Day 4

Novena to Mary Untier of Knots Day 4 – Wednesday 10th October 2018

Untying the Knots of intractable Immigration situations

Welcome and Introduction: Fr John

Hymn: God’s Spirit is in my Heart Hymn no 22 on white hymn sheets

Reminder of our Knots On the first three days of this Novena, we have been reflecting on potential knots in our lives: injustice, disappointment, grief, loss, hopelessness, betrayal, resentment, physical and mental suffering in all its forms, addiction, family disunity, relationship breakdown, confusion, separation, grief and loss, conflict and discord etc. Some of these knots are personal. Others are knots for which we, as members of the Church and as citizens, are collectively responsible.

Opening Prayer: Fr Peter

Merciful God, we pray for all whose desperation leads them to the sea to undertake perilous voyages, often following dangerous journeys over land: those escaping brutal wars, those fleeing religious persecution, those escaping climate disasters and economic ruin, those looking for hope in a hopeless situation. May we look beyond our own fears and concerns to the needs of those who have nothing, risk everything and depend on the kindness of strangers. May our hearts be opened, our leaders be challenged and our self-interest be called out in Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Reading from the Book of Leviticus (19:1,11-13, 33-34)

The Lord spoke to Moses. He said: ‘You must not steal or deal deceitfully or fraudulently with your neighbour. You must not swear falsely by my name, profaning the name of your God. I am the Lord. You must not exploit or rob your neighbour. You must not keep back the labourer’s wage until next morning. If a stranger lives in your land, do not molest him. You must count him as one of your own countrymen and love him as yourself – for you were once strangers yourselves in Egypt. I am the Lord your God’. The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God

Hymn: Were you there? – Hymn no 39 on separate white hymn sheets

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Matthew (25: 31-40)

Jesus said to them ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, escorted by all the angels, then he will take his seat on his throne of glory. All the nations will be assembled before him and he will separate men one from another as the shepherd

separates sheep from goats. He will place the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right hand, “Come you whom my father has blessed, take for your heritage the kingdom prepared for you since the foundation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me food; I was thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome; naked and you clothed me, sick and you visited me, in prison and you came to see me.” Then the virtuous will say to him in reply, “Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you; or thirsty and give you drink? When did we see you a stranger and make you welcome; naked and clothe you; sick or in prison and go to see you?” And the king will answer, “I tell you solemnly, in so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did it to me”. The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Homily

You are invited to ponder in silence how your individual decisions, inactivity or actions, your fears and prejudices, your ignorance or indifference, have led you to make rash, unfounded judgements and generalisations regarding the plight of refugees and asylum seekers – the strangers in our midst. Maybe we have allowed the prejudices of politicians and the media to form popular opinion and supress our individual sense of Christian compassion.

Litany of Lament for the Stranger

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

If a stranger lives with you in your land, do not molest him. You must count him as one of your own countrymen and love him as yourself – for you were once strangers yourselves in Egypt (Leviticus 19.34) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold…..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

Love the stranger, for you were strangers in the land of Egypt (Deuteronomy 10.19) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold…..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

I was hungry, and you gave me food; thirsty and you gave me drink; I was a stranger and you made me welcome (Matthew 25:35) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold……

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

In so far as you did this to one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine,

you did it to me (Matthew 25:40) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold….

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

You must love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your might, and your neighbour as yourself (Luke 10:27) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

The truth I have now come to realize is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him (Acts 10:34) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

If you love your fellow men, you have carried out your obligations (Romans 13:8) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

If any of the saints are in need then you must share with them; and you should make hospitality your special care (Romans 12:13) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

There is no room for distinction between Greek and Jew, between the circumcised and uncircumcised, or between barbarian and Scythian, slave and free man. There is only Christ: he is everything and he is in everything (Colossians 3:11) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

Continue to love each other like brothers, and remember always to welcome strangers, for by doing this, some people have entertained angels without knowing it (Hebrews 13:1) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

My brothers do not try to combine faith in Jesus Christ, our glorified Lord, with the making of distinctions between classes of people (James 2:1) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

My friend, you have done faithful work in looking after these brothers, even though they were complete strangers to you (3 John 1:5) Pause For the oppressed let the Lord be a stronghold …..

Response: A stronghold in times of distress

Hymn: City of God – Hymn no 40 on separate white hymn sheets

A single unknotted ribbon is now stretched out in front of the altar. One designated person from each of our parishes will come forward to knot separate ribbons around this one broad ribbon to represent our responsibility for personal and collective prejudices, ignorance, indifference and hard-heartedness towards immigrants and asylum seekers – the strangers in our midst. These ribbons will then be placed in Mary’s basket that she might present them to the Lord on our behalf.

Memorare:

Remember, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help or sought thy intercession, was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly unto thee, O Virgin of virgins my Mother; to thee do I come, before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful; O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy clemency hear and answer me. Amen.

Daily Novena Prayer to Mary, Untier of Knots – see words on white Novena Hymns sheet

Daily Novena Hymn: Hail Queen of Heav’n, the Ocean Star – see Hymn No.1 on separate white Hymn sheets

Thank you for coming to our Novena – Please feel free to take this service sheet away with you.

Please stay behind to greet Fr Peter. Light refreshments will be served.

Dear migrants and refugees! You have a special place in the heart of the Church, and you help her to enlarge her heart and to manifest her motherhood towards the entire human family. Do not lose your faith and hope! Let us think of the Holy Family during the flight in Egypt: Just as the maternal heart of the Blessed Virgin and the kind heart of Saint Joseph kept alive the confidence that God would never abandon them, so in you may the same hope in the Lord never be wanting. I entrust you to their protection and I cordially impart to all of you my Apostolic Blessing. (Pope Francis)

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