Sixth Sunday of Easter

I will not leave you orphans

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

The journey for the disciples of Jesus from the events of Easter through to Pentecost was one of growing in understanding. It is a journey from total confusion and loss through to the confidence of Pentecost Day, when they are empowered to spread the Good News of the resurrected Christ. The Gospels of these weeks between Easter and Pentecost are aimed at helping us to come more fully into that journey with them.

“The greatest things you’ll ever learn is to love and be loved in return.” The following words, attributed to Pedro Arrupe SJ, may up lift and inspire.

Nothing is more practical than finding God, that is, than falling in love, in a quite absolute, final way. What you are in love with, what seizes your imagination, will affect everything. It will decide what will get you out of bed in the morning, what you will do with your evening, how you will spend your weekends, what you read, who you know, what breaks your heart, and what amazes you with joy and gratitude. Fall in love, stay in love and it will decide everything

Read the GospelJohn 14:15-21
Read the Gospel aloud, even if you are on your own.

Jesus said to his disciples:

‘If you love me you will keep my commandments.

I shall ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate to be with you for ever, that Spirit of truth whom the world can never receive since it neither sees nor knows him; but you know him, because he is with you, he is in you.

I will not leave you orphans; I will come back to you.

In a short time the world will no longer see me; but you will see me, because I live and you will live.

On that day you will understand that I am in my Father and you in me and I in you.

Anybody who receives my commandments and keeps them will be one who loves me; and anybody who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I shall love him and show myself to him.’

 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

Read over the Gospel again and pick out phrases that you see as positive, affirming, write them down. How do they speak to you of God as relationship?

Are there phrases that you find negative? Write them down. How do they speak into that God of relationship?

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

  1. “If you love me you will keep my commandments”, and specifically the commandment to love one another (cf. 13.34).
    How have you experienced the love of God and love of those around you?
  2. Jesus is preparing his disciples for his imminent departure and for a future in which he would be with them in a different way. He would not ‘leave them orphans’ but send an ‘Advocate’ to ‘be with (them) for ever’.
    How have you experienced the presence of God with you in your life?
  3. Perhaps you have also experienced the challenge of preparing another (a child, a friend) for a time when you, or someone else, would no longer be physically together. Recall how you gave the message of your ongoing support.
  4. How have you experienced the presence and support of a loved one (parent, spouse, friend) in these days when travel restrictions and social distancing have separated you from them?
  5. The proof of the ongoing presence of Jesus with his disciples is that “I live and you will live”. Discipleship is about much more than rules and regulations. It is about being alive.
    How has discipleship helped you to be more fully alive?

Finish this part with a Prayer

Faithful God who loves us in Christ Jesus, send your Spirit of truth to dwell within us, that we may always reject what is false, live by the commands of Christ, and be true to the love you have shown us.
Grant this through Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, 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. The following have been prepared by parishioners for our Masses on this weekend.

For the Church
That in these difficult times, Lord Jesus, help us to realise we are not left desolate, that we have you with us, and we have the Spirit of Truth to guide us along the path of hope into a relationship of love with You and the Father. Lord hear us

For those whose employment is uncertain
That they may have hope that this period of uncertainty will pass.  We pray that this virus will be brought under control and that the economy will soon reopen so that we can again address the problems of inequality and injustice. Lord hear us

For those working in essential services           
We pray that workers in essential services are kept safe, that we remember to treat them with the courtesy and respect that is their due. In particular in this week which had Tuesday as International Nurses Day, we give thanks for the care that nurses show to others, and we pray for the well-being of nurses throughout the world.
Lord Hear us

For those who are due to receive their First Communion, especially St. Brigid’s school who would have celebrated their First Communion yesterday           
We pray that our churches will reopen soon and that the boys and girls will celebrate the sacrament with joy and thanksgiving.  Lord hear us

For those who are to be confirmed, especially the pupils of St. Laurence’s who were to be confirmed on Thursday            
We acknowledge that in order to protect the most vulnerable in our society those in their last year of Primary School have been deprived of a crucial period in their education.  We want them to know that in doing this they have followed the example of Jesus and we pray that they will be filled with the joy of the Holy Spirit.
Lord Hear us

For our political leaders            
that they may be successful in their negotiations to form a stable government.
Lord hear us

As Pope Francis prayed on Tueday last            
May the Lord give us .. a peace full of hope, which makes us fruitful, makes us communicate with others, that .. creates community and always looks to the definitive peace of God’s kingdom.   Lord hear us

Now pray for your 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

Jesus, you love the human race: let your love of us strike so deep a chord within us that our lives may resound to the music of that grace, drawing others to the leap of faith and the dance of joy. 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.

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.

Use the quietening music one more time, if you wish, to bring your prayer time to a close.

Spiegel im Spiegel – Arvo Pärt

Additional Resources

Fr. Kieran O’Mahony offers a scriptural analysis on the Gospel. – Click Here

This is a link to an interesting visual interpretation of this Gospel Video Reflection It goes beyond the section we cover here. See the reaction, though, of the listeners to the words.