Sunday Prayer Service 

5th Sunday of Easter

May 15, 2022

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Opening Prayer

Almighty ever-living God,
constantly accomplish

the Paschal Mystery within us,
that those you were pleased

to make new in Holy Baptism
may, under your protective care,

bear much fruit
and come to the joys of life eternal.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ,

your Son,
who lives and reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever

Amen.

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Quotes

For last year’s words belong to last year’s language and next year’s words await another voice.
—T. S. Eliot

The idea of redemption is always good news, even if it means sacrifice or some difficult times.
—Patti Smith

Accordingly, two cities have been formed by two loves: the earthly by the love of self, even to the contempt of God; the heavenly by the love of God.
—Saint Augustine

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Scripture Readings

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First Reading

1st Reading
00:00 / 01:22

Second Reading

2nd Reading
00:00 / 01:13

Gospel Reading

Gospel
00:00 / 00:34
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Homily

The beautiful city comes here, as John tells us. It comes when we join our will to the holy will of God. We have the authority to do that, of course. We are made in the image of God, and we share the power of the Creator in the task of shaping our world. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed at the idea of trying to remake a world gone wrong after too many centuries of sin. That’s not the task. The goal of my life is to ally my will to God’s, and the goal of your life is to do the same.

Each of us does this when we obey the new commandment to love one another. I claim my citizenship in the beautiful city when I come in love and act from love. And if you do it, and she does, and he does, pretty soon we can see that holy city for ourselves, adorned like a bride in the first flush of love.

To live according to the love commandment, naturally, means sacrifice. We have to let God make all things new—starting with ourselves. New things are nice—houses, cars, clothes—but gaining a new heart can hurt. Paul and Barnabas watched as God opened a new door of faith to people who had been despised by their community for generations. It’s hard to give up old and venerable prejudices. They seem noble and true, when in reality they are simply antique.

When we hold the three separate stories together, we realize we stand at a crossroads between past, present, and the future into which we are perpetually invited. Jesus gives us a new and challenging commandment that leads us to full citizenship in the beautiful city of God’s original and eternal intention. To get there, we have to become something new. A new door of faith opens here.

Closing Prayer

May the strength of God sustain us;

May the power of God preserve us;

May the hands of God protect us;

May the way of God direct us;

May the love of God go with us

this day and forever.

Amen.

What's in Your Heart?

Difficult as it is to admit, there is a bit of a “Judas” in each one of us. At one time or another, we all probably have faced the unpleasant realization that we have betrayed someone or something we held dear.

  • Can you think of a time in your own life when you had such a realization? How did you cope with the situation?

  • What have you learned that you can pass on to others?

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The Lord's Prayer

Our Father who art in Heaven,

Hallowed be thy name;

Thy kingdom come

Thy will be done

On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread;

And forgive us our trespasses

As we forgive those who trespass against us;

And lead us not into temptation

But deliver us from evil

Amen

 

Petitions

A new heaven and a new Earth have been revealed and God’s dwelling is with the human race. In the glory of God’s presence we offer our prayers.

  • May the church persevere in faith and enter into the kingdom of God, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.

  • May the world recognize that God is in its midst, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.

  • May God bring comfort to all who sorrow or are in pain, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.

  • May this faith community show we are Christ’s disciples by the love we have for others, we pray, Lord, hear our prayer.

With thankful hearts we praise forever our God in whose name we pray.

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