Four Masses of Reparation

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Four Masses of Reparation

Post by FrGareth » Thu Apr 22, 2010 11:58 pm

Our bishops write: “We invite Catholics in England and Wales to make the four Fridays in May 2010 special days of prayer. Even when we are lost for words, we can place ourselves in silent prayer. We invite Catholics on these days to come before the Blessed Sacrament in our parishes to pray to God for healing, forgiveness and a renewed dedication. We pray for all who have suffered abuse; for those who mishandled these matters and added to the suffering of those affected. From this prayer we do not exclude those who have committed these sins of abuse. They have a journey of repentance and atonement to make.” ... _and_wales

Here is one suggestion of themes and intentions for Masses on these four Fridays:

Friday 7th May – 5th Friday of Eastertide

Epistle – “some of our members have disturbed you... they acted without authority from us”

Gospel – “no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends”

A small number of priests have committed heinous sexual crimes against children. The proportion of offenders might be no greater than in the general population; but priests are preachers of morality and therefore are rightly to be held to a higher standard of behaviour (see James 3:1) – even to the extent of sacrificing themselves for the good of others.

The body of Christ has been wounded by the action of these priests and other church representatives; and inasmuch as we are also members of this one body, we do penance for their sake and pray for the conversion of these members, and the healing of their victims.

Mass intention: for all victims of abuse by Church representatives

Mass propers: Friday of the 5th Week of Easter

Eucharistic prayer: for Reconciliation, I, with its proper preface.

Friday 14th May – Feast of St Matthias

Epistle – “let his place be taken by another”

Gospel – “remain in my love”

Jesus Christ personally selected his apostles after much prayer; yet among them was Judas, the traitor, whose place was to be taken by Matthias. Peter also betrayed Christ, yet was rehabilitated by the Risen Lord.

Senior leaders in our church have made decisions which we regret – some being simply bad decisions made through moral weakness, others decision in keeping with the values of their own era, which have become more regrettable in hindsight. Some leaders remain in post, like Peter, chastened by their experience. Others have resigned, leaving new appointees, like Matthias, to fill their shoes.

Our leaders face many soul-searching decisions when faced with difficult cases; the Church is committed by its very nature to the rehabilitation of sinners, which we now balance by affirming the paramountcy of safeguarding children and vulnerable adults. Today we pray for those leaders who continue to have to make such decisions; for those who have past decisions on their consciences; and for those who, like Matthias, must pick up the pieces after a bishop has resigned. We remember also and pray for the priests who take care of those parishes from which the parish priest has been arrested or placed on administrative leave.

Mass intention: for all Bishops, Priests, and Religious Congregation leaders, as they deal with the aftermath of regrettable decisions.

Mass propers: 14th May, St Matthias

Eucharistic prayer: I, invoking the apostles, their early successors, and the martyrs,
with the Preface of Apostles.

Friday 21st May – 7th Friday of Eastertide
with Optional Memoria of St Christopher Magallanes & Companions

Epistle – Paul is on trial for his religious beliefs

Gospel – in his old age, Peter will follow Christ to martyrdom

Saint Christopher Magallanes was joined in martyrdom by twenty-one diocesan priests and three devout laymen, all members of the Cristeros Movement, who rose up in rebellion against the anti-Catholic Mexican government during the 1920s. Having erected a seminary at Totatiche, he secretly spread the Gospel and ministered to the people. When imprisoned by the government authorities, he was heard to shout from his cell; “I am innocent and I die innocent. I forgive with all my heart those responsible for my death, and I ask God that the shedding of my blood serve the peace of our divided Mexico”.

St Peter, St Paul and the Mexican Martyrs were all put to death for being faithful to the teaching of Jesus and the Catholic Church. The sexual sins of church members and the regrettable decisions of our senior leaders have placed the whole of the Catholic Church’s sexual teaching into the public eye. Therefore, many of our sexual teachings are being publicly condemned, and many media outlets seek to associate celibacy with sexual sin on the part of the church’s leaders, despite the lack of evidence to establish any such connection.

Within a generation, many liberal western democracies have decriminalised homosexual behaviour and some have protected homosexual orientation under equalities legislation. Civil divorce is easy to obtain, abortion and contraception are provided by state health services. In faithfulness to Christ’s teaching, Catholics can only identify a sexually liberal society as a sinful society.

Our Church’s power to witness to its teaching on sexual morality has been severely damaged by our own failure to be a beacon of right sexual practice. We pray therefore for the strengthening of faithful Catholics to live out the demanding sexual teaching of Jesus Christ, and for the conversion of a society where personal pleasure and fulfilment eclipse righteousness and moral duty.

Mass intention: for the conversion of all who perpetrate sexual immorality

Mass propers:
Friday of the 7th Week of Easter

Eucharistic prayer:
for Reconciliation, II, with its proper preface.

Friday 28th May – Friday of the 8th Week of Ordinary Time, Cycle 2

Epistle – “My dear people, you must not think it unaccountable that you should be tested by fire. There is nothing extraordinary in what has happened to you.”

Gospel – Jesus cleanses the Temple and curses the fig tree.

God is a God of warnings and second chances. Throughout the Old Testament, prophets warn God’s chosen people to repent. Again in the New Testament, Jesus makes it clear that God has high expectations of his people’s behaviour. Though we have been tested by fire, we must move on with renewed dedication. Every member of the Catholic Church is wounded by what has taken place; we must all decide to move forward from this month of penance with renewed integrity, confidence in the Church’s sexual teaching, and a firm determination to avoid sin.

Christ, who challenges us to righteous living, also offers us the grace to do so through prayer and the Eucharist. Like those to whom Peter writes his epistle, we must be confident that Christ will reward us for the trials which will come if we are faithful to his teaching. We must resolve once again to love one another and build a community with Christ at the centre.

Mass intention: for all Christ’s faithful people

Mass propers: For the laity

Eucharistic prayer: for Various Needs & Occasions A, The Church on the Way to Unity
Revd Gareth Leyshon - Priest of the Archdiocese of Cardiff (views are my own)
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