Sunday, 7 April 2019

Praying through Lent with
USPG (33): 7 April 2019

‘Jesus is Condemned to Death’ … Station I in the Stations of the Cross in the Chapel of Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, Co Kildare (Photograph: Patrick Comerford, 2019)

Patrick Comerford

Today is the Fifth Sunday in Lent [7 April 2019], known in the past as Passion Sunday. Later this morning, I am presiding and preaching at the Parish Eucharist in Saint Mary’s Church, Askeaton (9.30 a.m.) and Morning Prayer in Castletown Church, Co Limerick (11.30 a.m.).

During Lent this year, I am using the USPG Prayer Diary, Pray with the World Church, for my morning prayers and reflections.

USPG (United Society Partners in the Gospel) is the Anglican mission agency that partners churches and communities worldwide in God’s mission to enliven faith, strengthen relationships, unlock potential, and champion justice. It was founded in 1701.

This week [7-13 April], the USPG prayer diary focusses on the theme of ‘Hope.’ This theme is introduced this morning with an article based upon a report from the ‘Let My People Go’ programme, which is run by the Church of North India Synodical Board of Social Services (CNISBSS) to support marginalised Dalit and tribal people:

Tagori’s story: For a long time, Tagori and her husband Sumit struggled to make ends meet and look after their ten-year-old son. With no land of their own, Sumit struggled to find work as a day labourer, so some days there would be no income. They couldn’t afford decent food and clothing – and there seemed little prospect of being able to support their son’s education.

Unable to borrow from relatives or neighbours, Tagori met Nayami Pramanik, a Community Enabler with the Diocesan Board of Social Services (DBSS) for Barrackpore Diocese, who guided and encouraged her.

Tagori joined a DBSS self-help group and with their help, Tagori took out a small loan to start a fishing business.

Tagori hired a pond, some fish, fishing nets and fish food. Six months later Tagori was able to harvest fish and sell them at market. She repaid her loan and bought a bicycle and a television set for her family. Tagori’s fishing business is doing well. She told us: ‘I am now more confident and have decided to hire more ponds locally to continue growing my business.’

Sunday 7 April: The Fifth Sunday of Lent:

Marginalised God, despised and rejected by men,
you know the cries of the poor and the hurt of the weak.
In your mercy, save us from pity.
Rather, galvanise us to action that we may walk in
solidarity with those for whom we pray.

Readings: Isaiah 43: 16-21; Psalm 126; Philippians 3: 4b-14; John 12: 1-8.

The Collect:

Most merciful God,
who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ
delivered and saved the world:
Grant that by faith in him who suffered on the cross,
we may triumph in the power of his victory;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Lenten Collect:

Almighty and everlasting God,
you hate nothing that you have made
and forgive the sins of all those who are penitent:
Create and make in us new and contrite hearts
that we, worthily lamenting our sins
and acknowledging our wretchedness,
may receive from you, the God of all mercy,
perfect remission and forgiveness;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

The Post-Communion Prayer:

God of hope,
in this Eucharist we have tasted
the promise of your heavenly banquet
and the richness of eternal life.
May we who bear witness to the death of your Son,
also proclaim the glory of his resurrection,
for he is Lord for ever and ever.

Yesterday’s reflection

Continued tomorrow

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