‘Come before the Lord, singing for joy.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
Typhoon Haiyan hit the Philippines on 7 November, 2013, where Gerardo and Jovita Amantillo lived in Basey, a coastal region of Leyte Island, close to Tacloban. Water rushed into their home and the couple were swept out of the house. They grabbed hold on a neighbour’s roof for safety. They clung to the roof for two hours until the storm eased.
Winds of 230 km per hour struck the central islands. They destroyed entire towns and brought heavy rains and waves that resulted in flooding, landslides and widespread damage.
Over 6,300 people died as a result of typhoon Haiyan and four million people were left homeless. Not all typhoons have this force or cause such destruction but natural disasters are strong enough to uproot people from homes that aren’t built on a solid foundation.
Residents in such areas live in fear of storms, hurricanes, typhoons, tsunamis and floods. People who are poor are most vulnerable in these crises.
ABOUT THE WORD OF GOD
The readings proclaimed at Mass today can be heard via webcam or read from the Old Testament and New Testament.
The Gospel (Mt 7:21-29) proclaims the teaching of Jesus about discipleship. The crowds were struck by his teaching because he spoke with authority. In speaking with authority, Jesus on this and countless other occasions spoke in a language that people could easily understand in order to help them understand the meaning of the kingdom of Heaven. His authority spoke to the belief of others.
In today’s Gospel, Jesus used the image of a house built on rock and one built on sand. The meaning is obvious but Jesus is teaching the disciples that in order to reach the kingdom of Heaven they are asked to build their lives on a solid foundation of faith similar to the house that is built on rock.
They do this by responding to God’s call to show love and respect for God, by loving and showing kindness to oneself and one’s neighbour and by taking care of the environment.
SEEK GOD’S LOVE IN THE GROW IN LOVE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME
By way of chat children will understand the importance of having a home. They are aware of the crisis of homelessness in Ireland and the world. Many children and families engage in work for people who are homeless on a daily basis. As well as having a home, they discuss the type of accommodation in which people live; how safe it is and how secure it is; and how it is built on a solid foundation.
Children in time recognise the importance of living their lives on a solid foundation. Today’s Gospel might encourage those accompanying children in their faith to explore Jesus’ mission as a teacher and hear his words and what he invites them to do. During the weeks of Covid-19, the children have been home schooled by their teachers and parents in many and creative ways. They have learned many new skills in this way. Jesus invites the children to love, to read and reflect on God’s word and to be kind to all.
The Gospel proclaims that Jesus taught with authority. People were struck by what he said. They understood his message. Children might take a moment to think of his/her teacher in school and thank God for him/her. On the ‘Five Finger Prayer’ they might thank God for the groups of people represented by each finger.
Firstly, the image of the house built on rock and sand might be an appealing topic for them. They might think about their own house and home. They recall areas of the world where houses and buildings aren’t built on a solid foundation as their home might be. The work of Trócaire will support this. On the Trócaire website children can read stories about families which will help them in their care of their common home. They recall why they work for the Green Flag in school.
God invites in response, that God’s people be generous in sharing with people who find themselves living in such conditions. They might think again of the annual Trócaire Box appeal.
Children recall how Jesus firstly called twelve apostles after Jesus was sent by God to share the Good News of God’s love for all. The apostles were the foundation of the Church and Peter was the first Pope.
Our love is concrete in our lives. It is not enough to say ‘I love God’ if I do not care for my family and friends. Children recall the words of St Paul, ‘Love is patient. Love is kind.’ Children pray for a spirit of love and kindness.
The sacrament of the Eucharist nourishes lives to love. In prayer, the disciple listens to Jesus and asks him to show him/her the way. God invites the disciple to love as she/he reads Scripture. What might God be inviting me to do today? To appreciate the beautiful world in which I live and to be grateful; to pray for those who are sick; to pray for those who care for the sick; show concern for those whose houses have been destroyed by natural disasters; to research places and people lives who have been left homeless; to pray for our country at this time as it prepares to open up again; to help at home; to forgive someone who hurt my feelings; to care for our common home; to share the Good News of God’s love with everyone.
Resources are available on the VERITAS website to support the above points, including the Children’s grow in Love e-books.
READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:
‘Jesus, the Way to the Father’ (John 14:1-3), ‘The Coming of the Holy Spirit’ ( Acts 2:1-13), ‘Jesus and Thomas’ (Jn 20:24-29), ‘The Great Commandment’ ( Luke 10:27), ‘God Calls Moses’ ( Ex 3:1-16),’ Jesus Heals a Man who was Deaf’ ( Mark 7:32-35),’ Jesus Teaching about Prayer’ ( Matthew 6: 5-14), ‘Jesus asked his followers to help others to know him’ (Mt 28:19-20).
SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
‘Love’, ‘All things Bright and Beautiful’, ‘God has given us the Earth’.
PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil. Amen
Ár nAthair atá ar neamh,
Go naofar d-ainm,
Go dtaga do ríocht, go ndéantar do thoil ar an talamh
Mar a dhéantar ar neamh.
Ár narán laethúil tabhair dúinn inniu,
Agus maith dúinn ár bhfiacha,
Mar a mhaithimindne dár bhféachúna
Is ná lig sinn i gcathú,
Ach saor sinn ó olc. Áiméan.
‘Give your people knowledge of salvation, Lord, and forgive us our sins.’(Benedictus antiphon)
‘The Lord has satisfied and filled with good things those who hungered for justice.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
Rescue us O Lord, for the glory of your name. (Psalm 78:9).
from LAUDATO SI’ ON ‘HAVING A HOME’
‘Having a home has much to do with a sense of personal dignity and the growth of families. This is a major issue for human ecology. In some places, where makeshift shanty towns have sprung up, this will mean developing those neighbourhoods rather than razing or displacing them. When the poor live in unsanitary slums or in dangerous tenements, “in cases where it is necessary to relocate them, in order not to heap suffering upon suffering, adequate information needs to be given beforehand, with choices of decent housing offered, and the people directly involved must be part of the process”. ‘(Laudato Si’, no. 152).
‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee’.
Sr Anne Neylon