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Prayers of the Faithful – Palm Sunday

Introduction:

Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Holy Week, the climax of Jesus’ mission. Today we see him enter Jerusalem on a donkey, as the cheering crowd joyfully proclaims ‘Hosanna’, waving palm branches.

A year has passed since the sudden shock of closed churches for the liturgies of Holy Week. Mercifully they have reopened but celebrations will remain limited. Attendances will be smaller and ritual actions curtailed. No washing of the feet, no kissing of the cross.

Hearing the foundational story of our faith – life overcoming death – has rarely been more timely. The COVID pandemic has dramatically brought home our vulnerability and mortality as human beings.

This Paschal week summons us to fully embrace the paradoxical power and wisdom of the cross.

Prayers of the Faithful:

Celebrant:          Dear friends, remembering the passion and saving death of Jesus, let us pray with all our hearts for the whole human family.

Lector:                 For all peoples of the earth, that the cross of Christ will be an inspiring sign of divine love and human hope.

(Pause)                           We pray to the Lord.

Lector:                 For Christian believers around the world, that this week’s celebration of the paschal mysteries will bring their faith to new life.

(Pause……)   We pray to the Lord

Lector:                 For the elect who are about to receive the sacraments of initiation at the Easter Vigil; Christopher, Lisa, Nieve and Sharon, that they will be blessed with the joy of the gospel.

(Pause……)   We pray to the Lord

Lector:                 For all women, children and men subject to extreme poverty and injustice, that our support for Project Compassion will offer them the chance of a fully human life.

(Pause……)   We pray to the Lord

Lector:                 For our own faith community, that our shared Lenten journey will bear much fruit in works of mercy and compassion.

(Pause……)   We pray to the Lord

Celebrant:    We pray for the ancestors of the Wurundjeri people on whose land we stand on and for the recently deceased; Sr Jenny Tedesco who passed away recently and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time especially all those in our Mass Intentions today, that they will be raised on high to the joy of life everlasting.

(Pause……)   We pray to the Lord

Celebrant:          Faithful God, you raised your Son on the tree of the cross to draw all people to yourself. Keep us always on the path that leads to you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.

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The combined Parishes of St Peter’s and St James are hosting a Bible Study Ministry.  This year, the meetings will be held at St James at the Ray Centre.

Meetings will be held every 1st, 3rd & 5th Mondays of each month, 7pm-9pm. Next meeting this Mon 15 Mar on the Gospel of John. For more information contact Clive on 0490 814 452 or Francis on 0401 787 372.

 

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Bible Study – Mon 01 Mar

The combined Parishes of St Peter’s and St James are hosting a Bible Study Ministry.  This year, the meetings will be held at St James at the Ray Centre.

Meetings will be held every 1st, 3rd & 5th Mondays of each month, 7pm-9pm. Next meeting this Mon 01 Mar on the Gospel of John. For more information contact Clive on 0490 814 452 or Francis on 0401 787 372.

 

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The 2021 session of the Joint Parish’s of St James & St Peter’s initiative – Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI) School of Discipleship has commenced from Sunday 28 February.

The first 4 sessions are on a “Come and See” basis to ascertain whether the school is for you.

Our next session is on March 7 at 6:15 pm at St Peter’s Church Hall, Hoppers Crossing when we will be learning about “The Salvation Story”.  Enquiries please call Deacon Royden on 0426 071 375.

 

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To make this Lent a more meaningful time, consider taking part in any of the following available at our Parish:

The Way of the Cross: During Lent, time to reflect on the Stations of the Cross will be every Friday at 7:30pm in the Paulist Centre.

Parish Lenten Retreat:  Next session on Tues 02 Mar at 7pm-8pm led by Dcn Royden on Zaccheus’ encounter with Jesus.

Project Compassion: Project Compassion Box and/or envelopes are available to assist some of the world’s most vulnerable people build better futures for themselves, their families and their communities.

Paulist Missionary Sponsorship:  For $5 per month, you can help with the wellbeing and education of children in Pakistan, Peru, Cuba and the Philippines. Brochures available after Mass.

 

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The 2021 session of the Joint Parish’s of St James & St Peter’s initiative – Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI) School of Discipleship will commence from Sunday 28 February at 6:15 pm at St Peter’s Church Hall, Hoppers Crossing.

This is a faith outreach program aimed to teach members more about our Catholic faith with three purposes – to learn it, live it and share it.

The school has been successfully running for the last 5 consecutive years in Hoppers Crossing and members have testified to growing both spiritually and personally. All are welcome to join. There will be an information session on Thursday 25th February at 7:00pm on ZOOM.  Classes will be a mixture of onsite (St Peters Church Hall) and online (Zoom). Enquiries please call Deacon Royden on 0426 071 375.

 

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The 2021 session of the Joint Parish’s of St James & St Peter’s initiative – Holy Spirit Interactive (HSI) School of Discipleship will commence from Sunday 28 February at 6:15 pm at St Peter’s Church Hall, Hoppers Crossing.

This is a faith outreach program aimed to teach members more about our Catholic faith with three purposes – to learn it, live it and share it.

The school has been successfully running for the last 5 consecutive years in Hoppers Crossing and members have testified to growing both spiritually and personally. All are welcome to join. There will be an information session on Thursday 25th February at 7:00pm on ZOOM. Classes will be a mixture of onsite (St Peters Church Hall) and online (Zoom). Enquiries please call Deacon Royden on 0426 071 375.

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Bible Study

The combined Parishes of St Peter’s and St James are hosting a Bible Study Ministry.

This year, the meetings will be held at St James at the Ray Centre.

Meetings will be held every 1st, 3rd & 5th Mondays of each month, 7pm-9pm.

First meeting for the year will be this Mon 01 Feb and will start with the Gospel of John.

For more information contact Clive on 0490 814 452 or Francis on 0401 787 372.

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Exemple

Mary’s “Yes” to God

With the Gospel of the Annunciation to Mary, we arrive today at the events leading directly to the celebration of Jesus’ birth.

Following a greeting and word of reassurance, the angel Gabriel tells Mary that she is to be the mother of a child, whose title (‘Son of the Most High’) and future role indicate that he will be the long-awaited Messiah.

Mary, understandably, asks how this birth is to occur. She is married but, in accordance with the custom of the time where women married very young, is still living in her parental home and not yet having relations with her husband.

The angel’s majestic explanation lifts everything to a new level. The birth will not come about through relations with her husband but through her being “overshadowed” by the power of God’s Holy Spirit. The child to be born from her will be God’s ‘Son’ in a unique way. He will have a divine status far outstripping conventional expectation concerning the Messiah.

The explanation requires of Mary faith in the highest degree. Unlike Zechariah in connection with the birth of John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-19), she does not simply have to believe that God will overcome barrenness and old age. She has to believe that God’s power will take the place of the male parent entirely. Later, her cousin Elizabeth will say to her, “Blessed is she who believed the the promise made her by the Lord would be fulfilled” (1:45). Mary’s faith is the channel for God’s presence and power to enter the world in the mystery of the Incarnation.

Fr Brendan Byrne SJ

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St James The Apostle