A Walk-Through Sunday Mass – April 19, 2020

I wish you all once again a Happy Easter. May the Risen Lord bless you, your homes and families. Please see our worship aid, “A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home,” for this coming Sunday, the Feast of Divine Mercy. The content is the same as before, except the Gloria, which you may recite before you do the opening prayer. The worship aid contains the readings, reflection questions that you can meditate on together, prayers and even a prayer for spiritual communion. I encourage you to set up a space at home where you can pray together and create your own temporary altar using a tablecloth and some candles. Use the script provided at this link https://www.santasophia.org/a-walk-through-sunday-mass-home-march-22/ and encourage your family members to participate – anyone who can read is able to lead the various parts.

Fr. Devdas

 

A Walk-Through Sunday Mass – April 19, 2020

 

Sign of the Cross:

Leader: ┼ In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit.

All: Amen.

Leader: Grace and peace to you from God our Father
and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be God forever.
The response is: Blessed be God forever.

All: Blessed be God forever.

Leader: We gather together as a family to celebrate the Lord’s Day.
One with our sisters and brothers
and with the entire Church, let us now listen to God’s Word
and join in prayer.

All: Amen.

Litany in Praise of God’s Mercy

(Together, we acknowledge how grateful we are for the mercy of God.)

Leader: As we prepare to hear about God’s love for us,
let us remember that the Lord always offers forgiveness,
for God is full of gentleness and compassion. Lord Jesus, you take away our fear in times of trouble:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you heal the wounds after we hurt each other:
Christ, have mercy.

All: Christ, have mercy.

Leader: Lord Jesus, you are the life that renews the world:
Lord, have mercy.

All: Lord, have mercy.

 

Glory to God in the Highest:

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth

peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you,

we adore you, we glorify you,

we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King, O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand,

of the Father, have mercy on us.

For you alone are the Holy One,

you alone are the Lord,

you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,

with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

 

Opening Prayer: Let us pray

God of everlasting mercy, who in the very recurrence of the paschal feast kindle the faith of the people you have made your own, increase, we pray, the grace you have bestowed, that all may grasp and rightly understand in what font they have been washed, by whose Spirit they have been reborn, by whose Blood they have been redeemed. 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.

 

First Reading ACTS 2:42-47

They devoted themselves
to the teaching of the apostles and to the communal life,
to the breaking of bread and to the prayers.
Awe came upon everyone,
and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles.
All who believed were together and had all things in common;
they would sell their property and possessions
and divide them among all according to each one’s need.
Every day they devoted themselves
to meeting together in the temple area
and to breaking bread in their homes.
They ate their meals with exultation and sincerity of heart,
praising God and enjoying favor with all the people.
And every day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

 

Questions to Reflect on:

  • We hear that the apostles devoted themselves to the communal life. Despite our inability to gather in church, how can you continue to embrace the local church in your own home and with those in your own circle?
  • What signs and wonders has God done through you? Take some time to reflect and share with others. Try reflecting on the ways that God has remained present and been able to do good, even in the midst of this pandemic.

Responsorial Psalm PS 118:2-4, 13-15, 22-24

  1. (1) Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    Let the house of Israel say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
    Let the house of Aaron say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
    Let those who fear the LORD say,
    “His mercy endures forever.”
    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.
    I was hard pressed and was falling,
    but the LORD helped me.
    My strength and my courage is the LORD,
    and he has been my savior.
    The joyful shout of victory
    in the tents of the just:
    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
    or:
    R.Alleluia.
    The stone which the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone.
    By the LORD has this been done;
    it is wonderful in our eyes.
    This is the day the LORD has made;
    let us be glad and rejoice in it.
    R. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, his love is everlasting.
    or:
    R. Alleluia.

 

Reading 21 PT 1:3-9

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ,
who in his great mercy gave us a new birth to a living hope
through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading,
kept in heaven for you
who by the power of God are safeguarded through faith,
to a salvation that is ready to be revealed in the final time.
In this you rejoice, although now for a little while
you may have to suffer through various trials,
so that the genuineness of your faith,
more precious than gold that is perishable even though tested by fire,
may prove to be for praise, glory, and honor
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
Although you have not seen him you love him;
even though you do not see him now yet believe in him,
you rejoice with an indescribable and glorious joy,
as you attain the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Questions to Reflect on:

  • The resurrection is Good News because it reveals that even in our unworthiness and sinfulness, God still loves us and gave up his life for us. On this feast of Divine Mercy, reflect on the ways that you are in need of God’s mercy in your own life.
  • Oftentimes our failure to accept the Good News is not because God doesn’t love us, but because we do not love ourselves. Reflect on the elements of your life that you do not like and offer them to God. Take a few moments and ask God to allow you to see yourself through his loving and merciful gaze.

Gospel Acclamation

  1. Alleluia, alleluia.
    You believe in me, Thomas, because you have seen me, says the Lord;
    blessed are they who have not seen me, but still believe!
    R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel  JN 20:19-31

On the evening of that first day of the week,
when the doors were locked, where the disciples were,
for fear of the Jews,
Jesus came and stood in their midst
and said to them, “Peace be with you.”
When he had said this, he showed them his hands and his side.
The disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you.
As the Father has sent me, so I send you.”
And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them,
“Receive the Holy Spirit.
Whose sins you forgive are forgiven them,
and whose sins you retain are retained.”

Thomas, called Didymus, one of the Twelve,
was not with them when Jesus came.
So the other disciples said to him, “We have seen the Lord.”
But he said to them,
“Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands
and put my finger into the nail marks
and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.”

Now a week later his disciples were again inside
and Thomas was with them.
Jesus came, although the doors were locked,
and stood in their midst and said, “Peace be with you.”
Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands,
and bring your hand and put it into my side,
and do not be unbelieving, but believe.”
Thomas answered and said to him, “My Lord and my God!”
Jesus said to him, “Have you come to believe because you have seen me?
Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed.”

Now, Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples
that are not written in this book.
But these are written that you may come to believe
that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God,
and that through this belief you may have life in his name.

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions to Reflect on:

  • When Jesus came to the disciples, he said: “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” Jesus came not to condemn those who had failed to defend him, but to bring them peace, forgiveness and to send them on mission to do likewise. How can you bring this form of peace and forgiveness to those around you?
  • Some theologians say that Thomas refused to believe because he had already lost Jesus and did not want to risk getting hurt again. Reflect on your current situation and ask yourself “Is there something or someone that I am scared to believe in because I might get hurt?” In what area of your life is God asking you to be courageous and believe, even though you have not yet seen and have no proof of the end result?

 

 Homily:

Today we celebrate the Feast of Divine Mercy. The readings describe the mercy of God, and the necessity for trusting Faith and the need for forgiveness. God is merciful, and we experience His mercy in so many ways, especially in the Sacrament of Reconciliation, where we are invited to understand His mercy and share the mercy of God.

The first reading is taken from the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. The reading describes the faith of the early Christians, and invites us to become like those early Christians, who not only grew in their relationships with God, but also cared for one another. The reading explains how the Risen Lord continued to show His Divine Mercy to the sick through the healing and preaching ministry of His apostles in the early Church. The apostles’ faith enabled them to minister to the people, giving them the Lord’s healing love through “signs and wonders” that the Risen Lord performed through them. Following the model of service set forth by Jesus, the apostles healed the sick by wielding God’s power over disease and unclean spirits. These cures illustrate how the Power of the Resurrection can work miracles, even through ordinary people and in everyday lives. We know that this Power of the Resurrection still operates today because we know that a friendly smile, a gentle touch, or the willingness to forgive can heal a broken spirit.

In the second reading, Saint Peter glorifies God, the Father of Jesus Christ, for showing us His mercy by granting to His Son, Jesus, Resurrection from the dead and glorious Ascension into Heaven. Jesus’ Resurrection gives us a guarantee for our own resurrection and entry into Heaven, which Saint Peter beautifully explains as “an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.” Saint Peter encouraged the early Christians by assuring them that their sufferings under the Roman emperor, their religious authorities, and their own pagan family members would be amply compensated by the Heavenly reward waiting for them. Peter, therefore, tells them not to give up or to get discouraged; they must persevere in faith.

The Gospel reading discusses the apostles’ fears after Jesus’ death. With the death of Jesus, the disciples became faithless and disappointed and went into hiding. Recognizing their fear and genuine love for Him, Jesus appears to them and offers them peace, not condemnation nor punishment, but peace. Thomas, in his uncompromising honesty, demanded a personal vision of Jesus, and physical contact with the Risen Lord as a condition for his belief. Thomas had not been with the apostles when Jesus first appeared to them. As a result, he refused to believe until he verified Jesus’ resurrection with his own eyes. This, however, should serve as a warning to us. It is difficult to believe when we do not have a personal relationship with the Lord and do not strengthen ourselves with the fellowship of other believers, the faith community. When the Lord appeared to the apostles later, He said: “Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” Thomas was able to overcome his doubts by seeing the Risen Jesus. We may not be able to see Jesus in the flesh as Thomas did, so how do we profess our faith? Paul has advice for us. He says, “Faith comes from hearing” (Rom. 10:17.) We are very fortunate today as we have many more opportunities to hear and experience the good news about Jesus than the early Christians did.

Having strengthened their faith, Jesus gave the apostles an important responsibility: “Whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven them; and whose sins you shall retain, they are retained.” The preaching and healing ministry of the Church remind us of our responsibilities to preach the good news and to share our faith. This is to say that the healing ministry of Jesus continues through us.

Faith enables us to see the Risen Lord in everyone and gives us the willingness to render to each other our loving service, just as the early Christians did. The spiritual Fathers prescribe the following traditional means to grow in the living and dynamic faith of Saint Thomas the Apostle:  a) we must come to know Jesus personally and intimately by our daily and meditative reading of the Bible; b) we must strengthen our Faith through our personal and community prayer; and c) we must share in the Divine Life of Jesus by frequenting the Sacraments of Reconciliation and the Holy Eucharist.

We just celebrated the Feast of Easter; let us not become discouraged by the current situation but grow in our own faith and share the Easter joy with others. During times of difficulty, Saint Teresa of Calcutta asked people to pray. She said, “If we pray, we will believe; if we believe, we will love; if we love, we will serve. Only then we put our love of God into action.”

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader: God is the Father of all mercies. In him we place our faith as we pray the following petitions:
Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, bishops, priests, and all the faithful: that in this Year of Faith, each will bear witness to the love and mercy of God: We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

For all who have committed grave sin and who are afraid to go to confession: that their fears will dissolve in the face of Jesus’ longing to forgive and be reconciled to them;
We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

  • For those who serve in public office: that they govern with true compassion for the lives of the most vulnerable among us— especially unborn children, the elderly, and persons with disabilities. We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For parents: that, by their guidance and the witness of their own lives, they will teach their children how to love and forgive when they have been wronged. We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

  • For the protection of conscience rights and religious liberty, and that all people of good will may work together against the increasing threats to these fundamental rights: We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

  • For those who are suffering in the current outbreak of sickness that they might be healed & for the happy repose of all who have died from this sickness in recent weeks: We pray to the Lord

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our families that there may be peace, forgiveness and the strength to overcome trials and challenges: We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

 

  • For our beloved dead, that they may experience the fullness of the glory of God: We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: Almighty and merciful Father, we give you thanks for all of your many blessings, and we ask you to hear these petitions in the name of your Son, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. All: Amen.

 

Our Father:

 

A Litany for Spiritual Communion

 

Leader: The response is: Lord, bring us closer to you!

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
we wish we could gather today with our parish community,
but we gather here out of love and concern for others.
You teach us that when two or three are gathered in your name,
you are there.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Christ Jesus, you are present in a special way
when bread and wine are turned into your Body and Blood.
Since we cannot receive you in this way today,
We ask that you enter our hearts
so that we may receive you spiritually.
Together, we pray:

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Leader: Lord our God,
watch over your family
and keep us safe in your care,
for all our hope is in you.

All: Lord, bring us closer to you!

Concluding Rite

Antiphon:

The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed,

I saw and I believed in God.

Closing Prayer:

Grant, we pray, almighty God, that our reception of this paschal Sacrament may have a continuing effect in our minds and hearts. Through Christ our Lord.

Leader: May the Lord bless us
protect us from all evil
and bring us to everlasting life.

All: Amen.

Leader: Go in the peace of Christ.

All: Thanks be to God.

A Prayer to Combat the Coronavirus Pandemic

Most Merciful and Triune God,
We come to You in our weakness.
We come to You in our fear.
We come to You with trust.
For You alone are our hope.

We place before You the disease present in our world.
We turn to You in our time of need.

Bring wisdom to doctors.
Give understanding to scientists.
Endow caregivers with compassion and generosity.
Bring healing to those who are ill.
Protect those who are most at risk.
Give comfort to those who have lost a loved one.
Welcome those who have died into Your Eternal Home.

Stabilize our communities.
Unite us in our compassion.
Remove all fear from our hearts.
Fill us with confidence in Your care.

(mention your particular concerns and prayers now)

Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.
Jesus, I trust in You.

Amen.

Short Litany to Our Blessed Mother

Our Lady, Queen of Peace, pray for us.
Our Lady, Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us.
Our Lady, Help of Christians, pray for us.
Our Lady, Health of the Sick, pray for us.
Our Lady, Seat of Wisdom, pray for us.
Our Lady, Queen of Heaven and Earth, pray for us.

Amen.