It’s very easy at Mass to let the words of the opening prayer pass us by. Sometimes the language isn’t very accessible. Here is the opening pray for this Sunday, “O God, who cause the minds of the faithful to unite in a single purpose, grant your people to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that amid the uncertainties of this world, our hearts may be fixed on the place where true gladness is found.”
We pray this in the great uncertainties of this time of Covid -19. According to statistics, in the UK 43,000 people have died of this virus already. This pandemic has changed the way we live. We are trying to make choices that keep ourselves and others safe and protected. We are filled with anxiety about work and how we support our families. Our hope is that all those working to provide an effective vaccine will be successful.
So, in these trying times we are praying we don’t lose sight of what God wants of us and we must always remember the promises that God has made to us. In our prayer we are opening up of our hearts to listen to what God is asking of us. Lord, what is your will for me at this time? What are you asking of me as a priest? What are you asking of us as a parish and what is God saying to us as your Church?
This therefore is a time of discernment, individually and as a community. Can I suggest that you focus your prayer on asking: Lord what do you want of me? Help me to see your will for me and give me the courage to carry it out. Help me to understand what are you saying to me in these trying times?
In this Sunday’s prayer we ask that our hearts may be fixed on the place where true gladness is found. Where is this place where true gladness is found? This reminds me of the words of Jesus; “store up treasure for yourself in heaven, where neither moth nor woodworm destroys and thieves do not break in and steal. For where tour treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matt 6:20-20) Whoever we are we are working for the coming of God’s kingdom. We are pilgrims on a journey to our heavenly home and God has given us a task to do as we journey. As St John Henry Newman says “God has created me to do Him some definite service. He has committed some work to me which He has not committed to another. I have my mission.”