PANDEMIC PASSION SUNDAY
PRAYERS, REFLECTION & SPIRITUAL COMMUNION FOR USE AT HOME
ON SUNDAY 29th MARCH 2020
Prayer for the Pandemic
God of the present moment, God who in Jesus stills the storm and soothes the frantic heart; bring hope and courage to all who wait or work in uncertainty.
Bring hope that you will make them the equal of whatever lies ahead.
Bring them courage to endure what cannot be avoided, for your will is health and wholeness; you are God, and we need you.
The gospels describe how Mary, Martha and their brother Lazarus gave Jesus hospitality in their home at Bethany outside Jerusalem. Jesus is said to have loved all three.
After Lazarus' death, he wept and was moved by the sisters' grief to bring Lazarus back from the dead. Martha recognised Jesus as the Messiah, while Mary anointed his feet and, on another occasion, was commended by Jesus for her attentiveness to his teaching while Martha served. From this, Mary is traditionally taken to be an example of the contemplative life and Martha an example of the Christian life
put into action.
We continue to hear the account of the death of Lazarus,
Jesus’ dearest friend, and what followed…..
Then the Jews said, ‘See how he loved him!’ But some of them said, ‘Could not he who opened the eyes of the blind man have kept this man from dying?’
Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb.
It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance.
‘Take away the stone,’ he said.
‘But, Lord,’ said Martha, the sister of the dead man,
‘by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days.’
Then Jesus said,
‘Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?’
So they took away the stone.
Then Jesus looked up and said,
‘Father, I thank you that you have heard me.
I knew that you always hear me,
but I said this for the benefit of the people standing here,
that they may believe that you sent me.’
When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice,
‘Lazarus, come out!’
The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen,
and a cloth round his face.
Jesus said to them, ‘Take off the grave clothes and let him go.’
Therefore many of the Jews who had come to visit Mary,
and had seen what Jesus did, believed in him.
“The raising of Lazarus is the last and greatest of Jesus’ marvellous works, “signs”, which point towards and hint at the final gift of divine life. The first of the signs was the transformation of water used for Jewish purification (the “Water of the Law”) into the wine of the heavenly banquet at Cana. These signs show who Jesus really is.
As well as showing the divine power of Jesus (for only God can give life) they also show the real human love of Jesus for his friends. He is upset by Lazarus’s death and weeps for him, sharing his sorrow for his friends and family as he shares our sorrows too.” (A Year With The Bible – 365 Daily Reflections – Dom Henry Wansbrough OSB).
POPE FRANCIS – “Urbi et Orbi”, Rome, 27th March 2020.“Why are you afraid? Have you no faith”? Dear brothers and sisters, from this place that tells of Peter’s rock-solid faith, I would like this evening to entrust all of you to the Lord, through the intercession of Mary, Health of the People and Star of the stormy Sea. From this colonnade that embraces Rome and the whole world, may God’s blessing come down upon you as a consoling embrace. Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies and comfort our hearts. You ask us not to be afraid. Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful. But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm. Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5). And we, together with Peter, “cast all our anxieties onto you, for you care about us” (cf. 1 Pet 5:7).
"WHEN WE GRIEVE A LOVED ONE" by Lisa Appelo.
My heart feels like
a thousand knives are running through it.
I am weary, spent,
and just so sad.
Hear my prayers.
Uphold me and my family.
Give us strength.
Be persistent in your love.
Carry us through this heartache.
Bring us joy and hope.
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning is now, and
ever shall be world without end. Amen.
PSALM 40: AT THE FEET OF CHRIST
I waited patiently upon the Lord; he stooped to me and heard my cry.
He lifted me out of the desolate pit,
out of the mire and clay; he set my feet upon a high place
and made my footing sure.
You are the Lord; do not withhold your compassion from me; let your love and your faithfulness keep me safe for ever.
Be pleased, O Lord, to deliver me; O Lord, make haste to help me.
Our Father, forgive all our misdeeds and wipe away our sin, for you are great and compassionate; your mercy knows no bounds. My heart lies before you, O my God. Look deep within it. See these memories of mine, for you are my hope.
RAISED – ISAIAH 25
The Lord God will wipe away all tears,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away,
for the Lord has spoken.
This is our God; we have waited for him to save us;
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.
Let us lift up our hearts,
and give thanks to God.
OUR FATHER, who art in heaven….
“To be there before you, Lord,
To shut the eyes of my body,
To shut the eyes of my soul,
And be still and silent,
To be there before you,
I am willing
to feel nothing, Lord,
To see nothing,
to hear nothing.
Empty of all ideas,
of all images,
In the darkness.
Here I am, simply,
to meet you without obstacles,
In the silence of faith,
before you, Lord.” M.Quoist
Time to sit quietly in Our Lord’s Presence, to receive that Presence spiritually.
“My Jesus, I believe that You are present
in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.
I love You above all things,
and I desire to receive You into my soul.
Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart …
I embrace You as if You were already there
and unite myself wholly to You.
Never permit me to be separated from You,
Become for me the manna in my wilderness,
the bread of angels for my very human journey through time,
a foretaste of the heavenly banquet,
and solace in the hour of my death.
I pray all this, trusting that you yourself are our Life,
our Peace, and our everlasting Joy. Amen.
The Church Union
Jesus says: "I am the bread of life.
Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,
and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Christ within me,
Christ before me,
Christ behind me,
Christ beneath me,
Christ above me,
Christ on my right,
Christ on my left,
Christ when I lie down,
Christ when I sit down,
Christ when I arise,
POPE FRANCIS’S BLESSING “Urbi et Orbi” on Friday 27th March 2020
Lord, may you bless the world, give health to our bodies
and comfort our hearts.
You ask us not to be afraid.
Yet our faith is weak and we are fearful.
But you, Lord, will not leave us at the mercy of the storm.
Tell us again: “Do not be afraid” (Mt 28:5).
And we, together with Peter,
“cast all our anxieties onto you,
for you care about us” (1 Pet 5:7).
The Light of Christ
has pierced the darkness.
In that Light,
let us go forth in peace.