Feast of St Matthias, Apostle
‘Alleluia, the Lord is the king of apostles: come, let us adore him, alleluia’ (Invitatory antiphon).
When a person takes time to ponder on the wonder of God’s creation, the response can only be that of gratitude, wonder and awe. God saw that everything God created was good. God is goodness and love. God loves unconditionally. God’s people praise and thank God in song, praise and prayer.
The composer pays tribute to God in a four-line song, ‘Our God is an Awesome God’. (Grow in Love 8, Sixth Class)
The poet, Gerard Manley Hopkins, described the world as, ‘charged with the grandeur of God… through which Generations have trod, have trod, have trod.’ (God’s Grandeur).
Sometimes with the pace of life, we do not remain long enough to gaze on God’s creation or meditate on and contemplate God’s Word. Today Jesus invites the disciples to ‘remain in my love’ (Jn 15:9).
The Gospel proclaimed by the priest at Mass today describes an image from nature, the vine, the branches, and its fruit. This was a popular image for Jesus and the people of his time where they lived, so Jesus used the image to teach. Right now, we possibly must try to imagine an image of the vine with its branches and fruit.
The Gospel proclaimed today is ‘The Parable of the Real Vine’ (Jn 15:9-17) which can be heard at Mass via the webcam or read in the New Testament. In the parable, Jesus compares himself to the vine, and the members of the Church to the branches of that vine. Just as the branches are attached to the vine, God’s people, the Body of Christ remain united to Jesus. When united to Jesus, the disciples bear fruit in the world, because the sap runs from the vine through the branches.
Jesus’ desire is that the disciples remain in his love. The Father and Jesus are one and draw the disciples into that love, so in turn the disciples will share the love with others in the way Jesus invites them.
That is why we say the prayer, ‘Christ has no body now on earth but yours.’ Jesus depends on his disciples to witness to his love, by loving.
‘THE PARABLE OF THE REAL VINE’ AND THE GROW IN LOVE PROGRAMME
In exploring and reflecting on this parable (Jn 15:1-17) in the Grow in Love programme, the children begin to appreciate their role as members of the Body of Christ. They identify and talk about the ‘fruits of the Vine’ that others can see in them as a result of their being followers of Jesus. The fruit will show itself as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. Children through chat, reflection on the Parable, and prayer learn how these fruits make a difference in their own lives and the lives of others.
They also engage in journal activities alone and with family from the Grow in Love e-book from Sixth Class which is accessible on the VERITAS website. Resources are also available to support the teaching of this lesson e.g. ‘Look and Respond, Jesus the Vine’, Prayer Resources’ and ‘Interactive Activities’
Pupils are taught how by receiving the Body of Christ at Mass, they become the Body of Christ in the world.
At Mass, the gifts of bread and wine are presented to the priest, after which he blesses and offers them to the Lord. The assembly gathered offer themselves with Jesus as a sacrifice. Later, at the Consecration of the Mass, the priest blesses the bread and the wine and through the action of the Holy Spirit the bread is transformed into the Body of Christ and the wine is transformed into the Blood of Christ.
During the Rite of Communion, the priest or the Extraordinary Minister of the Eucharist distributes Holy Communion to the people. This consecrated host is Jesus in sacramental form. The priest or the extraordinary minister of the Eucharist takes the consecrated host from the ciborium and shows the host to the person who will receive saying these words, ‘The Body of Christ’ to which the person responds, ‘Amen.’ The person receiving ‘The Body’ of Christ prays in preparation to receive Holy Communion and afterwards in thanksgiving, welcoming Jesus into his/her heart.
The term ‘The Body of Christ’ also refers to the People of God, the members of the Church. When the people of God receive the ‘Body of Christ’ at Mass, they are nourished and sent out to bring the Good News of Jesus’ love to others. Jesus remains with each person as they joyfully ‘go in peace, glorifying the Lord by your (their) lives.’ (Concluding Rite of the Mass)
At this time of the pandemic we receive a spiritual communion.
SONGS that are connected with this theme are, ‘O Sacrament Most Holy’, ‘We Come to You, Lord Jesus’, ‘More than Just’, ‘Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat’, ‘Our God Is an Awesome God’, ‘We Come to Your Feast’, ‘The Welcome Table’.
PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé
INVITATION TO HOLY COMMUNION
Celebrant: Behold the Lamb of God,
Behold him who takes away the sins of the world.
Blessed are those who are called to the supper
of the Lamb.
People: Lord, I am not worthy
that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
WHEN RECEIVING HOLY COMMUNION
Celebrant: The Body of Christ.
Celebrant: Go in peace.
People: Thanks be to God.
PRAYER BEFORE HOLY COMMUNION
Lord Jesus, come to me.
Lord Jesus, give me your love.
Lord Jesus, come to me and give me yourself.
Lord Jesus, friend of children, come to me.
Lord Jesus, you are my Lord and my God.
Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
PAIDIR ROIMH CHOMAOINEACH
A Thiarna Íosa, tar chugam.
A Thiarna Íosa, tabhair dom do ghrá.
A thiarna Íosa, tar chugam agus
Tabhair tú féin dom.
A Thiarna Íosa, a chara na bpáistí, tar
A Thiarna Íosa, is tú mo Thiarna agus mo Dhia.
Moladh leat, a Thiarna Íosa Críost
PRAYER AFTER HOLY COMMUNION
Lord Jesus, I love and adore you.
You’re a special friend to me.
Welcome, Lord Jesus, O welcome,
Thank you for coming to me.
Thank you, Lord Jesus O thank you
for giving yourself to me.
Make me strong to show your love
wherever I may be.
Be near me, Lord Jesus, I ask you to stay
Close by me forever and love me, I pray.
Bless all of us children in your loving care
and bring us to heaven to live with you there.
PAIDIR TARÉIS COMAOINEACH
A Thiarna Íosa, gráim agus adhraim thú.
Is tú mo chara dílis.
Fáilte romhat, a Thiarna Íosa.
Go raibh maith agat as teacht chugam.
Go raibh maith agat, a Thiarna Íosa,
as ucht tú fein a thabhairt dom.
Cabhraigh liom do ghrá a léiriú
cibé áit a mbím.
Bí taobh liom, a Thiarna Íosa,
fan in aice liom go deo.
Beannaigh sinn, na páistí atá faoi do chúram
agus tabhair ar neamh sinn chun cónaithe leat féin.
Táim reidh anois, a Thiarna Íosa,
tá grá agam go leor.
Taim reidh anois le do ghrá a thabhairt
sa bhaile is don saol mór. Áiméan.
‘The holy city of Jerusalem had twelve foundation-stones, and on them were the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. The Lamb himself was the light of that city, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon)
‘When all is made new and the Son of man sits on his throne of glory ‘, you will sit on twelve thrones to judge the twelve tribes of Israel, alleluia.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
‘He makes them sit with princes, with rulers of his people.’ (Psalm 112:8)
St Matthias, pray for us.
Sr Anne Neylon