19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

Jesus spoke to them and said,

“Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”

Matthew 14:22-33

Begin with a few moments of quiet.

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

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.
Amen

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.

Led by the Spirit- Eric Nordhoff

Introduce the Gospel

On this Sunday we celebrate the 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

“Do not be afraid” is one of those expressions which goes straight to the heart. Who has not sometimes been afraid? The command not to fear combines two things: firstly, it is a recognition that yes, sometimes we are afraid; secondly, it proclaims that in the community of faith, with Jesus, God-with-us, our companion on the way, we ought really to be free from deep fear, because “all shall be well.” Let us hear again the words, “Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.”

Read the GospelMatthew 14:22-33
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead to the other side while he would send the crowds away. After sending the crowds away he went up into the hills by himself to pray.

When evening came, he was there alone, while the boat, by now far out on the lake, was battling with a heavy sea, for there was a head-wind. In the fourth watch of the night he went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’ It was Peter who answered. ‘Lord,’ he said ‘if it is you, tell me to come to you across the water.’ ‘Come’ said Jesus. Then Peter got out of the boat and started walking towards Jesus across the water, but as soon as he felt the force of the wind, he took fright and began to sink. ‘Lord! Save me!’ he cried. Jesus put out his hand at once and held him. ‘Man of little faith,’ he said ‘why did you doubt?’ And as they got into the boat the wind dropped. The men in the boat bowed down before him and said, ‘Truly, you are the Son of God.’


Reflect on the Gospel

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

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Use one or more of the following prompts to help in reflecting on this Gospel passage.

  1. The story illustrates the power of faith. Have you noticed that when you believe in someone, or something, you can do things that would not be possible when you are full of doubts?
    Recall moments when your faith gave you strength and courage?
    Name for yourself the different kinds of faith that had this effect: belief in yourself, trust in another, faith in God.
  2. When Jesus got into the boat the winds ceased.
    Who has been a Jesus person for you and helped to calm a storm that frightened you or made you anxious?
  3. The experience of Peter gives encouragement to us when we waver in our trust and belief in God. In his doubt and fear Jesus reached out to him.
    Who has reached out a helping hand to you when you felt you were sinking?
  4. The story ends with a profession of faith in Jesus as the Son of God.
    Have you had experiences of being rescued from some hazard or danger, experiences which deepened your faith in the presence and compassion of God for you?

Finish this part with a Prayer

God of all power, your sovereign word comes to us in Christ. When your church is in danger, make us firm in our trust; when your people falter, steady our faith.
Show us in Jesus your power to save, that we may always acclaim him as Lord, 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 Hugh Clifford, Kilcoole for this weekend.

Begin: God of our being, confident in your presence in our lives we turn to You in prayer for our world, our community and ourselves.

For the Church:   We pray that at this time, when the winds of change seem set against us, we will take courage and turn to You, our God, in our hearts.
Lord Hear us

For our country and people:   We pray that at this time of both challenge and prosperity, we will remember our history, and, as our ancestors did, turn to you in prayer for help and guidance.     Lord Hear us

We give thanks, O Lord for the life of John Hume.  We pray that the precious peace he worked  so hard to achieve will continue in our land.    Lord Hear us

In this time of pandemic help us to encourage one another, to build on, and to sustain, the great effort we have all made to contain the virus.  We pray that our young people may be able to return to their schools and colleges at the end of the summer. Lord Hear us

We pray for peace in this world in particular we pray that the peoples of Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, and Israel, will choose wise leaders to guide them down the road of compromise so that they may live together in harmony.     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:

Lord, save us when circumstances seem to overwhelm us, when we cannot see our way forward, when we find ourselves sinking. Take us by the hand and lead us to the open space of freedom and confidence in you. 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


The Spirit of God is seeking to create a newness in our lives, that calls us to a fresh wholeness that requires much letting go of what we have known, and co-creating with God an undreamt-of future for our church, for our world and for ourselves. This does not mean forgetting the past, which has brought us to the present.

The Gospel life is about a new future in God. In an incarnational, evolutionary universe nothing is complete and God is still creating. We are a central part of this creation which is happening in our midst.

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