Living in Community
Call to Prayer:
Today's focus is Living in Community as Joyful Disciples. The ultimate example of living in community is found in the Trinity – Father, Son, and Holy Spirit united as one God. God of unity – present with us – make us one in mind and heart as we pray… In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Loving God, help us to deepen our understanding of what it means to live in community.
Guide our feet to walk in the ways of Jesus, who was born in a lowly manger, travelled on foot, walked among the forgotten and washed His apostles' feet. We ask this in the name of Your Son, who is here among us to remind us how to live in communion with one another. Amen.
Scripture: Jesus Prays That His Followers Will be United (John 17:8-9, 20-21, 23)
A reading from the Holy Gospel according to John. Glory to you, O Lord.
[Jesus said] "I gave them the message that you gave me, and they received it; they know that it is true that I came from you, and they believe that you sent me. I pray for them… for those you gave me, for they belong to you. … I pray not only for them, but also for those who believe in me because of their message. I pray that they may all be one. Father! May they be in us, just as you are in me and I am in you. May they be one, so that the world will believe that you sent me. … and that you love them as you love me."
The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ.
This Gospel passage is part of a prayer Jesus said at the Last Supper. He prayed that his followers would be one with God and with one another. This means that Jesus doesn't want anything to keep us from loving one another – not different ideas, not different backgrounds, not jealousy, not pride… nothing. He wants us to be ONE – one family of God together with the Trinity who is ONE. When we are one, we will not hurt one another with words or actions. We will be patient and kind to one another. Other people will notice our love for one another. Seeing our joy, they will want to be disciples too. They will come to believe in Jesus and will want to be a part of the community of the Body of Christ. Then the Church – the community of joyful disciples – will grow. We need to pray with Jesus, "That we may all be one, Father." (Adapted from The Catholic Children's Bible, St. Mary's Press, 2013, p. 1697)
Prayers of the Faithful:
Response: Lord, help us live as one body in your love.
For all Church leaders; may they continue to spread the Good News of the Gospel through word and action, we pray to the Lord…
For all people of the world; may we humbly work together as one, with respect and understanding, for the common good, we pray to the Lord…
For our Catholic schools, especially (insert school name); may the Holy Spirit guide us to love and serve with compassion and kindness, hearing the words of Jesus and seeing His face in all people, we pray to the Lord…
For our students and staff; may we stand in solidarity to act with justice in bringing about healing, reconciliation, fairness and peacemaking in our schools and throughout the world, we pray to the Lord…
Today or perhaps sometime this week, go out of your way to make a new friend. Reach out to someone in your school whom you don't know very well or to someone who seems like they need a friend. Take time to get to know them and focus on the many things you have in common rather than on your differences. When you pray, ask God to help Christians and all the people of the world to grow in unity.
O God, our Loving Creator, O Jesus, our Master Teacher, O Holy Spirit of Wisdom, you call us together in faith and love to be one as you are one. Open our eyes to see, our ears to listen, our minds to learn, our hearts to be accepting of others, and our hands to be more giving toward those in need. Help us to live united - as one community, one family of God. Amen. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
LIVING IN COMMUNITY
"So we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually, we are members, one of another." Romans 12:5
CALL TO PRAYER Good morning and welcome to the second day of Catholic Education week. Our faith tells us that we were not meant to live isolated lives. In fact, God says, in the process of creation, that it is not a good thing for human beings to be alone. Together, we are stronger. Together, we can draw on a richer variety of gifts, talents and life experiences. Together, we can benefit from each other's uniqueness and differences, if we work together to build up a community based on cooperation, respect, generosity and welcome. At its heart, a Catholic School is also a community, meant to model the love that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit have for each other. Let us ask God today for the gifts we need, to live as the kind of school community he wants us to be and to radiate Jesus' welcome to all people.
Let us begin with the Sign of the Cross: In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. +
OPENING PRAYER Lord, from every people, nation and language, you gather us into a community united by faith, hope and love. You call us to reach out to others with compassion and care, in service and cooperation, and to shape a world of justice and peace, inspired by the values of your Kingdom. Help us to see your face in all those around us. Help us to realize that, beyond all our differences, we are all your people, created in your image, and called to unity and sharing. Lead us closer and closer to you and teach us to reach out generously to all of our brothers and sisters. May our harmony help to bring greater harmony to your world and may our openness to others help to dispel prejudice, suspicion and fear. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen. +
SCRIPTURE: Romans 12:2-8 A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Romans.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God – what is good and acceptable and perfect. For by the grace given to me, I say to everyone among you not to think of yourself more highly than you ought to think, but to think with sober judgement, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. For as in one body we have many members, and not all the members have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually we are members, one of another. We have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us... prophecy, in proportion to faith; ministry, in ministering; the teacher, in teaching; the exhorter, in exhortation; the giver, in generosity; the leader, in diligence; the compassionate, in cheerfulness.
The Word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.
Prayers of the Faithful Reflecting the Needs of Your School
CLOSING PRAYER Lord, unity is your great desire for the whole human family. Help us to be messengers and builders of that unity in our daily lives – to be people who build bonds of friendship and community, of togetherness and support. May your love inspire us to reach out each day, especially to those who may be neglected or marginalized, misunderstood or alone, and to welcome them warmly. Together, may our rich diversity remind our world that every person has dignity and value, and that each one of us has a place in your community and a place in your love. We ask this through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.