Tuesday, 20 January 2015

25/1/15 Repent, and believe the Good News!

3rd Sunday in Ordinary Time (Year B)

Hello again from a little liturgy!  This week I have tried to focus on forgiveness of sins and the sacrificial nature of the Eucharist.  I find this very difficult to explain or indeed to understand.  In Activity A, I have tried to show that coming to Mass gives us the opportunity to repent as Paul and Jesus tell us to do in the readings.  However, beyond saying sorry, we are actually joining in with the sacrifice for forgiveness of sins.  I hope Activity B goes some way to help understanding of this.  

Summary of the Liturgy of the Word

First Reading
Jonah 3:1-5,10
God asked Jonah to go to Nineveh and preach.  Jonah went and told the people that Nineveh would be destroyed in forty days.  The inhabitants believed in God and repented of their bad ways.  God saw their efforts and did not destroy their city.

Ps 24:4-9. R.v.4
Lord, make me know your ways.

Second Reading
Corinthians 7:29-31
St Paul tells the Corinthians that their time on earth is growing short.  Therefore they should not be caught up in possessions and things of this world.

After John was arrested, Jesus proclaimed the Good News in Galilee.  There he met Simon and Andrew who were fishermen.  He told them that he could make them into "fishers of men" and they left their nets and followed him.  He also met James and John and they left their fishing boat and went with him.


The readings this week continue the themes established last week.  Jonah and the disciples are called to preach the word of God.  There is also a strong theme of repentance and the mercy of God.  The people of Nineveh demonstrated their sorrow by fasting and wearing sackcloth; their city was saved.      Paul tells the Corinthians to leave their bad habits behind and Jesus himself calls people to repentance:  "Repent, and believe the Good News."  Both St Paul's and Jesus' words can be taken to indicate that they thought that the end of time on earth was coming soon.  Therefore there was an urgency to repent.  Jonah was a little more specific!  There was a clear deadline of forty days for the people of Nineveh.  These readings remind us that there is an urgency to our lives too.  We cannot claim to be followers of Christ but still cling to earthly things.  We need to think about what is important in life.

Activity during Mass

Activity A

Early on in the Mass we ask God to forgive our sins.  The priest says:  
"let us acknowledge our sins, and so prepare ourselves to celebrate the sacred mysteries".  
Then we think of our sins and say prayers asking for forgiveness.  (I confess..., Lord have mercy...)

Throughout Mass there are other moments where we ask for forgiveness.

Complete the phrases below:

Lamb of God who takes away  .............................

Lord, I am not worthy that .................................


Give us this day our daily bread and   ....................


Activity B
To come to Mass is to share Christ's sacrifice for the forgiveness of sins.  Listen carefully to the words at the consecration today.  Jesus said that his blood is poured out for "the forgiveness of sins".  St Thomas Aquinas said that when the priest adds water to the wine before the consecration, it symbolises us mingling with Christ and joining with the sacrifice on the altar.  

Listen out for these words today:

"By the mystery of this water and wine, may we come to share in the divinity of Christ, who humbled himself to share in our humanity."  

Just as in the Old Testament, people sacrificed animals on an altar to apologise to God, Jesus is our sacrifice on the altar to take away the sins of the world.  The altar is therefore a sacred place and we use special symbols and objects to show this.

Draw the altar at the consecration and label the things below:

altar, candles, incense
chalice, ciborium, paten

Listen out for these Old Testament names after the consecration (Eucharistic Prayer I)  
         Abel,    Abraham,    Melchizedek.  
They remind us again of the sacrifice just performed.  Look their names up when you get home and find out what they did.

Other activities and useful resources


There is a commonly quoted phrase from St Augustine which can be translated as "Lord, make me good but not just yet!"  Find out more about St Augustine here:

Story of St Augustine

St Paul, who wrote to the Corinthians about the need to repent had direct experience of this himself.  Look at his story in Acts chapter 9 or click on the link below:

Lego conversion of St Paul - you tube

I hope you found something useful this week!


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