June 22, 2020 | None of Us is Perfect

Leader: Lord, in your great love answer me.

Psalm 136
Reader 1: Who alone does great wonders, for his mercy endures forever;
Reader 2: Who made the heavens in wisdom, for his mercy endures forever;
Reader 3: Who spread out the earth upon the waters, for his mercy endures forever.

Reading – Matthew 7:1-5
Reader 3: Jesus said to his disciples: “Stop judging, that you will not be judged. For as you judge, so will you be judged, and the measure with which you measure will be
measured out to you. Why you do notice the splinter in your brother’s eye, but do
not perceive the wooden beam in your own eye? How can you say to your
brother, ‘Let me remove that splinter from your eye,’ while the wooden beam is in
your eye? You hypocrite, remove the wooden beam from your eye first; then you
will see clearly to remove the splinter from your brother’s eye.”

Reflection
Leader: Jesus’ teaching in today’s reading has found its way into our popular discourse.
It’s about judging others without first recognizing our own failings. The image of
the splinter and the wooden beam is pretty graphic, and like many of Jesus’
sayings, it doesn’t need much explanation. When we judge another person’s
behavior we place ourselves in a precarious position. None of us is perfect, and
Jesus tells us to make sure our own behavior is virtuous before we presume to
judge another. Even then we should refrain from judgement, and instead offer to
help the person change for the better.

Intentional Prayer
Leader: In your merciful presence, O Lord, we pray.
All: Merciful God, hear our prayer.
Reader 1: For children who are victims of violence on our streets, we pray to the Lord:
All: Merciful God, hear our prayer.
Reader 2: For those who have been bullied in their school or in their workplace, we pray to
the Lord:
All: Merciful God, hear our prayer.
Reader 3: For CommonSpirit Health to continue to build healthy communities, we pray to the Lord:
All: Merciful God, hear our prayer.
All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer
Reader 3: Our Father, …

Closing Prayer
Reader 4: Merciful God, you are full of love and compassion, we turn to you in our times of distress seeking comfort and peace. Give us the courage to change our hearts so
that we can live more fully in communion with each other and with the Lord
Jesus, who lives and reigns with you, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen

Leader: Lord, in your great love answer me.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 17, 2020 | Keep in Touch

Leader: O Lord, it is good to give you thanks.

Psalm 65: 12-13
Reader 1: You adorn the year with your bounty; your paths drip with fruitful rain.
Reader 2: The meadows of the wilderness also drip; the hills are robed with joy.

Reading – Matthew 6: 16-18
Reader 3: Jesus said: “When you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, who love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on street corners so that others may see them. Amen,
I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go to your
inner room, close the door, and pray to your Father in secret. And your Father
who see in secret will repay you.”
Reader 4: “When you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites. They neglect their
appearance, so that they may appear to others to be fasting. Amen, I say to you,
they have received their reward. But when you fast, anoint your head and wash
your face, so that you may not appear to others to be fasting, except to your Father
who is hidden. And your Father who sees what is hidden will repay you.”

Reflection:
Leader: Jesus exhorts his listeners to reflect on the motives behind their pious acts of
almsgiving, prayer, and fasting. We know that these aren’t just good practices for
Lent; they help us to grow in our spiritual life at any time. Jesus says that those
who do these things so they can be noticed really don’t benefit from doing them.
This prompts us to question: Why do we give alms, or pray, or fast? Such
practices help us to keep in touch with the Lord.

Intentional Prayer
Leader: In your loving kindness, O God, hear us:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 1: That CommonSpirit grows in the love of the Lord by our acts of charity, we pray
to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 2: That our eating habits remind us of the many who daily go without food, we pray to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 3: That we have the courage to pray daily and deepen our faith, we pray to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 4: That the elderly members of CommonSpirit’s faith community find strength in the witness of the baptized, we pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, hear our prayer.
All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer
Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer
Reader 4: Almighty and creator God, you provide for us on our journey of faith. Sustain us with your protection and keep us always in communion with your Son, Jesus
Christ, who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for
ever and ever. Amen
Leader: O Lord, it is good to give you thanks.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 15, 2020 | Extending Charity

Leader: Hearken to my words, O Lord, attend to my sighing.

Psalm 145: 13b-14
Reader 1: The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works.
Reader 2: The Lord lifts all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.

Reading – Matthew 5: 38-42
Reader 3: Jesus said to his disciples: “You have heard that it was said. ‘An eye for an eye
and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I say to you, offer no resistance to one who is evil.
When someone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other one to him as well.
If anyone wants to go to law with you over your tunic, hand him your cloak as
well. Should anyone press you into service for one mile, go with him for two
miles. Give to the one who asks of you, and do not turn your back on one who
wants to borrow.”

Reflection:
Leader: Jesus’ teaching on the Law of Moses challenges the well-known saying “An eye
for an eye and a tooth for tooth.” The original aim of this teaching was “to limit
revenge. . . to an exact reciprocity so that punishment was not unjust. While the
Mosaic Law rectified the wrongdoing, it didn’t change the wrongdoer or the
wronged. Jesus is teaching a way of love and forgiveness. The grace in this new
interpretation of the law is God’s grace to reconcile one another. With this grace,
negative actions are transformed into acts of charity. “Going the extra mile” has
become a modern day saying about extending charity toward others.

Intentional Prayer
Leader: In your loving kindness, O God, hear us:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 1: For CommonSpirit to unite to put an end to violence, we pray to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 2: That the peace of God take root within our hostile world, we pray to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 3: That the victims of violence find justice and security, we pray to the Lord:
All: Gracious God, hear our prayer.
Reader 4: That we be willing to seek and forgive when we are injured by others, we pray to the Lord:
All: Lord, hear our prayer.
All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer
Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer
Reader 4: God, we turn to you in times of distress for we need your tender mercy. Bestow
on us, in those times, the virtue of patience and the desire for reconciliation. Let
your love embrace us that we might live in you and in Jesus Christ, your Son, who
lies and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit. Through Christ our Lord.
Amen.

Leader: Hearken to my words, O Lord, attend to my sighing.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 10, 2020 | Positive Directions

Leader: Keep me safe, O God: you are my hope. 

Psalm 145:13b-14

Reader 1: The Lord is faithful in all his words and holy in all his works. 

Reader 2: The Lord lifts up all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 

Reading – Matthew 5:17-19

Reader 3: Jesus said to his disciples: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or prophets. I have come not to abolish but to fulfill. Amen, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not the smallest letter or the smallest part of a letter will pass from the law, until all things have taken place. Therefore, whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the Kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the Kingdom of heaven.” 

Reflection:

Leader: On several occasions during his ministry, Jesus clashed with the religious leaders over the Law of Moses. They accused him of not keeping the law; he criticized them for making the law a burden on the lives of devout Jews. In this reading he makes it clear that he is not abolishing the law but intending to give a new way to understand it. The law was meant to help people to know God, not to make their devotion a hardship. This insight helps us to view the commandments as positive directions for right living; they free us to be faithful disciples.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: Filled with hope, O God, we pray.

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For those who govern, may they enact laws that serve and protect all people, we pray:

All: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For CommonSpirit Health to serve well the most vulnerable in our mission for the common good, we pray to the Lord:

All: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: For those who are victims of crime, may they find healing and forgiveness in their heart, we pray:

All: Loving God, hear our prayer.

Reader 4: For undocumented residents and the people who are homeless in our communities, that they not lose hope, we pray:

All: Loving God, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions: 

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father … 

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: God, you have made a covenant with your people, a covenant of love and fidelity. Grant us the strength to follow your commandments faithfully that we might come at last to enter the Kingdom you have prepared for us.

Amen. 

Leader: Keep me safe, O God: you are my hope..

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 8, 2020 | An Act of Faith

Leader: Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 145:8-9

Reader 1: The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness. 

Reader 2: The Lord is good to all and compassionate toward all his works.

Reading – Matthew 5:3-12a

Reader 3: Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are they who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the land. Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be satisfied. Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Blessed are the clean of heart, for they will see God. Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessed are they who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when they insult you and persecute you and utter every kind of evil against you falsely because of me. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward will be in heaven.

Reflection:

Leader: The Beatitudes are one of the most familiar and beloved texts in the New Testament. Matthew places them near the beginning of his Gospel as a way to frame the entire teaching mission of Jesus. Whenever we ask a blessing upon someone we are really making an act of faith; we ask because we believe in God. Our request for a blessing is saying that we believe that there is room for God in every aspect of life. The blessings that Jesus pronounces in this reading are assurances that those he names will discover that God is truly in their life.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: Filled with hope, O God, we pray.

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For all those who are advocates for justice and peace in the world, we pray to the Lord:

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For CommonSpirit Health to serve well the most vulnerable in our mission for the common good, we pray to the Lord:

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: For pastoral care ministers who bring comfort to those who mourn, we pray to the Lord:

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer. 

Reader 4: For health care workers who accompany the sick in their time of healing, we pray to the Lord:

All: Loving Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: O God, you have sent the Lord Jesus to bless your people with a spirit of compassion and hope. May all those who seek the blessedness of your kingdom come one day to eternal glory with your Son, Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Leader: Our help is from the Lord, who made heaven and earth…

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 3, 2020 | Everything Changes

Leader: To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Psalm 139

Reader 1: O Lord you have probed me and you know me; you know when I sit and when I stand; you understand my thoughts from afar.

Reader 2: My journeys and my rest you scrutinize, with all my ways you are familiar.

Reading – Mark 12:18 – 27

Reader 3: Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to Jesus and put this question to him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us, If someone’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, his brother must take the wife and raise up descendants for his brother. Now there were seven brothers.  The first married a woman and died, leaving no descendants.  So, the second brother married her and died, leaving no descendants and the third likewise.  And the seven left no descendants.  Last of all the women also died.  At the resurrection when they arise whose wife will she be?  For all seven had been married to her.”  Jesus said to them, “Are you not misled because you do not know the Scriptures or the power of God?  When they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but they are like the angels in heaven.  As for the dead being raised, have you not read in the Book of Moses, in the passage about the bush, how God told him, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac,/ and the God of Jacob?  He is not God of the dead but of the living.  You are greatly misled.”

Reflection

Leader: The question by the Sadducees concerning the status of married relationships after death allows Jesus to offer an important teaching about the resurrection.  The question about the woman and her seven husbands, all brothers, borders on the ridiculous, but Jesus responds on a serious note.  Jesus simply says that after the resurrection everything changes.  Human categories and boundaries are no more.  The relationships of this life are not irrelevant; surely we will meet our loved ones in heaven.  But the relationships of this life will be even more amazing in the company of God, and the communion of saints.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: Trusting in the goodness of God, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For all married couples, that they continue to live in the joy of their marriage vows, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: For those who are preparing for Marriage, that they look forward to the grace of this sacred partnership, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer. 

Reader 3: For those husbands and wives who are caregivers for their spouse, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer. 

Reader 4: For widows and widowers who mourn the loss of a loved one, may they find comfort in the promise of the resurrection, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 1: Our Father … 

Closing Prayer

Reader 2: O God of tenderness and mercy, do not let us stray from your commandments.  Keep us in the divine friendship that you have bestowed on us, through your Son, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Leader: I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

June 1, 2020 | Mother of the Church

Leader: In you, my God, I place my trust.

Canticle of Mary

Reader 1: My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord, my spirit rejoices in God my savior for he has looked with favor on his lowly servant.

Reader 2: From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name.

Reading – John 19:25-27

Reader 3: Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary of Magdala.  When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple there whom he loved he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son.”  Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother.”  And from that hour the disciple took her into his home.

Reflection

Leader: In 2018 Pope Francis designated the Monday after Pentecost as the feast of Mary, Mother of the Church.  This is a fitting title for Mary who was present with the disciples of the Lord on that first Pentecost.  Since Pentecost is regarded as the birthday of the Church, it is only fitting that Mary, the woman of the new covenant, be honored as the mother of a new community of believers, the Church.  Just as Jesus entrusts his mother to John, a faithful follower, so the Church is entrusted to her to imitate her humble and generous fiat.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: That we may be a community of faithful believers, imitating the example of Mary, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: That those who hear God’s word follow Mary’s example to live it joyfully, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: That those who suffer in mind or body find comfort through the intercession of Mary, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: That all mothers turn to Mary for strength and inspiration, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: In every age, O God, your word has come to us through your messengers, and in our time that same word has come to dwell in our midst through the obedience of Mary, Mother of the Church.  Grant that we may be open to the words of her Son, and in hearing his word, live it fully and faithfully.  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

Leader: In you, my god, I place my trust. 

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

May 27, 2020 | Live as His Disciples

Leader: I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord.

Psalm 27:13-14

Reader 1: I believe that I shall see the bounty of the Lord in the land of the living.

Reader 2: Wait for the Lord with courage; be stouthearted and wait for the Lord.

Reading – John 17:11b-19

Reader 3: [Jesus prayed, saying] “I gave them your word, and the world hated them, because they do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world.  I do not ask that you take them from the world but that you keep them from the Evil One.  They do not belong to the world any more than I belong to the world. Consecrate them in the truth. Your word is truth.  As you sent me into the world, so I sent them into the world.  And I consecrate myself for them so that they may also be consecrated in truth.”

Reflection:

Leader: Jesus prays for his chosen disciples as a parent would pray for his or her children. He prays that they be protected “from the Evil One,” when he returns to the Father.  This is Jesus’ prayer for us.  We are in the world, chosen and sent to continue the work that Jesus did in obedience to the Father.  We don’t often think of Jesus praying for us; we are busy praying for ourselves.  But when we think of Jesus holding us in prayer, as he did his first disciples, we find a new courage to live as his disciples today.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: Trusting in your love, O God, we pray:

All: Gracious Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For CommonSpirit Health to foster peace and harmony, we pray:

All: Gracious Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: That those who suffer find protection, we pray:

All: Gracious Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: That those who grieve find your peace, we pray:

All: Gracious Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: O God of tenderness and mercy, do not let us stray from your commandments.  Keep us in the divine friendship that you have bestowed on us, through your Son, Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.  Amen.

Leader: I believe that I shall see the good things of the Lord.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

May 20, 2020 | Inspired

Leader: I will praise you, Lord, among all the nations.

Psalm 118

Reader 1: I thank you for you answered me; you have been my savior.

Reader 2: The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

Reading – Acts 17:15, 22-28

Reader 3: Then Paul stood up at the Areopagus and said, “You Athenians, I see that in every respect you are very religious.  For as I walked around looking carefully at your shrines, I even discovered an altar inscribed, ‘To an Unknown God.’ What therefore you unknowingly worship, I proclaim to you.  The God who made the world and all that is in it, the Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in sanctuaries made by human hands, nor is he served by human hands because he needs anything.  Rather it is he who gives to everyone life and breath and everything.  He made from one the whole human race to dwell on the entire surface of the earth, and he fixed the ordered seasons and the boundaries of their regions, so that people might seek God, even perhaps grope for him and find him, though indeed he is not far from any one of us.” 

Reflection:

Leader: Paul’s sermon at the Areopagus, in ancient Athens, is a powerful example of his oratorical skills and his belief in Jesus Christ.  Paul invites his listeners to accept the God of Jesus Christ as the “unknown God” named in their shrine.  His words awaken a new faith in many of them and they come to believe in the Christian God, in whom, “we live and move and have our being,” How often our own faith is inspired by the words of others, especially when those words carry the conviction of the speaker.  We should be inspired by the conviction of Paul in our own ministry.

Intentional Prayer

Leader:  Filled with your Spirit, O God, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For CommonSpirit Health to serve with inspiration to innovate to better serve our communities, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: That the word of God bring comfort to those who are ill and those who are lonely, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: That the word of God will be our source of hope to all, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: You sent us your Eternal Word, O God, in the person of Jesus Christ.  Sustain us in your goodness that we might remain faithful to the words the he has given us and come to know the truth of your revelation.  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.

Leader: I will praise you, Lord, among all the nations.

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!

May 15, 2020 | Always With Us

Leader: Your hand saves me, O Lord. 

Psalm 65:12-13

Reader 1: You adorn the year with your bounty; your paths drip with fruitful rain.

Reader 2: The meadows of the wilderness also drip; the hills are robed with joy.

Reading – John 16:5-11

Reader 3: Jesus said to his disciples; “Now I am going to the one who sent me, and not one of you asks me, “Where are you going?” But because I told you this, grief has filled your hearts.  But I tell you the truth, it is better for you that I go.  For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you.  And when he comes he will convict the world in regard to sin and righteousness and condemnation: sin, because they do not believe in me; righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will no longer see me; condemnation, because the ruler of this world has been condemned.

Reflection:

Leader: Each day we wake up with the blessing of an Advocate who accompanies us on our journey.  In truth, sometimes we only seek counsel when we are in trouble.  Christ sent us this guide to be there for all our needs.  It is valuable to remember that we share with God all the parts of our life and the Spirit is always with us.

Intentional Prayer

Leader: Trusting in the spirit, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 1: For CommonSpirit Health to serve our communities with excellence and compassion, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 2: May those recovering from illness, find relief we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

Reader 3: May the grieving find comfort and support, we pray:

All: Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Personal Petitions:

The Lord’s Prayer

Reader 3: Our Father …

Closing Prayer

Reader 4: O God, you give us your Spirit, that we may have life to the fullest.  Through your guidance may we always call upon your wisdom to lead us safely into the journey before us, where you live and reign with our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son, in unity with the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.  Amen

Leader: Your hand saves me, O Lord. 

Peace be with you all and have a wonderful week!