REFLECTIONS and NOTICES. Extracts from July THOUGHTS FOR THE DAY

BLESSING AND PRAYER FOR GRANDPARENTS (at a special Mass or service)

Grandparents’ prayer
Heavenly Father, I give you praise and thanks for the great gift of life you have given to me. With wonder and awe I acknowledge that through my life you granted life to my children and they in turn became the parents of my grandchildren.
The world in which they live is different from my world and sometimes we do not understand each other. We need your gifts of acceptance and forgiveness so that we can be at peace. We need your gifts of love and joy so that together we may live your plan for our family and all the families of the world. We ask you to grant us these gifts in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Grandchildren’s prayer:
Lord, today we bring to you in prayer our grandparents. They may be here with us now, or may already have died and are now at peace. As parents, they gave life and cared for our own parents. We thank you for them and for that gift. We thank you too for the memories they created and that they have shared with us. They were born into a world different to ours. As times have changed they may have struggled to keep up and sometimes lost touch. Forgive us for the times we have been impatient with them and help us to be generous with our love and care for them in their old age. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Blessing: We pray for God’s blessing on the grandparents of our families and community.
Bless with eternal rest those grandparents who have died.
Bless all grandparents with peace and contentment and an acceptance that their lives were well spent in your service.
We ask St Joachim and St Anne, the grandparents of Jesus, to pray with us.
We bless all grandparents in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

father mother son and daughter in seder celebrating passover

With a name like Abrahams the family had been Jewish for generations but like many they had converted to Christianity somewhere along the way.   At the same time the Jewish feasts, especially the Passover, was precious to them, especially the elderly who appreciated how it had become part of Christian tradition too.  Their three generations regularly joined their Jewish friends and their family to share the Passover meal.

The sons of Israel went out from Egypt.  This was a night of watching by the Lord, so this same night is a night of watching kept to the Lord by all the sons of Israel throughout their generations. Exodus 12:37-42.    Pope Francis:  The Second Vatican Council stated that lay spirituality will take its particular character from the circumstances of married and family life.  AL313.  The Lord’s presence dwells in real and concrete families, with all their daily troubles and struggles, joys and hopes.   AL315

July 21st.  Sunday 16C.  Fr Joseph reminded the congregation that there would be a special Mass, blessing and gathering of all the elderly on Sunday 28th after Mass, just after the feast of Sts  Joachim and Ann.  All grandparents are invited and will receive a blessing. Grandchildren will offer special prayers of thanksgiving too.  We will discuss the role of grandparents and of all the elderly. “After all you can’t really choose to be a grandparent. It’s what your children do to you!” he laughed.  “But seriously, we appreciate how much work is done by the elderly women and the sodalities and we thank you.  Those are the Marthas in the parish.  But what about the Marys as we hear in the gospel?  Is sitting at the feet of Jesus, listening to him and absorbing his message more important?  I leave you to think about that for yourselves.  Tell me later what you think.“

Read Luke 10:38-44. “Martha you are anxious and troubled about many things. One thing is needed. Mary has chosen the good portion.”  Pope Francis:  Our elderly are men and women, fathers and mothers who came before us on our own road, in our own house and our daily battle for a worthy life. I would like a church that challenges the throw-away culture by the overflowing joy of a new embrace between young and old. AL192

July 22nd.  St Mary Magdalene.  Natalie shared,My granddaughter chose Mary Magdalen for her confirmation patron.  I thought it seemed a bit odd, so I asked her why.   You know what she said?  ‘There are so many people out there, good and bad ones.  Mary Magdalen may have been a prostitute.   We don’t know why but she more than anyone else was open to being converted and hearing Jesus’ message. She became one of his closest friends.  I always want to be open to hearing Jesus, no matter what happens to me in future,’ she said.”

O God you are my God, at dawn I seek you, for you my soul is thirsting. For you my flesh is pining, like a dry weary land without water.  Responsorial psalm 63.   Pope Francis:  Mercy will always be greater than any sin and no one can place limits on the love of God.  FM3

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