SAMPLE OF HOME PRAYER FOR SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
Peace be with you.
PENTENTIAL RITE to let the Lord prepare our hearts for pure worship
Lord Jesus, Have mercy, Kyrie eleison
Lord Jesus, Have mercy, Christe eleison
Lord Jesus, Have mercy, Kyrie eleison
Let us pray:
In our gathering here today, Lord God almighty, let us celebrate these days of Easter joy eagerly and lovingly for we gladly carry out this time of prayer in honor of the Lord Jesus whom we join in his risen state at your hand. Our prayer with the Church in this memorial is that what we remember your doing in his name be reflected always in the way we live. Through Christ our Lord. Amen
Listen to the sacred scriptures:
[Go to the Today’s Readings section below on this webpage.]
A BRIEF COMMENTARY ON TODAY’S READINGS
Acts 8:5-8, 14-17
The Apostles place hands on their heads and they received the Spirit
Philip, one of those seven ministering as deacons, took the word of God north to Samaria as he made his way home to Caesarea. He evidently could not stop talking about Jesus and what God was doing through him. The preaching of the word brought a faith response from his listeners. They were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. The Apostles Peter and John follow this up by ritually bringing them the gift of the Holy Spirit through the sign of extending hands over their heads — not unlike what we do today. The word of God is spreading.
Psalm 66:1-3, 4-5, 6-7, 16, 20 (1)
Let all the earth cry out to God with joy.
This psalm (and other psalms as well) reveal the ancient faith of the Israelites that God’s plan extends to all mankind, not just the Jews. So it is fitting response to the first reading which tells of the some of the early efforts to evangelize the whole world. What is great about this psalm is its joyful tone. The amazing spread of the faith shows us the magnificence of God’s love for all his creatures. See this as connected with the resurrection of Christ who died for us all.
1 Peter 3:15-18
Be ready to give reason to others why your hope is so strong
Underlying the realities of which Peter speaks is the fact that our faith is a shared faith. God made us to live in the world with his other creatures. Our lives are intertwined — the pandemic is bringing this home to us very sharply. When you think of it, God reveals his glory in creating (and saving) us the way he has. So human ways bring us heavenly ways. Thanks be to God.
I will pray to the Father to send you another Spiritual Advocate
These words of Jesus make us stop and think what Jesus has done for us. He has been a “Spiritual Advocate” during his life here on earth. So whatever Jesus said and did brought us spiritual life, i.e. life beyond the grave. He will continue to do so from his place at the right hand of the Father by praying to the Father to send the Spirit — which he continues to do. Notice in the reading that this gift of Father and Son is the Spirit of truth. The truth is the eternal plan of God for mankind, i.e. the everlasting Covenant of communion with Father, Son and Spirit around his heavenly throne. The Easter Gospels are filled with the gift of the Spirit. That is the word of God. Our Easter faith is to accept it as such.
Silent Reflection and/or share comments.
Homily Written for the Web —May it enhance your prayer and worship of God this day.
TOWARD A HOMILY FOR SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
One of the things I am afraid we are missing from Mass during these unusual days is the Prayer after Communion. Yes, it is said or sung over the television or Internet. But it certainly does not carry much weight since it is not part of our Communion Rite. These altar prayers are composed to fit right in with the liturgical action — which we are missing without being there.
So the Postcommunion Prayer runs something like this (with embellishments for better understanding):
O God you are all-powerful and capable of doing everything. In the resurrection of your Son; you have recreated us for life eternal. Only you could do this and you have done it right here today through our celebration of the Paschal Sacrament. Make sure and increase the gifts of this Eucharist within us. This day give us new strength from this nourishment of Jesus’ Body and Blood for his very presence brings us salvation.
These prayers are packed with spiritual teaching. That is why the prayer itself is Jesus’ fulfillment of sending us the Spirit. Giving us this prayer today following his words in the Gospel is the promise–fulfillment so characteristic of him.
First of all, the Church is praying to our God is omnipotent. What took place at Mass today was something only God can do. Divine power is needed. Man is not capable of this on his own. Jesus, the Son of God at this place on high, is our priest. There is no substitute. We do not make the Mass, he does.
Secondly, this is done by the risen Christ. Now we know why he passed through death and was taken on high. If remained on the earth and did just earthly things we would have no hope of life eternal. But if he goes to the Father and shares his glory he can share that glory with us, even in this life. Our human efforts cannot reach that high.
Thirdly, our celebration is a Paschal/Passover celebration. Think of the historical setting of the Passover Meal. It is not just a fancy meal we set on the table. It is a gathering at God’s table and altar to give thanks and to join in his sacred meal, i.e. share the heavenly gifts of God. The meal is not limited to earthly food. It is also spiritual food which we cannot make for ourselves. Those spiritual gifts assure us of a share in the eternal life of the Lord himself.
Fourthly, the gifts do not remain outside us, they are taken in like food and drink and change us interiorly. This is the purpose of the Mass — to receive all the more the Christ who came to dwell in us through faith and baptism. This increase is what we seek and pray for at the altar of the Lord. Christ told us he wants us to have his life and have it in abundance. It is that abundance that we desire.
All of this takes place because of the many facets of Jesus’ real presence which we have celebrated at this Eucharist from start to finish. So what are the final words: Go forth on mission to bring Christ to others — Ite, missa est. We want to hear those words again — Christ sending us forth (as he did in the early Church). It will happen soon. Thanks be to God.
Blessed be God! Blessed be his Easter people!
CREED: I believe in God the Father almighty…
We conclude with this prayer together:
Let us pray
for all those eagerly awaiting the time when they can go to Mass again.
for the Church of Cincinnati, that the mercy and holiness of Christ shine forth for all to see
for those who have died in recent weeks, that Jesus the Truth bring to fulfillment their hope,
for our government officials, both elected and appointed, that they be close to God
for those being tested for the virus have good results
for those in the work force be safe and sound
for those out of work hear good news about their future
for family and friends that these days be spiritually rich for them all
In Jesus’ name we pray for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father, who art in heaven…
Renewal of the Covenant Prayer aka Prayer of those unable to participate in Mass in person
Through your gift of Covenant love, O Lord, you have opened our hearts to welcome your Son to dwell within us by being baptized into his Church community and enlivened and strengthen by his Holy Spirit as to what you have made us so that we can better answer your call to gather for the Eucharist. Unable to join the body of Christ at this time to celebrate the redemption of your people, we beseech your merciful love to enlarge our hearts so to welcome your presence all the more and that of your Son and the Holy Spirit so that we may give you thanks always and everywhere as befits your name. Open our ears, O Lord, to your word, both spoken and lived. Through your Holy Spirit make our daily lives more in the image of your Son who is the perfect example of your eternal Covenant so that we may soon join his body, the Church, to burst forth in praise of you at the Table of the Lord, sharing his Body and Blood, and to advance with all your faithful people toward your kingdom of heaven, bound together with you and your holy ones in your one family. Make firm that unity of your Church in answer to your Son’s prayer that we be one so that the world come to know your presence here and know that you are always with us. Through Christ our risen Lord. Amen.
[See this and the explanation of it on the Blog Archives under the name New Prayer of Saint Alphonsus]
In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen