Day 5

Novena to Mary, Untier of Knots

Day 5 – Thursday 11th October, Untying the Knots of Poverty and Injustice

Welcome and Introduction by Fr John

Opening Hymn: City of God see Hymn No.40 on separate white Hymn sheets

Reminder of our Knots

On each day of the novena, so far 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 difficulties and 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.The structural injustice of a world in which we, a rich minority, consume the majority of the world’s resources is something we all benefit from. Although one individual cannot change the system can we do more to make the voices of the voiceless heard in the corridors of power?

Examination of Conscience: Sister Sheila

You asked for my hands that you might use them for your purpose.

I gave them for a moment, then withdrew them, for the work was hard.

You asked for my mouth to speak out against injustice;

I gave you a whisper that I might not be accused.

You asked for my eyes to see the pain of poverty;

I closed them, for I did not want to see.

You asked for my life that you might work through me.

I gave a small part, that I might not get ‘too involved’.

Creator God, forgive me for my calculated efforts to serve you

only when it is convenient for me to do so,

only in those places where it is safe to do so and

only with those who make it easy to do so.

God, forgive me, renew me, send me out as a usable instrument that I might take seriously the meaning of your cross.

A prayer from Africa — Joe Seremane, South Africa

A Reading from the first Book of Samuel

Hannah prayed and said,

“My heart exults in the Lord; my strength is exalted in my God. The Lord makes poor and makes rich; he brings low, he also exalts. He raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap, to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honour. For the pillars of the earth are the Lord’s, and on them he has set the world.” The Word of the Lord

Thanks be to God.

A Reading from the Acts of the Apostles (2:44-47)

All who believed were together and had all things in common; they would sell their possessions and goods and distribute the proceeds to all, as any had need. Day by day, as they spent much time together in the temple, they broke bread at home and ate their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having the goodwill of all the people. And day by day the Lord added to their number those who were being saved. The Word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

Hymn: The Lord hears the cry of the poor see Hymn No.23 on separate white Hymn sheets

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke (1:46-56)

Mary said: “My soul proclaims the greatness of the Lord; my spirit rejoices in God my savior. for he has looked upon his lowly servant. From this day all generations will call me blessed: the Almighty has done great things for me, and holy is his Name. He has mercy on those who fear him in every generation. He has shown the strength of his arm, and has scattered the proud in their conceit. He has cast down the mighty from their thrones and has lifted up the lowly. He has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has come to the help of his servant Israel for he remembered his promise of mercy, the promise he made to our fathers, to Abraham and his children for ever.” Mary remained with Elizabeth about three months and then returned to her home.

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you Lord Jesus Christ

Homily: Sister Sheila


1. Mary, in your magnificat, you called for a change in our world order. We ask you to be with our world leaders; that they may use the power they have in the service of the poor; to protect human dignity and work for the common good. Pause

2. Mary, mother of the Church, be with our church leaders, so that they may con-stantly remind us to keep a place for your son Jesus in our lives, reminding us to care for one another and be loving custodians of creation.


3. We pray to Mary for all those in our world suffering from racism, sexism and religious discrimination. For individuals who are silenced for expressing their beliefs and people who feel marginalized within society. Through the intercession of Mary, we pray that they will remain positive despite physical and psychological strife. May we be forgiven if we consciously or unconsciously share in the conditions or in a system that perpetuates inequality. Pause

4. Mary our Mother help us to make concrete resolutions to take small steps towards turning away from our contributions to inequality, injustice and poverty in order to make a lasting peace in our world. Pause

You are invited to ponder on how your individual decisions, actions or inactivity may contribute to the collective knots of injustice and poverty in today’s world.

Period of silence

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 in order to represent our collective responsibility for institutional and global injustice and poverty. The knotted ribbons will then be placed in Mary’s basket.

Hymn: A new commandment I give unto you see Hymn No.24 on separate white Hymn sheets

We pray with Mary Untier of Knots, who brings our needs to the attention of her Son as we say together the 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.

Concluding Prayer: Sister Sheila

O God, you promise a world

Where those who now weep shall laugh;

Those who are hungry shall feast;

Those who are poor now, and excluded,

Shall have your kingdom for their own.

I want this world too.

I renounce despair.

I will act for change.

I choose to be included in your great feast of life.


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 Sister Sheila. Light refreshments will be served.

‘Poverty is not brought on by itself, but is caused by selfishness, pride, greed and in-justice.These are evils as old as man himself, but also sins in which the innocents are caught up, leading to consequences on the social level which are dramatic. God’s liberating action is an act of salvation towards those who manifest their sad-ness and distress to Him. Each individual Christian and every community is called to be an instrument of God for the liberation and promotion of the poor, and for ena-bling them to be fully a part of society.’ Pope Francis

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