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  Give Me Words To Speak by Aaron Shust.

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2   Give Me Words To Speak by Aaron Shust

3 Leader: Let us pray... Loving God, We need constant healing and reminders that we are really loved. Love is the source of healing. Let us become aware of how much we need to grow in our ability to love others, just as we need to be loved. All: Love heals, but it is not merely a warm feeling inside. It is the fire that Jesus wished was already enkindled. It bonds and it distinguishes. It is the essence of a caring and believing community. Help me to discover that I am important, that kindness is possible, that I can trust and be trusted, and that God loves me immensely. Help me to share my gentle tenderness to bring others the ‘smile of God.’ For our failures to share the ‘smile of God’, we say: Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

4 Leader: We rejoice in having been chosen to be the bearers of your light, your word, your love, and your life. We rely on you to guide us on our journey. Send us your Holy Spirit, the spirit of wisdom, understanding, and fortitude to light our way. Send us your compassion and forgiveness, so that as one community we can unleash your power among us. All: Amen.

5 † After they had set a day to meet with him, they came to him at his lodgings in great numbers. From morning until evening he explained the matter to them, testifying to the kingdom of God and trying to convince them about Jesus both from the law of Moses and from the prophets. † Some were convinced by what he had said, while others refused to believe.

6 † So they disagreed with each other; and as they were leaving, Paul made one further statement: “The Holy Spirit was right in saying to your ancestors through the prophet Isaiah, † ‘Go to this people and say, You will indeed listen, but never understand, and you will indeed look, but never perceive.

7 † For this people’s heart has grown dull, and their ears are hard of hearing, and they have shut their eyes; so that they might not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and understand with their heart and turn – and I would heal them.’ † Let it be known to you then that this salvation of God has been sent to the Gentiles; they will listen.”

8 † He lived there two whole years at his own expense and welcomed all who came to him, proclaiming the kingdom of God and teaching about the Lord Jesus Christ with all boldness and without hindrance. † This is the Good News of our Lord Jesus Christ... † All: Thanks be to God

9 Leader: † Take your journal; write today’s date and the heading: Be the Good News. † Choose a word or phrase that strikes you in the reading from Scripture. † Write it down in your journal. † Reflect, for a moment, on why you chose that word/phrase. † Compose a short intention that is inspired by the reading in light of our opening reflection. † As the sharing cross is passed around the room, call out your word or phrase. † If you so wish, share your intention and end: For this we pray to the Lord Response is: Lord, hear our prayer

10 Leader: As Jesus gave His disciples bread that He blessed, broke, shared and sent forth; so too, do we celebrate with one another today. Antidoron [an-dee–tho-ron] is a Greek term that means “instead of the Gifts.” In both the Orthodox and the Byzantine Catholic traditions, someone who does not receive Communion during the Liturgy receives antidoron at the end of the Liturgy, that is, blessed bread that substitutes for the Gifts. Since it is blessed, the antidoron is to be treated with due reverence and should be consumed immediately. Today, we borrow from the tradition of our Byzantine brothers and sisters and will share blessed bread.

11 Leader: Our help is in the name of the Lord. All: Who has made heaven and earth. Leader: The Lord be with you. All: And also with you. Leader: Let us pray... Holy Lord, almighty and eternal God, bless this bread with Your Holy spiritual blessing. May it be, to all that eat of it, health of both mind and body. May it be a guard against all illnesses and all snares of the enemy, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Your Son, the Living Bread that comes down from heaven to give life and salvation to the world, and who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. All: Amen. The blessed bread is broken, shared and consumed.

12 Leader: Let us pray in thanksgiving and for the gift of hope in the Good News. All: Loving God, I hope that I will always be for each person what he or she needs me to be. I hope that each person’s death will diminish me, but fear of my own death will never diminish my joy for life. I hope that my love will extend to those I like and to those I do not like. I hope that my love for another will not have any strings attached. I hope that I will be able to forgive myself as I forgive and ask for forgiveness from others. I hope that I will always recognize my limits as a reminder of what You require of me: to act justly, to love mercy, to walk humbly with You to bring the Good News to all. I make this prayer in the name of Jesus who is the source of all our hopes and the nourishment for our fragile spirits. Amen.

13 Leader: Go in peace to love and serve the Lord as we love and serve one another All: Thanks be to God Leader: Let us offer each other a sign of peace...

14 † Encounter Liturgies, courtesy Vancouver College † Give me words to speak by Aaron Shuster: † The Holy Bible. New Revised Standard Version: Catholic Edition. Nashville, Tennessee: Catholic Bible Press, a division of Thomas Nelson Inc., 1993. Appendages: † STA Religion 12 Teacher generated handout 1 unit 1 † STA Religion 12 Teacher generated lesson plan † Liturgy procedure and explanation, Linda Graham, July 2010

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