‘A mighty God is the Lord; come let us adore him.’ (Invitatory antiphon)
The Golden Rule simply says, treat others as you would like them to treat you. In life, this may not always be as easy to do as it sounds. St Vincent de Paul’s maxim states ‘….Charity is certainly greater than any rule. Moreover, all rules must lead to charity.’
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 first reading from the second Book of Kings (2 Kg 19: 9-11. 14-21. 31-36) relates how Hezekiah’s prayer really mattered to God. When Hezekiah received the letter from Sennacherib’s messengers he went up to the Temple to pray. He placed the letter before God and prayed. He praised God saying, ‘Lord of hosts, God of Israel…you alone are God…you have made heaven and earth.’ The Chosen people were the Israelites. Hezekiah heard the insults that Sennacherib made about God so he wanted God to act, so God might be honoured. Then everyone would know how powerful God is and they would respect God. Hezekiah’s acknowledgement, ‘You alone are God’, is the focus of the prayer.
Hezekiah prayed confidently, knowing from the prophet, that God would rescue Jerusalem. So Hezekiah had faith. He believed God’s Word.
The Gospel (Mt 7:6. 12-14) continues to relate Jesus’ teaching to his disciples on love. Jesus teaches the Golden Rule, ‘So always treat others as you would like them to treat you.’
The Gospel opens with this verse, ‘Do not give what is holy to the dogs, or throw your pearls to the pigs.’ One Bible Commentary, explains this by saying; Jesus gave this advice to his disciples living in a hostile world. ‘They should not tell everything to everyone. God has given each one of us wonderful gifts: we must not share them with everyone at once, believing that it will bring them to the faith.’(Christian Community Bible 2010). The disciples must discern what is appropriate to share.
When Jesus sent his disciples on mission he instructed them to be ‘wise as serpents, and harmless as doves’ (Mt 10:16).
So disciples discern and pray to the Holy Spirit for the best way to act in situations.
SEEK GOD’S LOVE IN THE GROW IN LOVE RELIGIOUS EDUCATION PROGRAMME
These readings proclaimed at the celebration of Mass today aren’t included in the Grow in Love programme. As this situation occurs in the liturgy, it provides a challenge and opportunity to those who accompany children in faith, to seek what might be familiar in God’s Word daily. What might children understand in the context of the readings from what they have experienced in life, in Scripture, in prayer, in their Religious Education?
From the first reading, children can be encouraged to see that Hezekiah’s prayer mattered a lot to God. While Jesus knows our needs, he also desires the disciples to ask. He says elsewhere, ‘Ask and you will receive; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened’ (Mt 7:7). In speaking of the wide and narrow gates Jesus asks disciples to persevere, knowing and understanding the difficulties that are in the world that cause distraction from the way of love. God asks us to stay close to Jesus and pray for oneself and others. Prayer matters.
Disciples can pray anywhere because God is ever-present in the beauty of God’s Creation. Jesus prayed outdoors by the lake, on the mountain, in people’s houses as well as the synagogue.
Pope Francis gave people the ‘Five Finger Prayer’ to remind people of this. Hezekiah went to the Temple and prayed there. Where might families pray this day?
Resources are accessible on the VERITAS website; including the Children’s e-book and accompanying online resources to revise the following; Jesus’ teaching on love; Jesus teaching on prayer; prayer and its value; The Golden Rule; The Creation Story; Prayers of the Mass; Taking time to Pray; ‘Examen’.
READ from Grow in Love/ I nGrá Dé:
‘The Story of Creation’ (Gen 1: 3-5, 24-28, 31), ‘God’s Call to Abram’ (Gen 12:102, 4-7), ‘The New Commandment’ (Jn 13:34), ‘The Great Commandment’ (Lk 10:27), ‘The Golden Rule’ (Lk 6:31), ‘The Lord Appears to Samuel’ (1 Samuel 3: 2-10), ‘Hannah’s Prayer’ (1 Samuel2:1, 2), ‘Magnificat’ (Lk 1:46-55).
SING from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
‘The Great Commandment’, ‘Love’, ‘Psalm 37’, ‘Psalm 148’,’ Sign of the Cross Chant’, ‘Mass Parts’, Bernard Sexton.
PRAY from Grow in Love/I nGrá Dé:
PRAYER TO THE HOLY SPIRIT
Holy Spirit, I want to do what is right. Help me.
Holy Spirt, I want to live like Jesus.
Holy Spirit, I want to pray like Jesus.
PAIDIR CHUIG AN SPIORAD NAOMH
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom an rud ceart a dhéanamh.
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom maireachtáil mar a mhair Íosa.
A Spioraid Naoimh, ba mhaith liom
guí mar a ghuigh Íosa. Múin dom é.
COME HOLY SPIRIT
Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful.
Enkindle in us the fire of your love.
Send forth your Spirit and we shall be
And you shall renew the face of the earth.
O God, who has taught the hearts
Of the faithful
By the light of the Holy Spirit,
Grant us in the same Spirit to be truly wise
And ever to rejoice in his consolation,
Through Christ our Lord, Amen.
TAR CHUGAM, A SPIORAID NAOIMH
Tar, a Spioraid Naoimh, líon croíthe
Agus las ionainn tine do ghrá.
Cuir amach uait do Spiorad agus
Agus déanfaidh tú aghaidh na talún a
A Dhia, a mhúin croíthe na bhfíréan
Le solas an Spioraid Naoimh,
Deonaigh dúinn sa Spiorad céanna a bheith críonna go fíor,
Agus gairdeas a dhéanamh I gcónaí ina shólás,
Trí Chríost, ár dTiarna. Áiméan.
‘Lord, save us from the hands of all who hate us us.’(Benedictus antiphon)
‘When Zachary had entered the temple of the Lord, the angel Gabriel appeared to him, standing on the right of the altar of incense.’ (Magnificat antiphon)
God upholds his city forever. (Psalm 47:9).
from LAUDATO SI’ ON ‘TILLING AND KEEPING THE EARTH’
‘The biblical texts are to be read in their context, with an appropriate hermeneutic, recognising that they tell us to “till and keep” the garden of the world (cf. Gen 2:15). “Tilling” refers to cultivating, ploughing or working, while “keeping” means caring, protecting, overseeing and preserving. This implies a relationship of mutual responsibility between human beings and nature. (Laudato Si’, no. 67).
‘O Mary conceived without sin, pray for us who have recourse to Thee.
Sr Anne Neylon