UNITED IN PRAYER
A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES, INDIVIDUALS AND HOUSEHOLDS.
Third Sunday of Easter (Year A)
Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
Almighty ever-living God, constantly accomplish the Paschal Mystery within us, that those you were pleased to make new in Holy Baptism may, under your protective care, bare much fruit and come to the joys of life eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.
Sing or listen
Psalm 32(33):1-2, 4-5, 18-19
R: Lord, let your mercy be on us, as we place our trust in you.
1 Peter 1:17-21
Jesus said to his disciples:
‘Do not let your hearts be troubled.
Trust in God still, and trust in me.
There are many rooms in my Father’s house;
if there were not, I should have told you.
I am going now to prepare a place for you,
and after I have gone and prepared you a place,
I shall return to take you with me;
so that where I am
you may be too.
You know the way to the place where I am going.’
Thomas said, ‘Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way?’ Jesus said:
‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life.
No one can come to the Father except through me.
If you know me, you know my Father too.
From this moment you know him and have seen him.’
Philip said, ‘Lord, let us see the Father and then we shall be satisfied.’ ‘Have I been with you all this time, Philip,’ said Jesus to him ‘and you still do not know me?
‘To have seen me is to have seen the Father,
so how can you say, “Let us see the Father”?
Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me?
The words I say to you I do not speak as from myself:
it is the Father, living in me, who is doing this work.
You must believe me when I say
that I am in the Father and the Father is in me;
believe it on the evidence of this work, if for no other reason.
I tell you most solemnly,
whoever believes in me will perform the same works as I do myself, he will perform even greater works,
because I am going to the Father.’
Today’s reading is a little bit complicated. Jesus is telling his disciples that he is the Son of God. But the disciples find it difficult to understand.
Right at the beginning of today’s gospel, Jesus tells the disciples not to be worried and to trust in him.
What does it mean to trust someone?
Trusting someone means believing that they are always there for us, that they are always willing to help us, that they will comfort us when we are upset or frightened.
We all need people in our lives that we trust. Who do you trust?
How does it feel when someone breaks your trust?
Do other people trust you? How can we help other people to trust in us?
People are more likely to trust us if we are kind, if we listen to what others are saying, if we are willing to help, and if we tell the truth.
We can also trust in God. We know that God is always there for us and wants what’s best for us. God is always ready to listen.
How can we share our worries with God? How can we show our trust in God?
We can talk to God through prayer. When we pray we can share all our worries and fears and also all our joys and hopes with God.
And we can show our trust in God by listening to what Jesus asks of us and trying to follow him. By loving one another and by doing what is right, we are doing what God wants us to do.
This week how will you show your trust in God?
This week what will you do for the people who trust in you?
Adapted from CAFOD UK’s Children’s Liturgy Reflection
For Young People
Today, in our first reading, we hear about that guy Stephen. Stephen is a bit of a tank in the Christian world – why? Because he was the first martyr of Christianity. And what is a martyr? Well, a martyr is defined as “one who chooses to suffer even to the point of death, rather than renounce or abandon their religious principles”.
So, Stephen must have REALLY believed in Jesus and the message of the Gospel – so much so that he was prepared to suffer greatly. I don’t know about you, but I don’t meet these kinds of people often! Stephen has heard the Gospel and he is all in! Imagine what it must be like to be so sure about something in your own life! That must be amazing right?
Stephen was a deacon of the church, and a deacon is someone who serves. He was called to serve the most helpless – the widows, who back in the day, if they didn’t have a husband or a son were basically left with nothing.
If we relate the service of Stephen to today, we might consider being like him. We CAN serve those who are the ones left with little during COVID 19. And why? Because God constantly reminds us the Good News of Jesus Christ is bigger than a COVID 19 pandemic!
Another legendary guy – Pope Francis – wrote a letter to you reminding you of this! Have you read it? The letter, called Christus Vivit, Francis tells us we are the Church of today! The church is not waiting for you to be Christian tomorrow! You are called to action now because you are baptised! Prayer, service, action and using your voice for those whose dignity is so smashed that they haven’t got the will to get up and get going again – maybe you know what that is like? Maybe then, you also know what it is like to receive the gift of someone being there for you?
Is this similar to your experience? Are aspects of your life difficult? Are you annoyed? Feeling over the lockdown? Struggling with your school stuff?
Well look at the Gospel of today where Jesus says “I am the Way, the Truth, and the Life… whoever believes in me will do the works I do.
So, Jesus calls us to action – Are you ready to respond?
In the first reading Peter speaks to the small communities of believers who are in the provinces of Asia Minor. At a time when Christians were suffering persecution, they are assured that although they do not have the legacy of temples and priestly lineage, they have Jesus Christ. Peter reminds them that Jesus had identified with “the stone that the builders rejected” and transformed himself into the “corner stone”. As the living foundation of the faith, all who follow Jesus become ‘living stones’ of a holy house connected through faith. Each person chosen and called by Jesus is holy and precious, each life is gifted through and to God.
How does the first reading speak to you at time when our churches are closed, and the liturgies and sacraments we have grown up with are remote or carried out behind closed doors? How do you feel without the regular Sunday routine and community around you? Have you experienced any sense of renewal or innovation in your prayer life?
Do you feel like a ‘living stone’ today? A part of the Church?
In the Gospel we have read, Jesus tries to explain to his disciples about his relationship with his Father. It points to a mystery of faith of which in Jesus we see and know the Father. Likewise, the Father is known through the life and work of the Son, Jesus.
Think for a moment about your own family. Are there common traits? Maybe physical resemblances that people can recognise? Or mannerisms you share?
As you reflect on todays Gospel, keep in mind the ways in which we share characteristics with our family, but yet remain our own individuals at the same time. What does Jesus tell his disciples about his relationship with the Father?
The relationship between the Father and Jesus is so close that Jesus says that those who have seen and known Jesus have also seen and known the Father.
Today is also Mother’s Day, where we celebrate and highlight the important role Mum’s play in families and our communities. Maybe this deeper awareness from the Gospel of how we come to know one another through our relationships can inspire us with further gratitude for the mothers or maternal figures in our lives.
Adapted from Pray as You Go & Loyola Press
God of life, we thank you for being there for us always.
Help us to do all that you ask of us and to love one another,
may we turn to you when our hearts are troubled
and we do not think we know the way.
May we choose to continue to place our trust in you. Amen.