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LENTEN SERVICE-28-3-2014

Welcome to our Communion Service this evening


(Apologies for Fr. Stoute (away on mission abroad)

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God and the communion of the
Holy Spirit be with you all.

INTRODUCTION AND CONFITEOR:
Todays Gospel reminds us of one of the greatest truths in the Bible, namely, that
there are really only two commandments. The first is to love God, and the second is
to love our neighbour. Let us call to mind our failure to live these commandments of
love. (PAUSE)
We are aware that God is merciful and kind. Let us in sorrow ask forgiveness from
God and from one another I CONFESS)

HOMILY:
In the Gospel one of the scribes asked Jesus: Which is the first commandment?
Jesus answered by stating the first and second commandments. Jesus not only gave
the scribe more than he asked for ,but also picked a most obscure commandment
buried in the many detailed commands of Leviticus (19:18) What was Jesus doing?

The first commandment seems to be something people (WE) say more than do. How
many times have we said we love the Lord? How many times have we gone to
receive Communion? Yet our repeated sins and lives of selfishness make it
questionable whether or not we truly love the Lord with all our hearts.
Many of us as Christian believers have deceived ourselves about our living out of the
first commandment. The second commandment, therefore, has a way of exposing
hypocrisy in us. If anyone says: I love God yet hates his brother or sister, he is a
liar. One who has no love for the brother whom he sees cannot love the God he has
not seen. (1 Jn 4:20).

Let us look at the end of todays Gospel where Jesus said to the scribe: You are not
far from the kingdom of God. Can he say the same to us? Janice, you are not far
from the kingdom of God. I am sure we all want to draw closer to God. What is the
greatest obstacle in our lives, yours and mine, to an increased closeness to God? Is it
certain people, certain possessions, certain pleasures? Is it a deep seated selfishness
that needs to be painfully uprooted?
It is so easy to say we love God, but to express that love by forgiving, serving and
suffering for very unlovable people seems impossible. When we try to love ourselves
and our neighbours, we discover how authentic our love for God is. The second
commandment is intended to keep us from playing religious games with the first
commandment. Jesus gave us the second commandment to keep us honest.

This is a story entitled The Fable of the Hedgehog
It was the coldest winter ever. Many animals died because of the cold.
The hedgehogs, realising the situation, decided to group together to keep warm. This
way they covered and protected themselves, but the quills of each one wounded their
closest companions.
After a while they decided to distance themselves one from the other and they began
to die, alone and frozen. So they had to make a choice - either accept the quills of
their companions or disappear from the earth.
Wisely they decided to go back to being together. They learned to live with the little
wounds caused by the close relationship with their companions in order to receive the
heat that came from the others. This way they were able to survive.

.
The moral of the story is : Learn to live with the pricks in your life. This is very hard
to do.
The best relationship is not the one that brings together perfect people, but when each
individual learns to live with the imperfections of others and can admire the other
persons good qualities

When we forget about ourselves, we can find God in other people, our family and
even in strangers who may need our help. As we reach out to others with Gods love
we will discover that God is reaching out to us through other people. Let us during
this Lent continue to follow the Lord into the desert and find out.


PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL

Let us pray to the Lord Jesus, who sanctified his people by his own blood
RESPONSE: LORD HAVE MERCY ON YOUR PEOPLE
1. Christ our redeemer, through your suffering help us to mortify our bodies and
stand firm in every trial. May we be ready to celebrate your rising from the
dead
2. As prophets of Gods kingdom, may we as Christians make you known
throughout the world and may we confirm our message by lives of faith, hope
and love., especially to those whom we find unlovable
3. Lord, give strength to those who are afflicted in any way , and give us the will
to do everything to help and comfort them
4. Teach your faithful to be united with your passion in times of trouble and
distress. Let the power of your salvation shine forth in their lives
5. Lord, giver of life, remember those who have died, grant them the glory of
your resurrection
6. Father, this Lent help me to remove hypocrisy from my life
7. Private
8. Hail Mary

LET US PRAY;
Merciful God, fill our hearts with your love. Give us the grace to rise above our
human weakness and keep us faithful in loving you and one another. We make this
prayer through Christ our Lord. Amen