12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

So do not be afraid;

you are of more value than many sparrows!!

Matthew 10:26-33

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

The intention is to open yourself to the presence of God within you and among those gathered.

This is a 5 minute facilitated meditation on opening ourselves to the presence of God within, particularly in the context of our current confinement

Alternatively use this method of entering quiet:

Invite all present to sit comfortably.

When sitting comfortably, take three deep breaths, as you breathe in feel your lungs filling all the way up, when they are full slowly release your breath and feel your lungs emptying out fully. Repeat this three times.

Now return to breathing normally and make the sign of the cross:

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Invite each person present to take a few moments to reflect on:
Where in the past week did I encounter God in my life?
Where in the past week did I inhibit God in my life?

Allow time in quiet for this and then, after a few moments, invite those present to share on this, if they are comfortable to do so.
If you like to have some quiet music playing during this click below.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Introduce the Gospel

As we move beyond the season of Eastertide, we enter into ‘ordinary time’. In these days, we do not know what ordinary is anymore, ordinary will evolve over time. Our Gospel passages will take on a whole new meaning as we move through these ordinary days.

On this Sunday we celebrate the 12th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Our times have an air of instability and everyone feels the sense of upheaval and unpredictability. Fear is perfectly understandable. Something similar may be said of our lives as believers.

From a “church” point of view, we wonder who will be in church in the coming years and who will preside at the Lord’s Supper.

From a personal point of view, familiar faith affirmations seem no longer as tenable
as they were. And yet, at the centre of the faith project stands not my condition or even my faith, but all that God did for us Jesus’ death and resurrection. As Paul exclaims who will (or can) separate us from the love of God in Christ?

Read the GospelMatthew 10:26-33
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Do not be afraid. For everything that is now covered will be uncovered, and everything now hidden will be made clear. What I say to you in the dark, tell in the daylight; what you hear in whispers, proclaim from the housetops.
‘Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul; fear him rather who can destroy both body and soul in hell. Can you not buy two sparrows for a penny? And yet not one falls to the ground without your Father knowing. Why, every hair on your head has been counted. So there is no need to be afraid; you are worth more than hundreds of sparrows.
‘So if anyone declares himself for me in the presence of men, I will declare myself for him in the presence of my Father in heaven. But the one who disowns me in the presence of men, I will disown in the presence of my Father in heaven.’

Reflect on the Gospel

Sit quietly now for a few moments and allow the images created by hearing the Gospel to emerge. Use the quietening music again if you wish

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Using some or all of the following questions, today and or on different occasions over the coming week reflect on this Gospel passage.

  1. ‘Do not fear’ is the unifying theme in this passage which is set in the context of a mission sermon by Jesus, preparing his disciples for what lay ahead. He urges them to have courage in speaking his message and living his message, drawing strength from their trust in the Father whose care for us exceeds his care for hundreds of sparrows.
    How has trust in God been a source of strength in life for you?
  2. The body/soul terminology presupposes an anthropology in which the soul represents one’s real self and the body is the perishable shell. For Jesus the important thing is to be true to one’s real self, even if this does involve some material or physical loss or pain.
    When have you had that kind of courage, what was it like for you?
  3. There is no such thing as secret discipleship. It is in declaring their allegiance to Jesus that his followers will find life. They will be the losers if they hide their discipleship.
    Does this resonate with your experience?

Finish this part with a Prayer

True and faithful God, you give courage to the fearful and endurance to martyrs.
Sustain us as followers of your Son Jesus that with boldness and conviction we may acknowledge him before the world.
We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.

Prayer of the Faithful

In the Mass, the prayer of the faithful are the people’s response to their reflection on the Scripture readings and are spoken to God in the second person. The following have been prepared by parishioners for our Masses on this weekend.

Opening: You promise that even the hairs on our head are counted. Taking confidence form such intimacy of knowing, we turn to you, our God, in prayer for our world, our community and ourselves.

For the Church
that we may confidently bear witness to our values and principles even in times of opposition and resistance from the culture around us. Lord hear us

For the gift of courage:
that You will free our hearts from fear and anxiety so that we may respond with love and concern in whatever You ask of us. Lord hear us

For Your creation:
that You will guide us in protecting the air, land, and water that we share so that all may benefit from these Your gifts. Lord hear us

For all elected leaders:
that You will give them insight into the effects of their decisions and help them to make choices that will bring about the greatest good for those they lead.
Lord hear us

For a listening spirit:
that protestors, civic leaders, co-workers, neighbours, and family members may listen more intently and understand more fully the pains, values, and goals of one another. Lord hear us

For all fathers and those who have shown us a father’s love:
that You will grant them good health, guide them in being good examples, and help them to be a source of encouragement to those they father. Lord hear us

For our own intentions: name those intentions you specifically want to mention 
Lord hear us

For all who have died  ………. name those people you specifically want to remember 
Lord hear us

Gathering Prayer: I love you, Lord, my rock, my fortress, my refuge. Help me to take hold of the hand you stretch out in Jesus. We make our prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Close the time of Prayer with the Our Father

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 against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

Take a moment now to bring to mind those you want to share peace with, family, friends, those where your relationship is broken.

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 Christ. Amen

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Readings in Written or on Video

An uplifting piece of music to end your time of reflection with