A Walk-Through Sunday Mass at Home – May 17, 2020.

Please see our worship aid, “A Walk-Through Sunday Mass @ Home,” for this Sunday.  Today is the Sixth Sunday of Easter. As Christians, we are called to promote the gospel values through our words and actions, particularly through the way we live our lives. As this fifty-day celebration of Easter nears its end, let us reflect on how we witness to the Risen Lord in our life. The worship aid contains the readings, reflection, prayer of the faithful, prayer for spiritual communion and a prayer to combat the Coronavirus Pandemic.

Fr. Devdas

A Walk-Through Sunday Mass – May 17, 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.

Leader: 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

Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days of joy, which we keep in honor of the risen Lord, and that what we relive in remembrance we may always hold to in what we do. 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 8:5-8, 14-17

Philip went down to the city of Samaria
and proclaimed the Christ to them.
With one accord, the crowds paid attention to what was said by Philip
when they heard it and saw the signs he was doing.
For unclean spirits, crying out in a loud voice,
came out of many possessed people,
and many paralyzed or crippled people were cured.
There was great joy in that city.

Now when the apostles in Jerusalem
heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God,
they sent them Peter and John,
who went down and prayed for them,
that they might receive the Holy Spirit,
for it had not yet fallen upon any of them;
they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.
Then they laid hands on them
and they received the Holy Spirit.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

Responsorial Psalm: PS 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20

R. (1) Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Shout joyfully to God, all the earth,
sing praise to the glory of his name;
proclaim his glorious praise.
Say to God, “How tremendous are your deeds!”
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
“Let all on earth worship and sing praise to you,
sing praise to your name!”
Come and see the works of God,
his tremendous deeds among the children of Adam.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
He has changed the sea into dry land;
through the river they passed on foot;
therefore let us rejoice in him.
He rules by his might forever.
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.
Hear now, all you who fear God, while I declare
what he has done for me.
Blessed be God who refused me not
my prayer or his kindness!
R. Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
or:
R. Alleluia.

Reading 21 PT 3:15-18

Beloved:
Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.
Always be ready to give an explanation
to anyone who asks you for a reason for your hope,
but do it with gentleness and reverence,
keeping your conscience clear,
so that, when you are maligned,
those who defame your good conduct in Christ
may themselves be put to shame.
For it is better to suffer for doing good,
if that be the will of God, than for doing evil.

For Christ also suffered for sins once,
the righteous for the sake of the unrighteous,
that he might lead you to God.
Put to death in the flesh,
he was brought to life in the Spirit.

Reader: The Word of the Lord.

All: Thanks be to God.

 

Gospel Acclamation

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
Whoever loves me will keep my word, says the Lord,
and my Father will love him and we will come to him.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: JN 14:15-21

Jesus said to his disciples:
“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.
And I will ask the Father,
and he will give you another Advocate to be with you always,
the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot accept,
because it neither sees nor knows him.
But you know him, because he remains with you,
and will be in you.
I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you.
In a little while the world will no longer see me,
but you will see me, because I live and you will live.
On that day you will realize that I am in my Father
and you are in me and I in you.
Whoever has my commandments and observes them
is the one who loves me.
And whoever loves me will be loved by my Father,
and I will love him and reveal myself to him.”

Reader: The Gospel of the Lord.

All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

Homily:

This weekend is the sixth Sunday of Easter. As you may recall, the readings from Easter to Pentecost focused on the early apostolic preaching of the Good News of salvation and the promises of Jesus to His disciples, especially His promise of the Holy Spirit.  Today’s readings explain Who the Holy Spirit is, what His roles are and how we can experience Him in our daily lives.  One way of experiencing the presence of the Holy Spirit is by keeping His commandments.

The first reading describes the success of Philip’s mission in Samaria.  Because of the vigorous persecution which began in Jerusalem after the martyrdom of St. Stephen, the disciples had scattered.  Philip turned this dispersal into an opportunity to preach the good news in Samaria, a pagan town.  Although the Samaritans were despised by the Jews, Philip followed the mission Jesus gave the apostles in chapter 1 of the Book of Acts: “You are to be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, yes even to the ends of the earth.”  Peter and John also went to Samaria so that community could meet someone in person who had encountered the Risen Jesus.  The early Church believed that that no Christian community could exist without a relationship with someone who had experienced the Risen Jesus firsthand.  By calling down the Spirit upon the newly converted Samaritans, Peter and John brought them into fellowship with the whole Christian community.  Thus, we see that the Holy Spirit operates only where there is communion with the apostles who, as “witnesses of Jesus’ Resurrection,” certify the Risen One’s continued activity on earth.

The second reading explains how the Holy Spirit made it possible to keep the persecuted Christians together as they continued to grow in faith.  Peter clearly encouraged them to keep their morale high no matter how much they were persecuted.  Peter also advised the newly baptized in his community that Jesus must be so much a part of their lives that His dying and rising come through even in the way they respond to questions about their Faith.  No matter what one’s hardships and problems in life may be, Peter, with his experience, reminds the people to keep Christ at the center of their lives: ““Sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts.”  If we are willing to suffer for and with Christ, God will see us through and will vindicate us.  Meanwhile, we have the consolation of the Holy Spirit Who lives in our hearts and Who raised Christ from the dead.  But those who refuse to die and rise with Jesus constantly keep the Spirit away. 

Jesus’ promise to His disciples of the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit is part of the long “Farewell Discourse” near the end of John’s Gospel.  Jesus made this farewell to His disciples at their Last Supper, just prior to his arrest, crucifixion, death and Resurrection.  This long discourse is a unique summary of the mystery of the Incarnation and the role of the Holy Spirit.  God’s promise of the Holy Spirit should not have been a mystery to the followers of Jesus who knew the Holy Scriptures.

To Jesus, real love is not easy, and it must be expressed not as sentiment or emotion but as real obedience to God.  We, as weak human beings, need the daily assistance of a Divine Helper in the Person of the Holy Spirit to practice genuine love.  The Greek word used in John’s Gospel for this Helper is “Parakletos,” which means “one whoadvocates.”  Jesus tells us that the Holy Spirit is our Advocate, Who speaks up for us when we are accused, judged, or wrongly condemned.  The Holy Spirit is also our Witness Who testifies on our behalf.  Parakletos can also refer to a person who comforts, counsels or strengthens us in time of need.  The Holy Spirit gives us Life, stands by us, defends us, strengthens us, and consoles us.

Jesus assures His disciples that they will not be left as orphans.  He promises them the awareness of His Risen presence—in themselves, in each other, in the Church, in Scripture, in the Sacraments and in the praying community—through the enlightening presence, teaching and action of the Holy Spirit.  We will never have to face any trial alone—even death—if we walk with and follow Jesus.  He protects us from the Evil One.  His Resurrection, in fact, changed the despair of the apostles to hope when they realized beyond doubt that He is the Son of God.  “You will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you.”  The Indwelling Spirit of God nourishes us each time we receive the Sacraments, each time we pray and each time we read the Bible.  

The purpose of the Indwelling Holy Spirit is to help us grow towards spiritual maturity and wholeness.  We all have faults that prevent our growth: blocks of sin and imperfection, blocks due to deeply ingrained personality traits and habits, blocks caused by addictions, and blocks resulting from bad choices we have made. We all have these blocks within us, and they keep us from becoming what God wants us to be.  They prevent us from developing a personal relationship with God.  God, the Holy Spirit, helps us to see the truth about ourselves, to discern the blocks that inhibit our growth and allows Him to transform us.  The Holy Spirit comes to our aid and gives us the strength to make difficult and painful decisions. The Holy Spirit lives in us, and we hear the voice of the Spirit, counseling and guiding us in the way of truth.  Let us open our minds and hearts to hear Him and to obey His promptings and to prepare for His coming at Pentecost.  Allow the Spirit of God to dispel all darkness and fear from your hearts and from your lives so that you may always walk in the Light, Jesus Christ.

Prayer of the Faithful

Leader: We address our prayers to God the Father for those we love in the world.

Response: R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For God’s holy Church, that it may continue to grow in unity by breaking down the barriers that divide us, so that we may be one in Christ: We pray to the Lord

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For those who hold positions of leadership, that they may be guided by wisdom and compassion in choosing worthy people to implement their decisions: We pray to the Lord

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For Christians of every church that we may seek common ground in living out the values of the gospel: We pray to the Lord

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For those in our community who are troubled, that knowing that God remains in them may be of consolation during difficult times: We pray to the Lord

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For those who are suffering in the outbreak of the coronavirus that they might be healed, and 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 the sick, that God may protect them from anxiety and bring them health of mind and body:  We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the dead, that they may enter that place Christ has prepared for them: We pray to the Lord.

R: Lord, hear our prayer.

Leader: God of all consolation, we know that you remain in us and we in you as we follow your command to love one another. Listen to the prayers we offer today and grant them, we ask, through your Son, our Lord, Jesus Christ.

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:

If you love me, keep my commandments, says the Lord, and I will ask the Father and he will send you another Paraclete, to abide with you forever, alleluia.

Closing Prayer:

Almighty ever-living God, who restore us to eternal life in the Resurrection of Christ, increase in us, we pray, the fruits of this paschal Sacrament and pour into our hearts the strength of this saving food. 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.

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!