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May 14, 2020



Sixth 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.

Opening Prayer

Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion these days, which we keep in honour of the risen Lord, and that we relive in remembrance.
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


Acts 8:5-8, 14-17


Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20
R: Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.


1 Peter 3:15-18


John 14:15-21

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.’  

For Children

Jesus is trying to prepare his disciples for what is coming next – his death on the cross and his rising again.

Can you remember some of what he tells the disciples?

He tells them that if they love him, they must keep his commandments.

Can you remember the commandments that Jesus has given us?

Jesus asked us to love God and to love one another.

How do you show your love for others? How do others show their love for you?

It is often easy to show our love for those people who are close to us. We can be kind and generous to our friends, we can listen to our parents, carers and teachers. We can share with our brother or sister.

And they show their love for us by comforting us when we are upset, by looking after us and by sharing their things with us too.

But we are all God’s children. God loves each and every one of us because we are special. And so we need to do our best to show our love to all people, not just those who are close by.

How will you show your love for others, both here and around the world in the coming week?

Activity suggestions

  • Give children heart shapes cut out of paper or card (or ask them to cut out their own heart shape). Ask the children to write the name of someone they love on one side, and of someone who loves them on the other. Then under each name ask them to write or draw what they will do to show their love for these people in the coming week.
  • Encourage children to write a prayer thanking God for all the people in the world that they love and who are important to them, asking God to bless them and watch over them. Ask the children to think about people they know and also all their brothers and sisters around the world in this prayer.
  • Discuss as a family all that you have heard and thought about today. If they have written a prayer, ask them to say this together at home during the week, perhaps at bedtime. Ask them to do at least one thing that shows their love for others during the coming week.

Adapted from CAFOD UK’s Children’s Liturgy Reflection

For Everyone

As our celebration of the Easter season is coming to an end, our prayer today reminds us that Jesus remains with us though the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit who teaches us everything we need to know, reminds us of all that Jesus taught and brings us peace.

Our thoughts turn to the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost and this is foreshadowed in both the First Reading and in the Gospel. The Gospel in particular reminds us that the Christian life is not shaped by Jesus’ absence but by God’s abiding presence. In this time when we continue to be unable to physically receive the Sacrament of the Eucharist, we are reminded today that we are not alone and in particular, the Holy Spirit continues to be with us.

There is a theme also of preparation in today’s Gospel. Jesus is preparing the disciples in advance for his absence so that they will continue to believe in him and not feel alone after his return to the Father.

At different times in our own lives we spend time preparing for things. During the past two months it has been difficult to know how to prepare for whatever comes next. The Alert Systems put in place to eliminate Covid-19 have meant constant change, even though the Government has done it’s best to help us prepare at each stage.

This week we have been preparing to transition into Level 2 as a country. This probably means you have also personally been preparing in some way. Preparing to return to work, preparing to go back to school on Monday, preparing to be able to open business in a new way, preparing to be able to return to parks and café’s in ways we haven’t been able to or preparing to see loved one’s who have been outside your bubble or in a different part of the country.

Take a moment to think about what it has been like preparing for these or anything other situations this week as we prepared to transition into Level 2. Alternatively, you might like to consider past moments of preparation that have been significant for you; maybe a holiday, a first day of school, a wedding, a new job. Consider too the ways you have been unable to prepare recently.

How does it feel to think back on the ways you prepare for both small as well as more significant moments in your life? Why is it important that we are usually able to prepare for these moments?

Despite the transition to Level 2, there still remain many unknowns moving forward. This means that it is still difficult to feel we can prepare for what comes next. As a community of faith we also do not know when we will be able to gather to pray together in larger groups.

In a fortnight we will celebrate the feast of Pentecost. We do not know if we will be able to celebrate together, or how many of us will even be able to gather if we can. Despite this, we can still prepare our own hearts and join with those closest to us to welcome the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.

Think about how you (and your family) can prepare for this important feast day. Pentecost, when we celebrate the coming of the Holy Spirit, is an important day for the church – our birthday! It is also an important day for the Diocese of Palmerston North as we are consecrated to the Holy Spirit. You might like to write down some ways you would like to prepare for this feast day.

Closing Prayer

God of love, you sent your only Son into the world to show us how to live.
Help us to love you and one another in our words and in all that we do.
Help us to call upon and recognise the peace that your Spirit brings. Amen.

Sing or listen

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