A Walk Through Sunday Mass @ Home – March 22

People have been reaching out and expressing that although they cannot celebrate Mass, they would still like to celebrate the Sunday Liturgy in some form. In light of this request, I have created a guide called, “A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home,” which you can use with your family. It 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, a Bible and some candles. Use the script provided below and encourage your family members to participate – anyone who can read is able to lead the various parts. The purpose of this is to help you worship at home with your family and I am here to help in any way I can. Please give this a try and send me your feedback so I can adjust accordingly for next weekend.

– Father Devdas

A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home – March 22, 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.

Opening Prayer:

O God, who through your word reconcile the human race to yourself in a wonderful way, grant, we pray, that with prompt devotion and eager faith, the Christian people may hasten toward the solemn celebrations to come. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

1 Samuel 16:1-13 (First Reading)

The Lord said to Samuel, “How long will you grieve over Saul? I have rejected him from being king over Israel. Fill your horn with oil and set out; I will send you to Jesse the Bethlehemite, for I have provided for myself a king among his sons.” Samuel said, “How can I go? If Saul hears of it, he will kill me.” And the Lord said, “Take a heifer with you, and say, ‘I have come to sacrifice to the Lord.’ Invite Jesse to the sacrifice, and I will show you what you shall do; and you shall anoint for me the one whom I name to you.” Samuel did what the Lord commanded and came to Bethlehem. The elders of the city came to meet him trembling, and said, “Do you come peaceably?” He said, “Peaceably; I have come to sacrifice to the Lord; sanctify yourselves and come with me to the sacrifice.” And he sanctified Jesse and his sons and invited them to the sacrifice.

When they came, he looked on Eliab and thought, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is now before the Lord.” But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him; for the Lord does not see as mortals see; they look on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.” Then Jesse called Abinadab, and made him pass before Samuel. He said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Then Jesse made Shammah pass by. And he said, “Neither has the Lord chosen this one.” Jesse made seven of his sons pass before Samuel, and Samuel said to Jesse, “The Lord has not chosen any of these.” Samuel said to Jesse, “Are all your sons here?” And he said, “There remains yet the youngest, but he is keeping the sheep.” And Samuel said to Jesse, “Send and bring him; for we will not sit down until he comes here.” He sent and brought him in. Now he was ruddy, and had beautiful eyes, and was handsome. The Lord said, “Rise and anoint him; for this is the one.” Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon David from that day forward. Samuel then set out and went to Ramah.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Questions to Reflect on:

  • Before I can obey, I have to listen. In order to listen, I have to be open and attentive. Samuel grieved and then became anxious. If he remained anxious, he would not have been able to do what God told him. What is currently distracting you and how can you allow your heart to be attentive to God’s message for your life?
  • God reveals his will to Samuel as a result of his worship. During this current pandemic, how are you spending time in worship of God?

The Response:

Psalm 23

Response: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

The Lord is my shepherd.
I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures
and leads me beside still waters.
R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

He revives my soul
and guides me along right pathways for his Name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
shall fear no evil; for you are with me.
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me.
you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
R: The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.

Ephesians 5:8-14 (Second Reading)

Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light— for the fruit of the light is found in all that is good and right and true. Try to find out what is pleasing to the Lord. Take no part in the unfruitful works of darkness, but instead expose them. For it is shameful even to mention what such people do secretly; but everything exposed by the light becomes visible, for everything that becomes visible is light. Therefore, it says,

“Sleeper, awake!
Rise from the dead,
And Christ will shine on you.”

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Questions to Reflect on:

  • Light represents what is good and darkness represents what is evil. How do you expose darkness? Sometimes words are not appropriate and our presence to others is more valuable. Reflect on who God might be calling you to be present to and how you can accompany them.
  • Walking in the light means that everything will be exposed, and you will have nothing to hide. Are there parts of your life that are hidden? How can you allow the light of Christ to enter your life and heal what you have kept hidden from him?

John 9:1-41 The Gospel

As Jesus walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him.” He kept saying, “I am the man.” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”

They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath.” But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they said again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”

The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him; he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”

So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses. We know that God has spoken to Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and are you trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.

Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe in him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshiped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Questions to Reflect on:

  • This reading about a healing has to do with an encounter that the blind man had with Jesus. How do you meet Jesus?
  • The Pharisees in this story are physically able to see but spiritually they are blind.  In contrast, the man born blind was physically unable to see but is spiritually able to see. What is preventing you from encountering Jesus?
  • Society tells us that seeing is believing. God isn’t a person; we can’t see him, but he gives us people, situations, or other symbols in our everyday lives that represent his presence in our lives.  Take some time to reflect on the blessings in your life and how these might be a sign of God’s presence in your life.

Homily:

This week is the Fourth Sunday in Lent. Traditionally, this day is known as Laetare Sunday, from the Latin word for the command “rejoice” the first word in the introductory antiphon for today’s Liturgy, (based on Isaiah 66:10). The antiphon and the readings both express the Church’s joy in anticipation of Jesus’ Resurrection. The readings remind us that it is God who gives us proper vision in body as well as in soul and instructs us that we should be constantly on our guard against spiritual blindness.

By describing the anointing of David as the second king of Israel after Saul, the first reading which is taken from the First Book of Samuel, illustrates how blind we are in our judgments and how much we need God’s help. As an old and experienced judge, Samuel had studied how the first king Saul, had failed. Samuel had his own ideas about whom God would choose. But God chose the most unlikely candidate, David who was the shepherd boy and the youngest son of Jesse.  God’s reason for this choice was:  “Not as man sees does God see, because man sees the appearance, but the Lord looks into the heart.” It is a reminder to surrender ourselves to God because God knows what is best for us and will continue to take care of us, especially during this time of uncertainty.

In the second reading Paul reminds the Ephesians of their new responsibility as children of light: “You were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord.  Live as children of the light, for light produces every kind of goodness and righteousness and truth. Try to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.” As children of the light we have a challenging responsibility, called to produce fruits of goodness, righteousness, and truth, considering what is pleasing to the Lord.

Jesus’ giving of sight to a blind man as reported in today’s Gospel, teaches us the necessity of opening the eyes of our mind by Faith. This warns us that those who assume they see the truth are often blind, while those who acknowledge their blindness are given clear vision. In this incident the most unlikely person whom was the beggar born blind, receives the light of Faith in Jesus, while the people of his time especially the Scribes and Pharisees remain spiritually blind.  “There are none so blind, as those who will not see.”  To live as a Christian is to see, to have clear vision about God, about ourselves and about others.  Today’s Gospel reminds us that we are to live as children of the light, seeking what is good and right and true.  Our Lenten prayers and sacrifices should serve to heal our blindness so that we can look at others, see them as children of God and love them as our own brothers and sisters saved by the death and Resurrection of Jesus.

Prayer of the Faithful:

Leader: We know that the Lord is in our midst and so we turn now to God to pray for the needs of the world.

Response: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our family, that we can be a source of light to all those who encounter us: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For all who thirst for peace in the world, justice in our nation, and reconciliation in our communities, that they may find sustenance in the living water Jesus entrusts to our care: We pray to the Lord.
    R: Lord, hear our prayer.
  • For those who have hardened their hearts and have lost hope, that they may realize the love of God that has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit: 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: Generous God hear the prayers we offer, heal us and heal the world and keep us in your loving care.  We make this and all our prayers through Christ our Lord.

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:

O God, who enlighten everyone who comes into this world, illuminate our hearts, we pray, with the spender of your grace, that we may always ponder what is worthy and pleasing to your majesty and love you in all sincerity. Through Christ our Lord. Amen!

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.

Pope Francis’ Prayer to Mary during the Coronavirus Pandemic:

O Mary,
you always shine on our path
as a sign of salvation and of hope.
We entrust ourselves to you, Health of the Sick,
who at the cross took part in Jesus’ pain, keeping your faith firm.
You, Salvation of the Roman People,
know what we need,
and we are sure you will provide
so that, as in Cana of Galilee,
we may return to joy and to feasting
after this time of trial.
Help us, Mother of Divine Love,
to conform to the will of the Father
and to do as we are told by Jesus,
who has taken upon himself our sufferings
and carried our sorrows
to lead us, through the cross,
to the joy of the resurrection. Amen.

Under your protection, we seek refuge, Holy Mother of God. Do not disdain the entreaties of we who are in trial, but deliver us from every danger, O glorious and blessed Virgin.

Amen.