesting question in the light of that first reading: “Could God be “grasping the hand” of scientists “though they know him not”, who trying to find cures for the pandemic and solutions for the global warming crisis and of activists trying to stop racial injustice?  (Osdieck)

The Gospel of the Lord

In the seemingly never-ending clashes between Jesus and the various representatives of Judaism, it’s now the turn of some Pharisees and Herodians not noted for keeping company with each other. They try to trap Jesus by inviting him to identify himself with one side or another in relation to the payment of taxes but Jesus smartly turned the table on them by declaring that they ought to pay to the emperor what belongs to him and to God what belongs to God. The net result of that challenge was that they unwittingly became the agents of Jesus proclamation, that we must acknowledge God’s sovereignty by doing God’s work!

(Please click the button below to hear the Gospel)

At the end of the reading, allow yourself time to take in the message of the Scriptures. 

Reflection:  

I love living in this country as indeed do many others. But are we expected to agree with everything that happens in it and with all its structures? Most people would say no; their stance depending upon which political party they support. How many of us in these troubled times would even know what is best for our country? Our God would surely expect that his people learn to be discerning and to judge what happens among us and what we should do in the light of the Gospel. Our world is not yet God’s world, the earthly realities are still mixed with injustice, inequality, fear.  It’s a part of our calling to make this earth God’s world.  God will surely work with us as the next song will underline.  What is less sure is our response to all that God is offering us.

As you would do at Mass pray now for the needs of the world and think carefully what it is that we are asking God to grant us:

We pray for the Church that we may open our minds and hearts to the Good News of the Gospel and allow the teaching we find in there to shape our response to the many decisions we have to make in the course of a day.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for government leaders throughout the world that God will guide them in confronting the evils and challenges of our day, especially those faced by the weak, powerless and vulnerable.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for our community gathered in prayer, that the material support we give the world-wide missionary movement may bring us into closer communion with our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for aliens, refugees and immigrants, for all who live in a strange land, that we may recognise their gifts and respond to their calls for justice and dignity.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for all in our world suffering from the Corona-virus that those not caught up in its effects may have a strong sense of civic responsibility and actively participate toward the common good.

Lord in your mercy

Let us pray for a moment in silent prayer for our own particular needs

As Christians our first and deepest loyalty is to God. As sons and daughters of a loving Father we pray as one family in the words that Jesus himself taught us…………………Our Father

We have listened to the Word of God, prayed for the needs of the church and the world, prayed in the words Jesus taught us so let’s now gather together our thoughts and prayers in this final reflection:

O God who gave one origin to all peoples and willed to gather from them one family for yourself, fill all hearts, we pray with the fire of your love and kindle in them a desire for the just advancement of their neighbour, that through the good thigs which you bestow upon all, each person may be brought to perfection, every division may be removed, and equity and justice may be established in human society. 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, Amen

The Final Hymn:

 

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