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 Eighteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
In the Gospel we hear how we will be rewarded for our goodness..….
Read the Gospel Matthew 13:44-46
A large crown had followed Jesus to a hillside beside the Sea of Gallilee to hear him teach. As it grew late in the day, the disciples asked Jesus to send the people away to find some food for themselves.
‘They do not need to leave’, said Jesus. ‘We can share our food with them’.
‘But all we have for ourselves are five loaves and two fish, and there must be five thousand people to feed!’ said the disciples. ‘Bring the food to me’ said Jesus and he told the crowds to sit down quietly. Jesus took the loaves and the fish and gave thanks to God. He blessed the bread, broke it and handed it to the disciples to share with the people. There was plenty for everyone to eat and when they had finished eating they filled 12 baskets with the scraps. The people were amazed and they went away telling everyone about the miracle they had seen that day.
Have a Conversation about the Gospel
The writer of this Gospel is called Matthew. He was one of the twelve apostles who helped Jesus to tell everyone the Good News. He was a tax collector before he started to help Jesus.
If we were going on a picnic what would we bring?
Let’s see, there would surely be sandwiches, chips, cookies, and some soft drinks. Can you think of anything I may have forgotten that you would enjoy eating on a picnic?
What if everyone in our church came to our picnic, would there be enough food in our basket for the whole church? What if everyone in Wicklow came to our picnic, would there be enough food to feed everyone? No way! You couldn’t feed that many people with just this little basket of food.
One day Jesus and his disciples wanted to have some time to relax. They got into a boat and went away to a quiet place to rest. When they arrived, there were people there waiting for Jesus to teach them and heal the sick. Jesus had wanted to rest, but when he saw the people, he loved them so much that he forgot all about being tired. He healed the sick and taught the people about the kingdom of heaven.
Soon it was time to eat. The disciples went to Jesus and asked him to send the people away so that they could get something to eat. “They don’t need to go away,” Jesus said, “you feed them.”
“All we have is five loaves of bread and two fish” the disciples answered.
Jesus told the disciples to bring him the loaves and fish and to tell everyone to sit down on the grass. Jesus took the loaves and fish and looked up to heaven and gave thanks. He blessed the food and then gave the food to the disciples to give to the people. Everyone ate until they were satisfied. Then the disciples picked up the leftovers and there were twelve baskets full! The Bible tells us that there were five thousand men who were fed plus all the women and children.
Can you imagine feeding a whole town of people with one little picnic basket full of food? With Jesus, anything is possible! When the mass is celebrated, the priest blesses the bread and wine and we receive holy communion. This is just like the time Jesus shared the loaves and the fishes.
At mass, and in our daily lives it is God’s word that he shares with us, his messages of love and support that help us and sustain us through life just like food does – his words and his love give us strength and comfort every day.
End with a prayer
Dear Jesus, help us to remember that when we give what we have to you, even a little bit is more than enough. In your name we pray. Amen
A short Video
Here are some activities you might like to complete during the coming week as a reminder of this Gospel today.