‘The Lord has truly risen, alleluia.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
Certain products can never be bought, regardless of whether one has money or not. Something very sought after in the 21st century, more particularly in this time of Covid -19, is peace. Peace is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit. People seek peace in a variety of ways. In the current world people seek calmness, quiet, stillness, tranquillity, silence, harmony and serenity. They will pay any price to experience this state which is good for their well-being.
However, the peace that Jesus offers ‘is not as the world gives peace.’ (Jn 14:27). Besides peace being a fruit of the Holy Spirit, others include love, joy, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control. St Paul spoke to the people of Galatia about the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Gal 5:22-23). The Holy Spirit is our helper and teacher and will remind us of how Jesus taught and showed his disciples how to love. Then we too with the help of the Holy Spirit will try to live the way of love.
Every year Catholic schools, primary and post-primary, celebrate Catholic Schools Week. This year, 2020, the theme for Catholic Schools Week was ‘Living in Harmony with God’s creation’. Catholic schools celebrated how each person is called to promote peace, unity and harmony in the world, in their words, thoughts and actions. When God’s people strive to live in this way, they follow the way of Jesus, the way of love. Each day of Catholic Schools Week held a focus i.e. Living in Harmony with God; Living in Harmony with Neighbours; Living in Harmony with All Generations; Living in Harmony with the Earth; and Living in Harmony in our Catholic School. This week is hugely positive in Catholic Schools and great efforts are made to build the partnership between school, parish and home. Celebrating such a week helps focus on the lived ethos of the Catholic School and highlights its inclusivity.
In today’s Gospel (Jn 14: 27-31) proclaimed by the priest at Mass which can be heard on the webcam or read in the New Testament, Jesus says, ‘Peace be with you! My peace; not as the world gives peace do I give it to you.’ Jesus desires to give his apostles his gift of peace and tells them, ‘Do not be troubled; do not be afraid.’ In this first farewell discourse to his apostles, Jesus is trying to draw near to them. Jesus is gently telling them he is going away but he will not leave them alone. That’s why he says if they loved him, they would be glad he was going. Jesus loves the Father and is doing what the Father taught him.
Jesus now wants his disciples to do what he has taught them. Disciples today are invited to live in the same way. Jesus assures us, his disciples that there is no need to be afraid. He will give us his gift of peace and remain present to us. We thank God for his presence among us always and for the gift of peace. We pray for peace in our world.
THE GROW IN LOVE PROGRAMME AND THE MASS
From the early stages of the Grow in Love series the celebration of the Eucharist is taught. Children are taught about the Liturgy of the Word and the Liturgy of the Eucharist. In time they recognise the sequence of the Mass, the gestures the priest uses at Mass, the parts of the Mass where the assembly of people sit and stand. They are taught how to pray for and offer a sign of peace, how to prepare and receive Holy Communion. They also come to understand that Jesus is present in four ways at Mass: in the priest, the assembly of people, under the appearance of bread and wine and in the Word. They are taught that when Mass is finished, everyone present is sent out to live like Jesus and to proclaim the Good News.
Because today’s Gospel (Jn 14:27-31) has a focus on Jesus offering peace to his disciples, it might be a good opportunity to see how within the Mass, the priest prays for peace and blesses the assembly with peace at Mass. These prayers from the Mass follow on below.
The Prayer of St Francis is one of the formal prayers taught in Sixth Class as children prepare to receive the Sacrament of Confirmation.
There are lessons in all the Grow in Love e-books on the Mass with resources to support the teaching of the Mass. All are available on the Grow in Love website.
Helpful resources from the GIL might include: vimeos on the ‘First Reading’, ‘the Psalm’, ‘Gospel’, from a Mass setting,’ Interactive Activities’, ‘The Eucharistic Prayer’.
SONGS that might suit the theme of peace: ‘The Lord, He is my Shepherd’,’ Gathering Song’, ‘Alleluia’, ‘Psalm 148’, ‘We Come to You, Lord Jesus’, ‘Parish Anthem’, Céad Míle Fáilte Romhat’, ‘Eat This Bread’, Ithigí an t-Arán Seo’, ‘Spirit Anthem’. There are songs in the Fifth Classes/P7 and Sixth Classes programme, including songs/hymns to the Holy Spirit and on the theme of peace available as video lyrics on the website.
PRAY from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé
PRAYER OF ST FRANCIS
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace
where there is hatred, let me sow love
where there is injury, pardon
where there is doubt, faith
where there is despair, hope
where there is darkness, light
and where there is sadness, joy
O Divine Master, grant that I may
not so much seek to be consoled as to console
to be understood, as to understand
to be loved, as to love
for it is in giving that we receive
and it is in pardoning that we are pardoned
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life
PRAYERS FROM THE MASS
(where peace is invoked and offered)
Celebrant: Grace to you and peace from God our
Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Glory to God in the highest,
and on earth peace to men of good will.
We praise You.
We bless You.
We adore you.
We glorify You.
We give You thanks for Your great
Lord God, heavenly King,
O God, almighty Father.
Lord Jesus Christ, Only-Begotten Son
Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the
you Who take away the sins of the world,
have mercy on us;
you take away the sins of the world,
receive our prayer;
you Who sit 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.
Celebrant: Deliver us, Lord, we pray,
from every evil,
graciously grant peace in our days,
that, by the help of your mercy,
we may be always free from sin
and safe from all distress,
as we await the blessed hope
and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus
People: For the kingdom,
the power and the glory are yours
now and forever.
SIGN OF PEACE
Celebrant: The peace of the Lord be
with you always.
People: And with your spirit.
Celebrant: Let us offer each other
the sign of peace
Lamb of God, you take away the sins
of the world, have mercy on us.
Lamb of God, you take away the
sins of the world,
have mercy on us
Lamb of God, you take away the sins
of the world,
grant us peace.
Celebrant: Go in peace.
People: Thanks be to God.
‘Peace, I leave you, alleluia: it is my own peace I give you, alleluia.’ (Benedictus antiphon).
‘If you loved me you would be glad that I am going to the Father, alleluia.’(Magnificat antiphon)
‘They will tell of the glory of your kingdom that all may know of your mighty deeds, your reign and its glorious splendour.’ (Psalm 144:12)
St Nereus, Pray for us.
St Achilleus, pray for us
St Pancras, pray for us
Sr Anne Neylon