Wednesday 20th January: St Sebastian

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

Today the church remembers St Sebastian:

Prayer Said by Atheletes of Whom St Sebastian is Patron

Athlete’s Prayer:
Father, thank you for the abilities you give me to play my sport.
Jesus, be with me as I play that I might do my best.
Holy Spirit, inspire me as I compete.
May I always play fairly and with repsect of my opponents.
Whatever the outcome of this game, bless me, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.

Saint Sebastian, Patron Saint of Athletes, Pray for us.

Thursday 7th January: Wise Men Still Seek Him

The theme of this school week is: Epiphany.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Wise Men Still Seek Him_1

Scripture

Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, behold, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, saying, 2 “Where is he who has been born king of the Jews? For we have seen his star in the East, and have come to worship him.” -Matthew 2:1-2

Reflection

With the Feast of Epiphany upon us, our attention stays on Jesus, but shifts to that of how the Magi (or ‘wise men’) worshipped the Baby King of Kings. The Bible (Matthew 2:11) does not say there were three wise men, it only list three gifts.

The gifts they presented to the Christ Child are of significance for several reasons:

  • Gold for the royalty of Jesus
  • Frankincense for the divinity of Jesus
  • Myrrh for the humanity (passion and death) of Jesus

Medieval legends state that their bones were put in the cathedral of Cologne, Germany,  the ‘City of the Three Kings,’ brought there in 1164.

Originally they were considered and depicted as astrologers but in about the Middle Ages, or so, the interpretation began to take on more of ‘kings.’ Some traditions hold that St. Thomas the Apostle visited them later on in life, catechized and initiated them fully into the Christian faith and that they later were ordained priests and bishops.

Prayer

Lord, give us the wisdom to also seek you in faith, just as the Magi did, with all our hearts. May our hearts be our gift to you, knowing that our hearts are the only gift you want from us.

Amen.

Tuesday 5th January: A New Year

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

all-new

Scripture

“Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” – Revelation 21

Reflection

I am the new year. I am an unspoiled page in your book of time.

I am your next chance at the art of living. I am your opportunity to practice what you have learned about life during the last twelve months.

All that you sought and didn’t find is hidden in me, waiting for you to search it but with more determination.

All the good that you tried for and didn’t achieve is mine to grant when you have fewer conflicting desires.

All that you dreamed but didn’t dare to do, all that you hoped but did not will, all the faith that you claimed but did not have—these slumber lightly, waiting to be awakened by the touch of a strong purpose.

I am your opportunity to renew your allegiance to Him who said, “Behold, I make all things new.”

Prayer

Lord as we begin this new year, help us to recommit to You and Your ways, knowing that You are there at our sides to help us, and love us at all times.

Amen.

Friday 18th December: Something Different!

The theme of this school week is: Christmas.

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Scripture

“See, the virgin will be with child, and will give birth to a son, and they will give him the name Immanuel, that is, God with us.” -Matthew 1:23

Prayer

Lord, may we remember this Christmas that you are truly with us. That you came into our world to save us and restore us to live as the children of God you made each of us to be. Bless our families and friends with your peace and love and keep us safe over the Christmas break. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A Christmas Gift

By way of a Christmas present  to everyone for this final ‘Thought of the Day’ this year, your Chaplain offers you something of his own creating: O Rock All Ye Faithful!

Happy Christmas St Joseph’s!

 

 

 

Wednesday 25th November: ‘Our Father’ Banned from Cinemas

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

The advertising company for the major cinema chains in the UK has banned an advert which show people praying the Our Father (also known as The Lord’s Prayer after Jesus, the author of the prayer). The company stated: “Some advertisements – unintentionally or otherwise – could cause offence to those of differing political persuasions, as well as to those of differing faiths and indeed of no faith,”

Asked for a response to the ban, Downing Street spokesman told a media briefing that Mr Cameron “thinks it is ridiculous”.

As a Christian school which regularly prays the Our Father, what do you think?

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.

 

 

Thursday 12th November: Remembering the Saints- St Josaphat

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

Today the Catholic Church remembers and honours St Josaphat, know as the Saint of Unity because he gave his life in his promotion of unity between the Catholic and Orthodox churches.

Prayer

Lord,
fill your Church with the Spirit
that gave Saint Josaphat courage
to lay down his life for his people.
By his prayers
may your Spirit make us strong
and willing to offer our lives
for our brothers and sisters.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
Amen.

Tuesday 10th November: Remembering the Saints- Pope St Leo the Great

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

Today the Catholic Church remembers and celebrates Pope St Leo the Great, one of the few Saints to have ‘Great’ added after their name.

Prayer by St Leo the Great

Grant to us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but rather to love heavenly things, that while all things around us pass away, we even now may hold fast those things which last forever.

We make this prayer in Jesus’ name.

Amen.

Thursday 5th November: Role Models

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Male-Female-Role-Models

Reflection

The Saints are people who have allowed God to have his own way with them, who have allowed God to influence and transform their lives. They are examples of what it means to follow Jesus. They are role models for anyone who wants to follow Jesus. We are all in the same family. We are all called to be disciples of Jesus, and to do what God wants us to do. The Saints were and are real people.

Some of the saints have become famous: not for the sake of being famous, like some people these days who seek fame. They have become famous because they have tried to live as God wants them to live. But there are lots of other saints too whose names have been lost, or people whose lives are unknown to others. When St Terese of Lisieux died her sister nuns said, ’What can we find to say about Terese?’ And then they found her diaries which revealed some of the amazing things she thought and did, her amazing faith and life she led. We may not be or become famous but we are all called to follow Jesus, like all the saints who have gone before us. They are our brothers and sisters in the Faith. And we thank God for them: whether they are famous or not!

Prayer

Lord Jesus, you invite everyone to follow you. Thank you for all the saints who have shown us how to live as you want us to live.

Amen.

Wednesday 4th November: St Charles Borromeo

The Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

Today is the feast day of St Charles Borromeo. As the theme of this week is All Saints, let’s hear and reflect about an actual saint which the church remembers on this day.

“If a tiny spark of God’s love already burns within you, do not expose it to the wind, for it may get blown out… Stay quiet with God. Do not spend your time in useless chatter… Do not give yourself to others so completely that you have nothing left for yourself.” – St. Charles Borromeo

Prayer by St Charles Borromeo

Almighty God, you have generously made known to human beings the mysteries of your life through Jesus Christ your Son in the Holy Spirit.

Enlighten my mind to know these mysteries which your Church treasures and teaches.

Move my heart to love them and my will to live in accord with them.

Give me the ability to teach this Faith to others without pride, without ostentation, and without personal gain.

Let me realize that I am simply your instrument for bringing others to the knowledge of the wonderful things you have done for all your creatures.

Help me to be faithful to this task that you have entrusted to me.

Amen.

Thursday 22nd October: Feast Day of Pope St John Paul II

Sign of the Cross

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Reflection

Today the church remembers Pope John Paul II, who died and became a Saint within our lifetimes. He loved young people and established the biggest youth festival in the world, ‘World Youth Day’. It holds the record for the biggest gathering of humanity in the world ever.

He began his time as pope by saying:

‘Open wide the doors to Christ, and be not afraid of him!’

Prayer

Written by Pope St John Paul II for Peace in the World

To the Creator of nature and man, of truth and beauty, I pray:

Hear my voice, for it is the voice of the victims of all wars and violence among individuals and nations.

Hear my voice, for it is the voice of all children who suffer and will suffer when people put their faith in weapons and war.

Hear my voice when I beg You to instill into the hearts of all human beings the wisdom of peace, the strength of justice, and the joy of fellowship.

Hear my voice, for I speak for the multitudes in every country and in every period of history who do not want war and are ready to walk the road of peace.

Hear my voice and grant insight and strength so that we may always respond to hatred with love, to injustice with total dedication to justice, to need with the sharing of self, to war with peace.

O God, hear my voice and grant unto the world Your everlasting peace.

Amen.

Theme of the Week: Justice

Monday 12th October: What is Justice?

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Definition of the word justice: “the quality of being fair and reasonable”

Justice is a term used for what is right or “as it should be.” Justice and righteousness are often used synonymously in the Bible.

Scripture Reading:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” – Matthew 5:6

Since righteousness is the quality or character of being right or just, it is another attribute of God and incorporates both His justice and holiness.

In our world, justice and the common good are built up or torn down day by day in the countless decisions and choices we make. To pursue justice is not simply an individual task, justice cannot be carried forward alone, but only as members of a community called to be the “leaven” of the Gospel.

Prayer:

Let us pray:

Father, you have given all peoples one common origin.

It is your will that they be gathered together

as one family in yourself.

Fill the hearts of mankind with the fire of your love

and with the desire to ensure justice for all.

By sharing the good things you give us,

may we secure an equality for all

our brothers and sisters throughout the world.

May there be an end to division, strife and war.

May there be a dawning of a truly human society

built on love and peace.

We ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord.

Amen.

 

Tuesday 13th October: Happiness is the Key

Justice is a hard word because we tend to associate it with a strict balance. It would be better to see it as that which enables us to be happy with God and our fellow men. Happiness is the key, and in this reading from St. Paul‟s letter to the Christians at Philippi, we hear Paul‟s recipe for justice and peace – tolerance, lack of worry, gratefulness and truth. It is a recipe worth thinking about.

Scripture Reading:

“Celebrate God all day, every day. I mean, revel in him! Make it as clear as you can to all you meet that you’re on their side, working with them and not against them. Help them see that the Master is about to arrive. He could show up any minute!

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the centre of your life.

Summing it all up, friends, I’d say you’ll do best by filling your minds and meditating on things true, noble, reputable, authentic, compelling, gracious—the best, not the worst; the beautiful, not the ugly; things to praise, not things to curse. Put into practice what you learned from me, what you heard and saw and realised. Do that, and God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.”

Prayer

Let us pray:

Lord God, our Father,
it is your will that justice and peace should embrace.
We pray that we may discover
the thirst for justice
that brings peace in its wake.
We make this prayer
with the Man of Justice and Peace, Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Amen.

 

Wednesday 14th October: Imitating God’s Justice

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Scripture Reading:

Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute.
Rescue the weak and the needy; deliver them from the hand of the wicked.

-Psalm 82

Reflection: 

Notice that God is especially concerned that those who are powerless in society receive justice. These are the ones who are most easily forgotten or abused. Yet God instructs us to pay special attention to them. This reflects his own compassion and love for the poor, the orphan, and the foreigner (for example, Deut. 10:17-18; Ps. 146:7-9). When we seek justice for those who are weak and marginalized, we not only obey God, but also imitate God.

All of us must live out in our daily lives the basic instructions of Psalm 82. In our work and our volunteering, in our giving and our voting, in our decision-making and our relationships, we must “give justice to the poor and the orphan” and “uphold the rights of the oppressed and destitute.”

Prayer:

Dear Lord, how easy it is for me to forget the imperatives of Psalm 82. It’s not that I am intentionally mistreating the poor and the oppressed. But I can forget about those who are weak, thus neglecting your call to justice. Forgive me, Lord, for my narrowness of vision and hard-heartedness.

Help me, Lord, to know how I am supposed to put Psalm 82 into practice. Show me where, in my daily life, I have the opportunity—indeed, the calling—to do justice. Give me open eyes and a tender heart for those who are weak and powerless.

Today, I also want to pray for my leaders in all levels of government. Give them wisdom, Lord, to know how best to seek justice for those who need it most. Help them look beyond partisan advantage and personal advancement in order to do what’s right.

All praise and glory be to you, God of justice and mercy! Amen.

Thursday 15th October: Four Reasons Why Justice Matters to God

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Reflection: 4 Reasons Why Justice Matters to God

1. We’re all equal before God

Humans are made in God’s image and stand equally before God in our great variety . To God, no one is greater or lesser.

2. God is a God of justice

In the Bible, God is always acting in history to set relationships right, defend the poor, the weak and the oppressed. In fact, God is the very manifestation of justice and mercy.

3. Justice is ‘structural’ love

Justice is fairness embedded in the structures of society, such as our school. Biblical justice goes further than strict justice, and is saturated with God’s grace, mercy and forgiveness. It is structural love.

4. No peace without justice

The Good News is all about reconciliation, the setting right of all relationships. But there is no peace without justice, as is clear in international relations.

In the cloth of the gospel, God’s justice and forgiveness are seamlessly interwoven.

Let us pray:

Almighty God, you have given all peoples one common origin, and your will is to gather them as one family in yourself. Fill the hearts of all with the fire of your love and the desire to ensure justice for all our sisters and brothers. By sharing the good things you give us, may we secure justice and equality for every human being, and a human society built on love and peace, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

Friday 16th October: Am I A Just Person?

Sign of the Cross: 

In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Scripture Reading:

“You do well when you complete the Royal Rule of the Scriptures: “Love others as you love yourself.”

Talk and act like a person expecting to be judged by the Rule that sets us free. For if you refuse to act kindly, you can hardly expect to be treated kindly. Kind mercy wins over harsh judgment every time.

Dear friends, do you think you’ll get anywhere in this if you learn all the right words but never do anything? Does merely talking about faith indicate that a person really has it?

For instance, you come upon an old friend dressed in rags and half-starved and say, “Good morning, friend! Be clothed in Christ! Be filled with the Holy Spirit!” and walk off without providing so much as a coat or a cup of soup—where does that get you?”

Reflection: Am I A Just Person?

Being Self Centred: For a minute have a think about the ways you focus only on yourself, on your needs and desires, throughout the day/month/year.

Being Christ-Centred: Now think about all the ways you focus on the needs of others, how you gave yourself to others, throughout the day/ month/year.

Let us pray:

Grant us, Lord God, a vision of your world as your love would have it:

a world where the weak are protected, and none go hungry or poor;

a world where the riches of creation are shared, and everyone can enjoy them;

a world where different races and cultures live in harmony and mutual respect;

a world where peace is built with justice, and justice is guided by love.

Give us the inspiration and courage to build it, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.