Begin with a few moments of 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.
Use some of this quietening music to help come into a space of prayer
Opening ourselves to the Presence of God in our lives
Have a conversation, allowing each person present a few moments to think about and to reply to the following.
Thinking back over the week, let us share with one another
What is it that I want to say thank you for?
What is it that want to say I am sorry for?
Now begin with the following prayer:
Thank you that we can celebrate Jesus
Thank you for all He did for us
And all that He continues to do
Help us to trust in you
Even when we don’t understand what’s happening
We know you work things for good
Thank you for your love
We love you, God!
In Jesus name, Amen!
Introduce the Gospel
Today is the Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Today we hear how we will be rewarded for our goodness. We are going to read from the Gospel of Matthew.
Read the Gospel Matthew 10:40-42
Jesus said to his Apostles ‘Anyone who makes you feel welcome in their homes is welcoming me, for I am with you always. Anyone who treats you kindly and shares their food and drink with you is sharing their goodness with me and my Father who sent me. However small or great their act of kindness they will be rewarded for their goodness’.
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
In this part of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus tells us that when we do something for another person, out of kindness and love, we are actually doing this for him. He says ‘When you do any of these things for others, you do it for me’ (Matthew 25:35 – 40).
Have you ever seen one of these? (Hold up a picture of or a real Welcome mat.) Where have you seen something like this? Usually we’d see a mat like this outside the door to our home, wouldn’t we? A mat such as this usually has two purposes. Do you know what those two purposes are?
Well, for one thing, it is a friendly reminder for people to wipe their shoes off so that they won’t track dirt or mud into your home. And second, it is placed outside your door as a sign to let people know that they are welcome in your home.
Welcome — what does the word “welcome” mean? It means to receive someone in a warm and friendly way. Are people always welcome in our homes? Do we welcome people into our home if maybe they are a little different to us? A friend who you might have had a little argument with? If they are from a different country to ours? If their skin is a different colour from ours? Do we welcome people into our homes if they don’t have as much money as we do?
How about in our church? Do you think that we make everyone feel welcome in our church? Do we speak to those people who are visiting our church that we do not know? If someone comes to our church and they are not dressed the way we are dressed, for example, do we make sure that they are made to feel welcome?
Jesus said, “He who receives you receives me.” If we turn that around, we will understand that if we do not welcome others into our homes and into our churches, it is the same as if we are refusing to welcome Jesus. We wouldn’t do that, would we?
Well, let’s put the welcome mat out — and let’s be sure that we mean it! Our reward for being kind and loving towards others is the lovely feeling of happiness glowing inside us. At that very moment, the light of the Holy Spirit is truly burning within you!
Dear Father, help us to remember that when we refuse to welcome others to our homes and to our church, it is the same as refusing to welcome you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, thank you for loving me so much. When I am frightened, help me to remember that you are with me. Amen
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.