CAFOD PRAYERS for Tuesday 2nd April 2019

Opening Prayer

As we come into your presence, Lord,

deepen our love for you

and move us to a deeper love for others.

Unite our prayer to action,

and our praise to justice.

Let us know that love of God and neighbour

are entwined,

so that we may praise you

with hearts that are open

and bring justice to your people.


Scripture    Ezekiel 47:12

12  The Angel said: “On the banks, on both sides of the river, there will grow all kinds of trees for food. Their leaves will not wither nor their fruit fail, but they will bear fresh fruit every month, because the water for them flows from the sanctuary. Their fruit will be for food, and their leaves for healing.”

Gospel:       John 5:1-3.5-18

After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.

Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids—blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk.

Now that day was a Sabbath. 10 So the Jews said to the man who had been cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your mat.” 11 But he answered them, “The man who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your mat and walk.’” 12 They asked him, “Who is the man who said to you, ‘Take it up and walk’?” 13 Now the man who had been healed did not know who it was, for Jesus had disappeared in the crowd that was there. 14 Later Jesus found him in the temple and said to him, “See, you have been made well! Do not sin any more, so that nothing worse happens to you.” 15 The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. 16 Therefore the Jews started persecuting Jesus, because he was doing such things on the Sabbath. 17 But Jesus answered them, “My Father is still working, and I also am working.” 18 For this reason the Jews were seeking all the more to kill him, because he was not only breaking the Sabbath, but was also calling God his own Father, thereby making himself equal to God.


Today’s story starts the second part of John’s Gospel. He has already arranged his material to show that Jesus is to replace the Jewish purifications and the Temple, at the wedding feast in Cana and in the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well: now the Feasts are to be redrawn, starting with the pivotal importance to the Jews of the Sabbath.  It is used here in Lent to show the build-up of tension before Good Friday. Jesus claims equality with the Father, something the Jews could never accept.



 With broken hopes and broken promises,

with broken relationships and broken hearts,

with the broken in body and the broken in mind,

with the broken in spirit and the despairing,

we come to you, Lord,

for you alone can make us whole.


Concluding Prayer

In the rising of the Easter dawn,

where the hungry celebrate with feasting,

where people find their voices and sing their songs,

when enemies give up violence and become friends,

when love is allowed to flourish

and grow into community,

we welcome you, our crucified and risen Christ,

and claim your promised presence.


And we pray for each other:

The arm of God be about you,

the way of Christ guide you,

and the strength of the Spirit support you

this day and forever.


CAFOD PRAYERS for Tuesday 12th March 2019

Opening Prayer

Almighty God, may my mouth speak for justice,

may my feet walk for justice,

may my hands work for justice,

but, more than any of those,

may my heart and soul long for justice,

until your will is done on earth as it is in heaven. Amen.

Peter Graystone, from “Just One Year”


Scripture    Isaiah 55:10-11

10 For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven,
and do not return there  until they have watered the earth,
making it bring forth and sprout,
giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater,
11 so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and succeed in the thing for which I sent it.


This reading comes from the end of the second Isaiah’s Book of Consolation.  The Exile is coming to an end and the writer offers hope to the people returning to Jerusalem.  His message is: the Lord is in charge of events.

Gospel:       Mark 6:7-15

“When you are praying, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do; for they think that they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“Pray then in this way:

Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.
10          Your kingdom come.
Your will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
11          Give us this day our daily bread.
12          And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors.
13          And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one.

14 For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you; 15 but if you do not forgive others, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.



William Barclay suggests that the pattern of the Lord’s Prayer must be the pattern for all prayer.  It begins by giving God his proper place and it goes on with three petitions.  The first is a prayer for our present need, the second for our past sin and the third for our future welfare and goodness – that is, food for the present, forgiveness for the past, help for the future.  All of life is brought into the presence of God.

And there is a Trinitarian viewpoint.  We pray to the Father, the sustainer of all life, the Son, whose gift was forgiveness and healing, and the Spirit, the helper and protector of all.  “Within their narrow compass, and with their astonishing economy of words, these three petitions take the whole of life to the whole of God.”

From “The Plain Man Looks at the Lord’s Prayer”



Final intercessions:

God of justice, God of love, we keep praying for peace, while harbouring resentment in our hearts.

Have mercy upon us.  Help us live what we pray.

We keep praying for an end to the world’s hunger,

while enjoying the comfort of more than we need.

Have mercy upon us.  Help us live what we pray.

We keep praying for suffering people,

forgetting that we could be sharing their load.

Have mercy upon us.  Help us live what we pray.

And teach us again to keep praying, not only with words, but in all that we say and all that we do,

that your love and your justice may be known on the earth in each generation.

Amen.                         (Timothy Woods)

Concluding Prayer

From CAFOD’s Lent Family Fast prayer card, 2019