Blessed are you, God our Father, for the gift of your word in Holy Scripture.
Blessed are you for its transforming power.
Help us choose life and guide us by your Spirit,
so that we can experience the happiness which you want so much to share with us. Amen.
(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021, 26)
♪ Dieu de paix, Dieu d’amour (God of Peace, God of Love)
Music and words: Community of Grandchamp
Responsive Psalm 62: 7 – 12
On God rests my deliverance and my honour; my mighty rock, my refuge is in God.
Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him;
God is a refuge for us.
Those of low estate are but a breath, those of high estate are a delusion;
in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath.
Put no confidence in extortion, and set no vain hopes on robbery;
if riches increase, do not set your heart on them.
Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God,
and steadfast love belongs to you, O Lord.
For you repay to all according to their work.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.
Scripture Reading: Matthew 5: 1 – 12
1He When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. 2 Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying:
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
5 “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.
6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.
7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they will receive mercy.
8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God.
9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.
10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
11 “Blessed are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
The Word of the Lord.
Thanks be to God.
The Word of God is very close to us. It is a blessing and a promise of happiness. If we open our hearts, God speaks to us and patiently transforms that which is dying in us. He removes that which prevents the growth of real life, just as the vine grower prunes the vine. Regularly meditating on a biblical text, alone or in a group, changes our outlook. Many Christians pray the Beatitudes every day. The Beatitudes reveal to us a happiness that is hidden in that which is unfulfilled, a happiness that lies beyond suffering: blessed are those who, touched by the Spirit, no longer hold back their tears but let them flow and thus receive consolation. As they discover the wellspring hidden within their inner landscape, the hunger for justice, and the thirst to engage with others for a world of peace, grows in them. We are constantly called to renew our commitment to life, through our thoughts and actions. There are times when we already taste, here and now, the blessing that will be fulfilled at the end of time.
(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021, 27)
Jesus Christ, we desire to welcome fully the brothers and sisters who are with us. You know how often we feel helpless in the face of their suffering, yet you are always there ahead of us and you have already received them in your compassion. Speak to them through our words, support them through our actions, and let your blessing rest on us all. Amen
(Week of Prayer for Christian Unity 2021, 28)
With the words that Jesus taught us, let us now pray together:
May the God of hope fill us with all joy and all peace in faith,
so that we may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
In the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.