UNITED IN PRAYER
A PRAYER RESOURCE FOR FAMILIES, INDIVIDUALS AND HOUSEHOLDS.
13th Sunday in Ordinary Time
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Take a moment to still yourself. Take a deep breath and ask God for a renewed sense of presence with you in this moment.
Loving God, who through the grace of adoption chose us to be children of light, grant, we pray, that we may not be wrapped in darkness but always be seen to stand in the bright light of truth. Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
Sing or listen
Jesus instructed the Twelve as follows: ‘Anyone who prefers father or mother to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who prefers son or daughter to me is not worthy of me. Anyone who does not take his cross and follow in my footsteps is not worthy of me. Anyone who finds his life will lose it; anyone who loses his life for my sake will find it. ‘Anyone who welcomes you welcomes me; and those who welcome me welcome the one who sent me. ‘Anyone who welcomes a prophet will have a prophet’s reward; and anyone who welcomes a holy man will have a holy man’s reward. ‘If anyone gives so much as a cup of cold water to one of these little ones because he is a disciple, then I tell you solemnly, he will most certainly not lose his reward.’
This section is designed to be adapted depending on how you are gathering to pray. These are links to external resources for children and young people. There is also a reflection which can be used by individuals or adapted to be used in groups.
After reading the Gospel, is there anything in particular that stands out for you? Consider the following questions. You may like to re-read the Gospel.
I think about my life:
- What is God asking me to listen to?
- What does God want me to pay attention to?
- What is God prompting, directing, leading and guiding me to in this reading?
I think about my community and the world:
- What is God asking of us at this time?
- What is God wanting us to attend to in our community and our world?
- What is God prompting, directing, leading and guiding us towards?
The examples are stark in the gospel today: about not preferring mother and father to Jesus; about how, in our care for others, we care for Jesus, and how, in our neglect of others, we neglect him. We need to go beyond the practical example to finding out what is central in our lives and how we see God as central. When God is central, our love can be in the smallest of services to people, like ‘the cup of cold water’.
Jesus is not central outside our humanity, and our human relationships. In the real needs of ordinary people we meet his needs. We give the ‘cup of cold water’ to the person who needs it, not just to Jesus. It’s like many stories in the gospel of Jesus helping those in real need. This is the central point of faith.
We help in simple ways. This is what Pope Francis refers to in his encouragement of simple love, ‘like the warm supper we look forward to at night, the early lunch awaiting someone who gets up early to go to work. Homely gestures. Like a blessing before we go to bed, or a hug after we return from a hard day’s work. Love is shown by little things, by attention to small daily signs which make us feel at home. Faith grows when it is lived and shaped by love’ (September 2015).
Recall a time when someone helped you in a small way. Be grateful. Offer yourself to do the same when you can.
Fr Donal Neary, S.J
Make me, O Lord, a channel of your peace and love when I see the needs of others.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit. Amen.