24th February 2012
If possible have some Holy Water ready to bless yourself as we will all be doing.
Music Deep Peace, Keith Duke.
Let’s say the prayer together
May the sweetness and purity of this water from Lourdes
Enter our prayers and our work life today.
May our prayers be carried worldwide
To those suffering from drought,
To those recovering from floods,
To the children who have to drink dirty water
To the women and girls who must walk miles carrying water.
Lord, May Your own sweetness and purity enter
their lives, our lives
And all those who work for CAFOD.
Introduction of today’s readings
Reading 1, Isaiah 58:1-91 Shout for all you are worth, do not hold back, raise your voice like a trumpet. To my people proclaim their rebellious acts, to the House of Jacob, their sins.
2 They seek for me day after day, they long to know my ways, like a nation that has acted uprightly and not forsaken the law of its God. They ask me for laws that are upright, they long to be near God:
3 ‘Why have we fasted, if you do not see, why mortify ourselves if you never notice?’ Look, you seek your own pleasure on your fast days and you exploit all your workmen;
4 look, the only purpose of your fasting is to quarrel and squabble and strike viciously with your fist. Fasting like yours today will never make your voice heard on high.
5 Is that the sort of fast that pleases me, a day when a person inflicts pain on himself? Hanging your head like a reed, spreading out sackcloth and ashes? Is that what you call fasting, a day acceptable to Yahweh?
6 Is not this the sort of fast that pleases me: to break unjust fetters, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break all yokes?
7 Is it not sharing your food with the hungry, and sheltering the homeless poor; if you see someone lacking clothes, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own kin?
8 Then your light will blaze out like the dawn and your wound be quickly healed over. Saving justice will go ahead of you and Yahweh’s glory come behind you.
9 Then you will cry for help and Yahweh will answer; you will call and he will say, ‘I am here.’ If you do away with the yoke, the clenched fist and malicious words.
Silence and shared reflection.
Gospel of Day Matthew 9 14-15
Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?”
And Jesus said to them, “Can the wedding guests mourn as long as the bridegroom is with them? The days will come, when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and then they will fast.
Short silence followed by a shared reflection
Lord, I acknowledge my own unworthiness in all its aspects, not just with regard to my own personal and private life, but in the effect it has on others and the world I live in. I give myself to the struggle for justice.
Lord help us to see where our lives are out of balance. Help us to seek your balance for our lives, so that we may bring your extravagant love and goodness to all we encounter.
Giving up, giving out, giving in.
You are invited (if you wish ) to write down on a slip of paper the way in which you intend to fulfill your commitment during Lent. These may be placed in the basket in front of the cross as a symbol of our self denial and giving .
Music Psalm 51 Marty Haugen
Intercessory Prayers for
CAFOD home staff and volunteers
CAFOD lately dead
A Franciscan blessing which we can give to each other by saying it together.
May God bless you with anger at injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people, so that you may work for justice, freedom and peace. Amen.
May God bless you with tears to shed for those who suffer from pain, rejection, starvation and war, so that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and to turn their pain into joy. Amen.
May God bless you with enough foolishness to believe that you can make a difference in this world, so that you can do what others claim cannot be done. Amen.
And the Blessing of God, who Creates, Redeems, and Sanctifies, be upon you and all you love and pray for this day, and forever more. Amen.