focus of the day:

Peace be with you    
"My Lord & my God!" 

Life in the Spirit of Jesus - part II
GROWING IN FAITH'S DARKNESS.

     An autumn Easter underlines the theme of the gospel: that growth in faith is possible for those who presently have not shared "seeing" the Risen Jesus. The commitment process for those who continue to walk in the footsteps of the risen Christ and the growth of their faith, can be imaged as a setting of seed and root - unseen beneath the surface of the soil, but nevertheless developing in the darkness. Thus we image the growth of modern disciples' faith - amidst the individualist, consumerist and anti-life ideologies of the world at large!
Today is also Divine Mercy Sunday:
 

gathering prayer:

[ The Eucharist can take place only when believers are gathered together in the name of Jesus Christ and in the power of God's holy Spirit.   Avoid an over-wordy gathering rite.
Opening Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
]

 
Presider:
In the name of the Father,
and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit:
 
Assembly:
Amen
Pirihi:
Ki te ingoa o te Matua,
o te Tamaiti, o te Wairua Tapu:
 
Iwi:
Amene

Presider:
The Lord be with you.
 
Assembly:
And with your spirit.
Pirihi:
Kia noho te Ariki ki a koutou.
Iwi:
Ki tōu wairua anō hoki.
 

[ SAMPLE ]   Penitential Act

 
Presider:
Friends, in Christ,
we gather to celebrate
the resurrection of Jesus.
Along with Thomas, the doubter,
may our hearts be purified
in the presence of the risen Jesus:

The first Christian community
was of one heart and one soul
in their believing.
Help us to settle our dissentions and disputes,
in the church today; - ( pause ) -
LORD, have mercy:
E te Ariki, tohungia rā mātou:
 
Assembly:
LORD, have mercy.
E te Ariki, tohungia rā mātou.
 
Presider:
The apostles bore witness
to the resurrection of Jesus
with great power.
Help us to overcome our apprehensions
and our slowness to assimilate the spirit of Jesus: - ( pause ) -
CHRIST, have mercy:
E te Karaiti, tohungia rā mātou:
 
Assembly:
CHRIST, have mercy.
E te Karaiti, tohungia rā mātou.
 
Presider:
The Risen Jesus
breathed a spirit of peace
on His failing disciples;
Help us give hope
for a future peaceful world,
by our forgiving others: - ( pause ) -
LORD, have mercy:
E te Ariki, tohungia rā mātou:
 
Assembly:
LORD, have mercy:
E te Ariki, tohungia rā mātou.
 
Presider:
May God who raised Jesus,
show us mercy;
fill our hearts with peace
and bring us to life that lasts:
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 

GLORIA:

( Sung )

 

opening prayer:

Presider:

[ The Presider invites the people to pray. ]

Let us pray: . . ,
Kia īnoi tātou: . . ,
[ Pause for silent prayer . . ; ]
God of everlasting mercy,
who, in the very recurrence
of the paschal feast
kindle the faith of the people
You have made Your own,
increase, the grace You have bestowed
that all may grasp and rightly understand
in what font they have been washed,
by whose Spirit they have been reborn,
by whose Blood they have been redeemed.
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:
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 
 
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the readings:

[ The commentator focuses on giving a brief context of the readings, including the gospel, so that those who are going to hear the readings, are ready to receive what is being offered in the reading itself. ]

 

the first reading:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

The reading from Acts links Jesus' announcement of God's reigning with the practice of His first disciples. The 'good news' concerns not only what God has done in the past through the earthly Jesus, but also what God continues to do in the spirit of the risen Jesus, through His present-day disciples.
 
Reader 1:
Acts 5 : 12 - 16
 
the response:
Psalm 118(117) : 1
 
Assembly:
O give thanks to God,
for God is good;
God's steadfast love
endures forever!
 

the second reading:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

In a vision the Seer is commanded to write what he sees to the seven churches. He sees Christ in glory, whom he depicts in stock apocalyptic imagery and hears him describe himself in terms meant to encourage Christians by emphasising his victory over death.
 
Reader 2:
Revelation 1 : 9 - 13, 17 - 19
 

alleluia verse:

Assembly:

 

Alleluia; Alleluia!
Jesus said, 'You believe because you can see me.
Happy are those who have not seen and yet believe'.
Alleluia!
 

the Gospel:

Commentator:

[ an introduction ]

Throughout the forth gospel John has interweaved themes of blindness and seeing. Some who are "blind" see! Some can pick up the signs - while others miss what is under their noses. The issue behind the signs is; What do you make of Jesus?
 
Presider/Deacon:
John 20 : 19 - 31
 

Reflection:

[ A brief reflection which links the liturgy of the Word with the liturgy of the Eucharist. It seeks to clarify the significance of these texts for life beyond the liturgical assembly. Hearing of the Word of God when the scriptures are read & experiencing the Presence of God in the action of the Eucharistic Prayer, reinforces the unity of the "good news" for the practise of discipleship. ]

     The Easter season is a time for a transformed consciousness. The victory over death of the Risen Christ, offers His disciples a profoundly different perception of the world; the neighbour; ourselves; and authorises us to live differently in that world! The "good news" for us on the threshold - between the old shape of reality and the new reality that is to come into being - is that the new things must be hosted with awe, respect and patience. It is a precious moment when the world-transforming, slave-liberating, covenant-making, promise-keeping and the justice-demanding actions of God make serious change possible in our lives!!
     The search for signs crops up again and again in the life of believers. Is Jesus working in us? Where are the signs of the Risen One's presence and influence in the world around us? Some of us would like to bring back signs such as those performed in the immediate afterglow of Pentecost, by Peter and the other apostles, where:
Sick people were carried out into the streets
and placed on beds and mats so that at least Peter's shadow
might fall on some of them as he passed by.
  (Ac.5:15)

Some might call this desire nostalgia. Others are convinced that such signs are the normal fruits of the Spirit. But the Hebrew and early Christian tradition does not distinguish between physical and spiritual healing as signs of God's power. Physical ailments and their cure, were seen as signs of God's all-encompassing concern for God's people.
     An immediate and perhaps ultimately more useful source of signs of the continuing action of God iin the world, can be "unearthed" in Nature during our autumn/winter season. As the physical climate turns increasingly cooler and daylight hours lessen, the natural symbols can be signs for us that this is a time for listening and sensing rather than seeing God's newness in faith's darkness! Living in the Spirit of Jesus while living "in the dark" tests our courage to affirm the gift of life. We become conscious through such signs of the curbing of our extravagant growth; of our slowness to assimilate the Spirit of the Risen Jesus!
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The Creed:

 

Assembly:
I believe in God,
the Father almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and in Jesus Christ,
his only son, our Lord,
[ At the words that follow, up to
and including: 'the virgin Mary', all bow.
]

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,
born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died and was buried;
he descended into hell;
on the third day he rose again from the dead;
he ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God
the Father almighty;
from there he will come to judge
the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and life everlasting. Amen.>
 

intercessions:

[ The intercessions have the following outline:

  • A brief opening invitation to pray by the Presider;
  • Two or three intentions offered by the Presider. Where these are taken from a book, the most appropriate ones for that day should be chosen, especially those which relate the the readings or homily;
  • An invitation to the congregation to offer their own intentions. It is helpful if these can be organised to some extent beforehand;
  • If there are special events in the community or special needs for prayer which have not so far been mentioned, the Presider could well introduce such intentions here;
  • A concluding prayer by the Presider. ]
 

[ SAMPLE PRAYERS ]

 
Presider:
Friends in Christ,
we remember Jesus' words,
"Stay awake praying at all times."
Let us pray for our needs
and the needs of our world:
 
1:
For the leaders of the Christian church.
May the peace of Jesus,
help them to discern
their mission of forgiveness: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
2:
For world leaders.
May the peace of Jesus,
help them to work untiringly,
in the search for peace among nations:- ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
3:
For the catechumens
who were baptised at Easter;
and for ourselves who have renewed
the promises of our baptism.
May we remain in God's love
by keeping the commandments
of the risen Christ:- ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
4:
For ....................:
...................: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
5:
........................: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
6:
........................: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
7:
For our sick: including N. & N..
May they have the comfort of Christ's presence
to relieve their distress, remove their fears,
give them peace, and restore their health: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
8:
For our beloved dead: including N. & N..
May they be welcomed into the community of saints,
and share in the joy of heaven:- ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
Presider:
Let us pray, for our personal intentions: - ( pause ) -
LORD, hear us:
 
Assembly:
LORD, hear our prayer.
 
Presider:
Dwell in our midst, God our Father,
bringing us the peace of Your presence.
May Your joy invade our hearts
and then with the words of Thomas
we will be able to acclaim
Your Son's presence
by crying with joy:
"My Lord and my God!"
We ask this through Jesus,
our Lord and brother.
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 
 
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Preparation of Gifts:

[ The Hymn is: . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

 

prayer over the gifts:

Presider:

[ The Presider invites the people to pray: . . , ]

Let us pray: . . ,
Kia īnoi tātou: . . ,
[ Pause for silent prayer: . . , ]
Accept, O Lord, the oblations of Your people,
(and of those You have brought to new birth),
that renewed by confession of Your name
and by Baptism,
they may attain unending happiness,
through Christ our Lord:
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 

Preface Prayer:

[ Preface Easter I - the Paschal Mystery ]

 
Presider:
It is truly right and just,
our duty and our salvation,
at all times to acclaim You, O Lord,
but in this time above all
to laud You yet more gloriously,
when Christ our Passover has been sacrificed.

For He is the true Lamb
who has taken away the sins of the world;
by dying He has destroyed our death,
and by rising, restored our life.

Therefore, overcome with paschal joy,
every land, every people exults in Your praise
and even the heavenly Powers,
with the angelic hosts,
sing together the unending hymn of Your glory,
as they acclaim:. . ,
Holy; holy; holy . . ,
 

Eucharistic Prayer:

[ Eucharistic Prayer .. ]

 
Presider:
... [H]e took bread and, giving thanks, broke it,
and gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take this, all of you,
and eat of it:
for this is My Body
which will be given up for you.
 
Kaikaranga:
Nau mai ra e Hehu to tinana
e huna nei i tenei taro ee.
 
Iwi:
Haere mai; haere mai; haere mai.
 
Presider:
In a similar way, when supper was ended,
he took the chalice and,
once more giving thanks,
he gave it to his disciples, saying:
Take this all of you,
and drink from it:
for this is the chalice of My Blood,
the Blood of the new
and eternal covenant,
which will be poured out
for you and for many;
for the forgiveness of sins.
Do this in memory of Me.
 
Kaikaranga:
Nau mai ra e Hehu o toto e.
huna nei i tenei waina ee.
 
Iwi:
Haere mai; haere mai; haere mai.
 
Presider:
The mystery of faith:
 
Assembly:
We proclaim your Death, O Lord,
and profess your Resurrection
until you come again.
 

The LORD's Prayer:

 

 
Presider:
At the Saviour's command
and formed by divine teaching,
we dare to say:
 
Assembly:
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 . . ,
 
Pirihi:
I te whakahau a te
Kaiwhakaora ā, nā te akoranga atua,
ka māia tātou ki te kī atu:
 
Iwi:
E to mātou Matua i te rangi
kia whakatapua tōu ingoa;
kia tae mai tōu rangatiratanga,
kia whakaritea tōu hia hia
i te whenua kia pērā anō i tō te rangi.
Hōmai ki a mātou āianei he taro mā
  mātou mo tēnei rā,
whakakāhoretia ō mātou hara,
me mātou e whakakore nei i ngā hara
  o te hunga e hara ana ki a mātou;
kaua mātou e tukua kia whakawaia,
ēngari whakaorangia mātou i te kino. . . ,
 

Holy Communion:

 

 
Presider:
Body of Christ:
 
People:
Amen.
 
Pirihi:
Ko te Tinana o te Karaiti:
 
Kaitango:
Amene.
 
Presider:
Blood of Christ:
 
People:
Amen.
 
Pirihi:
Ko nga Toto o te Karaiti:
 
Kaitango:
Amene.
 
 
[ Communion Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . ]
 

the sending:

[ The Presider focuses in the final prayer, bessing, gestures and movement, some central strands which relate this celebration of Eucharist to the world from which the people come and to which they now return. ]

 
Presider:
Let us pray: . . ,
Kia īnoi tātou: . . ,
[ After a period of silent prayer: . . , ]
Grant, almighty God,
that our reception
of this paschal Sacrament
may have a continuing effect
in our minds and hearts,
through Christ our Lord:
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 
 
[ Any Announcements may now be made by the Presider
or another member of the assembly.
]
 

the blessing:

Presider:

[ SAMPLE ]

We are sent,
in the name of God;
Father of peace-makers;
in the name of Jesus,
Arm of the Father's peace-making;
in the name of the Holy Spirit,
Unity of all working for peace;

to bring peace, unity, justice,
friendship & joy to our world
through the practice
of the works of mercy,
until we gather again.
 
Assembly:
Amen.
 
Presider:
The Lord be with you.
 
Assembly:
And with your spirit.
 
Pirihi:
Kia noho te Ariki ki a koutou.
 
Iwi:
Ki tōu wairua anō hoki.
 
Presider:
May Almighty God bless us, ✠
the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit.
 
Assembly:
Amen
 
Pirihi:
Kia whakapaingia koutou e te Atua kaha rawa,
e te Matua, e te Tamaiti, ✠ e te Wairua Tapu.
 
Iwi:
Amene
 
Presider/Deacon:
Go and announce the Gospel of the Lord.
 
Assembly:
Thanks be to God.
 
Pirihi:
Haere koutou, pānuitia te Rongo Pai a te Ariki.
 
Iwi:
Whakamoemiti ki te Atua.
 
 
[ Final Hymn: . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
 
 

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