SALFORD DIOCESE OFFICE FOR LITURGY

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Fourth Sunday of Lent (A)

 He went off and washed himself, and came away with
his sight restored

 

The Word This Week

When we get to Easter, there are two symbols of the resurrection that we use in Church: fire and light (the Easter Candle) and water (the Font). Last week we reflected on water, and this week there are passages all about light – true light, that defeats the blindness of sin. Again, this would have been offered to those preparing for Baptism, but speaks to all of us who have been baptised, inviting us to be renewed in the light of Christ at Easter. Remember that one of the oldest titles of the newly baptised was “neophyte”, which means “newly enlightened” There is a subtle link between the readings on this Sunday: in the first reading, David is anointed, and the Spirit of the Lord seizes on him. This anointing lights him along the right path - ‘no evil would I fear’ as the Psalm says. Then Paul tells us more about this light: it is Christ shining on us, calling us to live as children of light. All this is summed up in the Gospel, the marvellous story of the healing (by being ‘anointed’ with spittle) of the man born blind. Jesus is the light of the world

Prayers of Blessing for Mother's Day

INTERCESSIONS

The intercessions should follow the normal pattern for a Sunday, including prayers for the Church, the world and local intentions. One or more of the following intercessions may be added:

 

We pray for our mothers, who have given us life and love, that we may show them reverence and love. (pause) Lord, in your mercy… or Lord, hear us …

 

We pray for mothers who have lost a child through death, that their faith may give them hope, and their family and friends support and console them. (pause) Lord, in your mercy… or Lord, hear us …

 

We pray for mothers who have died, that God may bring them into the joy of his kingdom. (pause) Lord, in your mercy… or Lord, hear us …

 

PRAYER OF BLESSING

This may be used as a concluding prayer after the Intercessions, or as a Prayer over the People at the end of Mass.

 

Loving God,

as a mother gives life and nourishment to her children,

so you watch over your Church.

Bless these women,

that they may be strengthened as Christian mothers.

let the example of their faith and love shine forth.

Grant that we, their sons and daughters,

may honour them always

with a spirit of profound respect.

 

Grant this through Christ our Lord.

Notes for Readers

First Reading: 1 Samuel 16: 1, 6-7, 10-13.

Again this is a story from the Old Testament, and reading it should not pose too many problems – just be careful to ask yourself: “Why are we reading this today?” The answer is a bit subtle: it is about God’s choice of an individual, which leads, through ritual, to that person becoming God’ servant: this is exactly what happens in baptism – God calls us before we decide to “take the plunge”. Highlight the references to ‘oil’ and ‘anointing’ - these will be taken up by the Psalm. Especially emphasise the lines about seeing: ‘man looks at appearances, but God looks at the heart’ - this will lead people to the Gospel. But above all tell the story, and allow people to draw their own conclusions from this story, well-told, of the Lord choosing his servant.

 

Second Reading: Ephesians 5:8-14.

In contrast with last week, this letter is much easier - not that that is an excuse not to prepare! In proclaiming this reading it is important to remember that the words are real and active today: in other words, when you proclaim ‘You were darkness once...’, that ‘you’ is the congregation sitting before you. These words are Paul’s words to them here and now. Paul is pleading with the people of Ephesus - so allow him to plead with you and your congregation. Give his wonderful words their full power. The last three lines are probably words from an early hymn, which the Christians would have sung - they are poetry, and a change in the reading style is demanded: you might stress it like this: “Wake up from your SLEEP, RISE from the DEAD, and CHRIST will SHINE on YOU.” Throughout the reading use the contrasts that Paul gives you - darkness and light. When you speak about darkness, allow the voice to fall somewhat, but let it rise again when talking about the light.

Sunday Mass Sheet

This is a two-sided A4 Mass Sheet, which when folded lengthways will give you a thin booklet. Please feel free to download this pdf file and print it out for Parish use.

Mass Sheet Sunday Lent 4A

Wordsearch

Click on the link to get this week's Gospel based Wordsearch. Feel free to copy and paste it into your parish publications.