DEVOTIONAL PRAYER FOR MARCH
Lord Jesus Christ, you travelled through towns and villages curing every disease and illness. At your command, the sick were made well. Come to our aid now, in the midst of the global spread of the coronavirus, that we may experience your healing love.
Heal those who are sick with the virus. May they regain their strength and health through quality medical care. Heal us from our fear, which prevents nations from working together and neighbours from helping one another. Heal us from our pride, which made us claim invulnerability to a disease that knows no borders.
Lord Jesus Christ, healer of all, stay by our side in this time of uncertainty and sorrow.
Be with families of those who are sick or have died. As they worry and grieve, defend them from illness and despair. May they know your peace. Be with doctors, nurses, researchers and all medical professionals who seek to heal and help those affected and who put themselves at risk in the process. May they know your protection and peace. Be with leaders of all nations. Give them the foresight to act with charity and true concern for the well-being of the people they are meant to serve. Give them the wisdom to invest in long-term solutions that will help prepare for or prevent future outbreaks. May they know your peace, as they work together to achieve it on earth.
Whether we are home or abroad, surrounded by many people suffering from this illness or only a few, Lord Jesus Christ, stay with us as we endure and mourn, persist and prepare. In place of our anxiety, give us your peace. Lord Jesus Christ, heal us. Amen.
|Entrance Antiphon||Rejoice, Jerusalem, and all who love her. Be joyful, all who were in mourning; exult and be satisfied at her consoling breast.|
1 Sam 16:1,6-7,10-13
|A reading from the first book of Samuel.|
|The Lord said to Samuel, ‘Fill your horn with oil and go. I am sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I have chosen myself a king among his sons.’ When Samuel arrived, he caught sight of Eliab and thought, ‘Surely the Lord’s anointed stands there before him,’ but the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Take no notice of his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him: God does not see as man sees: man looks at appearances but the Lord looks at the heart.’ Jesse presented his seven sons to Samuel, but Samuel said to Jesse, ‘The Lord has not chosen these.’ He then asked Jesse, ‘Are these all the sons you have?’ He answered, ‘There is still one left, the youngest; he is out looking after the sheep.’ Then Samuel said to Jesse, ‘Send for him; we will not sit down to eat until he comes.’ Jesse had him sent for, a boy of fresh complexion, with fine eyes and pleasant bearing. The Lord said, ‘Come, anoint him, for this is the one.’ At this, Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him where he stood with his brothers; and the spirit of the Lord seized on David and stayed with him from that day on.
The Word of the Lord.
|Responsorial Psalm||The Lord is my shepherd; there is nothing I shall want.|
|A reading from the letter of St. Paul to the Ephesians|
|You were darkness once, but now you are light in the Lord; be like children of light, for the effects of the light are seen in complete goodness and right living and truth. Try to discover what the Lord wants of you, having nothing to do with the futile works of darkness but exposing them by contrast. The things which are done in secret are things that people are ashamed even to speak of; but anything exposed by the light will be illuminated and anything illuminated turns into light. That is why it is said: Wake up from your sleep, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.
The Word of the Lord.
|Gospel Acclamation||Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ! I am the light of the world, says the Lord: whoever follows me will have the light of life.
Glory to you, Word of God, Lord Jesus Christ!
|A reading from the holy Gospel according to St. John.|
|As Jesus went along, he saw a man who had been blind from birth. He spat on the ground, made a paste with the spittle, put this over the eyes of the blind man, and said to him, ‘Go and wash in the Pool of Siloam’ (a name that means ‘sent’). So the blind man went off and washed himself, and came away with his sight restored. His neighbours and people who earlier had seen him begging said, ‘Isn’t this the man who used to sit and beg?’ Some said, ‘Yes, it is the same one.’ Others said, ‘No, he only looks like him.’ The man himself said, ‘I am the man.’ They brought the man who had been blind to the Pharisees. It had been a Sabbath day when Jesus made the paste and opened the man’s eyes, so when the Pharisees asked him how he had come to see, he said, ‘He put a paste on my eyes, and I washed, and I can see.’ Then some of the Pharisees said, ‘This man cannot be from God: he does not keep the Sabbath.’ Others said, ‘How could a sinner produce signs like this?’ And there was disagreement among them. So they spoke to the blind man again, ‘What have you to say about him yourself, now that he has opened your eyes?’ ‘He is a prophet’ replied the man. ‘Are you trying to teach us,’ they replied ‘and you a sinner through and through, since you were born!’ And they drove him away. Jesus heard they had driven him away, and when he found him he said to him, ‘Do you believe in the Son of Man?’ ‘Sir,’ the man replied ‘tell me who he is so that I may believe in him.’ Jesus said, ‘You are looking at him; he is speaking to you.’ The man said, ‘Lord, I believe’, and worshipped him. Jesus said: ‘It is for judgement that I have come into this world, so that those without sight may see and those with sight turn blind.’ Hearing this, some Pharisees who were present said to him, ‘We are not blind, surely?’ Jesus replied: ‘Blind? If you were, you would not be guilty, but since you say, “We see,” your guilt remains.’
The Gospel of the Lord.
|The Lord anointed my eyes: I went, I washed, I saw and I believed in God.|
|Next week’s Readings||Ezek 37:12-14; Rom 8:8-11; Jn 11:1-45|
|Feasts of the Week||The Annunciation of the Lord Wed, Mar 25|
PRAYER TO ST. JOSEPH
St Joseph, You were receptive to God working in your life. Help us by your prayers at this time of trial. You kept Jesus and Mary under your watchful care: may your prayers assist our local Church to respond to those in need. You taught the Christ Child your trade and prayers: help us to follow his example of love. You were part of God’s plan for all humanity: assist us to be vigilant and responsible this day. You spent your life in service: may we be mindful of others, particularly the elderly and vulnerable, caring for them in these difficult days. You trusted in the clear primacy of God over all history and every situation: help us to grow in faith and pray to the Father, thy will be done. Amen.
Please keep this prayer close to your heart as we meet the many challenges we will inevitably face in the weeks ahead.
PRAYER OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION
My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, And I desire to receive you into my soul. Since I cannot, at this moment, receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You.
Parish Guidelines for our Church
- Our church will remain open from 7:00am to 5:00pm every day to encourage private prayer.
- When at church, please maintain a reasonable distance (approx. 1.5m) between each other. Be aware that we cannot have more than 100 people in church at any given time. (This number could change as the situation changes).
- Hand sanitisers are available at the entrance to the church.
- All regular, timetabled Masses have been suspended, including weekday and Sunday Masses.
- All public gatherings in our parish including church services, meetings, choir practices, prayer group meetings, etc. in parish venues are cancelled until further notice.
- Thanksgiving Envelopes can be dropped into the slot on the wall located at the side of the Sacristy door, under the cabinet containing the oils. This is where Mass Offerings are also placed.
- Please keep the Lord’s Day holy and celebrate Sunday by taking time to pray together as a family. Mass Online is available for people to join together in spiritual communion. The following weblinks are offered to view and participate in Holy Masses.
http://bit.ly/MassOnDemand https://melbournecatholic.org.au/Mass www.wordonfire.org/daily-mass
Shalomworld.org/dailymass (Mass times advertised)
Please note that the Sunday Obligation will not apply during this time of suspension.
Guidelines from the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne in Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic
The following guidelines apply throughout the Archdiocese of Melbourne:
- All but priests are dispensed from attending Sunday Mass (canon 1248): the faithful can keep holy their Sunday by setting aside some time for prayer at home, reading the Scriptures of the day, watching Mass on television or online, and asking God for the graces they would normally receive in Holy Communion.
- Priests should celebrate daily Mass without the physical presence of the lay faithful and offer it on behalf of those who cannot attend and for the whole nation.
- Churches should remain open for private prayer as much as possible.
- The Second and Third Rites of Reconciliation should not be used; First Rite of Reconciliation should only be heard through a protective screen (made of plastic or similar) i.e. no direct face-to-face reconciliation other than the sick in hospital or in their home.
- Other instructions will be issued to clergy regarding Baptisms of several children, the RCIA and the various rites of the Triduum.
- As far as possible, churches should remain open to allow private prayer; the Blessed Sacrament might be exposed in the monstrance for this purpose (as long as fewer than 100 are attending and with the usual provisions for reverence and security of the Sacrament).
- On days when this is liturgically permitted (see Ordo pp. 10-11), priests should offer the Mass for the Sick, the Mass for Any Need or a votive Mass such as that of Our Lady of Lourdes or St Joseph.
- Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals may be celebrated if necessary, restricted to immediate family (and small bridal parties etc.); baptisms and weddings can, of course, be postponed.
- Preparation for and celebration of First Confession, First Communion and Confirmation for children should be postponed until the pandemic is over.
- All ministers should follow precautions recommended by health authorities when visiting people’s homes, aged care facilities, hospitals, prisons and detention centres.