Sunday Half Hour

Service for Sunday 31st May

‘The Spirit Will Be With Us Forever’

Jesus goes to the Father but he will continue to guide us and the whole church through the Holy Spirit.  

The Spirit will remind us continually of Jesus

Each week you are asked to set aside 30mins to reflect on the readings, in readiness for this time of prayer have everything that you need in place by 9.50am for a 10am start. We will not be rattling through the material! What follows is meant to help us identify with the different thoughts and prayers and make both our own. 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. With some pieces of music you can also switch on the subtitles (CC) to read the lyrics while you reflect.

Pentecost is considered the birthday of the Church, the day when that first community of believers were baptised with the Holy Spirit and sent out to tell the world about the Risen Christ. The storm of the present pandemic is inviting all of us, whether we like it or not, to rethink how we live in this world. It’s also beckoning us to re-imagine ourselves as Church, as that community of baptised believers who are sent to recreate the world. (Schutte)

Spend 5 minutes thinking about your life as lived out at this moment in time and reflect upon the following questions:

  • Where do I witness Christ’s mission being continued? 
  • How do I contribute to Christ’s mission being continued? 
  • Which simple daily experiences do I sense the presence of the Spirit at work in?

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

Move among us Spirit, and gather us together with you. Take our many selves – our lives, our loves, our ideas, our questions, our speech, our silence – and unite us as your people. You are the source of life that brings life to the world, whole life, full life, unhindered, indestructible, everlasting life.  Give to our world gifts of perception and understanding, hearts of flesh for hearts of stone that we may love as you would love and do what you would do. Amen.

The Word of God

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

Psalm:

Response: All the ends of the earth have seen the power of God x 2  

Reflection:  

Loud noise, a mighty storm, fire, languages – these symbols used to describe the first Christian Pentecost tell us forcefully that something totally new is happening. God’s Spirit of power is breaking through to bring divided humanity together in a community where there is room for all. 

Do you think there is a sense in which we could say history is repeating itself today and the Spirit’s power is being experienced anew ?

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

Reflection:

Though we live long after the events recorded in our Scripture readings, both writers of the Scriptures today remind us of some perennial realities about being church. 

The Church is not a community organisation, it is not an institution, it is not a religion. The Church was always meant to be the Body of Christ, the person of Jesus to the rest of the world. In so many ways we have lost our way, but there are equally ways in which we can renew our commitment to live up to that calling. 

The mission of Jesus has been entrusted to all of us and not just to the Pope Bishop and Priests. We know ourselves that actions speak louder than words. The best witnessing that is done in the church is the kind that is done through our living. When we strive to keep God’s commandments of love, others may be led to do the same. When we put our heart and soul into our worship, others may be led to do the same. The greatest task facing the church in today’s world is to be what we are meant to be; to be like Him who has always loved us. 

What does it mean to you when it said that you are a vital part of the Body of Christ and the rest of the body needs you and what you have to offer? 

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 the Holy Spirit may empower its members to bear witness with their lives to the values of the gospel.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for all government and business leaders that they will develop policies for reopening society that both protect and promote the wellbeing of everyone.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for those who are imprisoned by doubt, fear, depression or addiction that the Holy Spirit may set them free and enable them to live life to the full.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for a new Pentecost that in the light of all that is happening in the world, God will pour out the Spirit in a new and abundant way to renew humanity and all of creation.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for the Spirit of healing that God will be especially present to all who are ill, particularly those with Covid-19, that he may strengthen their minds, bodies and spirits and restore them to wholeness.

Lord in your mercy

We pray for the Spirit of life that God will be merciful and give eternal life to all who have died or who are approaching death, we remember especially Emma Reyes.

Lord in your mercy

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 lets now gather together our thoughts and prayers as we say: 

Blessing :                  

May the Holy Spirit bless us with the gifts of unity and peace.

May the Holy Spirit inflame our hearts and raise our spirits.

May the Holy Spirit kindle in our hearts the fire of his love, and make us courageous followers of Christ.

And may the blessing of Almighty God, Father, Son and Spirit come  down upon us and stay with us now and forever, Amen.

The Final Hymn:

 

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