Catholic Education Week 2016: January Prayer Service


This year’s Catholic Education Week theme is “Opening Doors of Mercy.” Each month features a different prayer service designed to prepare adults for May’s Catholic Education Week.

Mercy that Loves



God be in My Head ~Sarum Primer, 1527

God be in my head and in my understanding.

God be in my eyes and in my looking.

God be in my mouth and in my speaking.

God be in my heart and in my thinking.

God be at my end and in my departing.


READING (Luke 10:25-37)

A Reading from the Holy Gospel according to Luke. R: Glory to You, O Lord.

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he said, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?” He said to him, “What is written in the law? What do you read there?” He answered, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.” And he said to him, “You have given the right answer; do this and you will live.” But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, “And who is my neighbour?” Jesus replied, “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho and fell into the hands of robbers who stripped him, beat him and went away leaving him half dead. Now by chance, a priest was going down that road and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan, while traveling, came near him and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper and said, ‘Take care of him and when I come back I will repay you whatever more you spend.’ Which of these three do you think was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?” He said, “The one who showed him mercy.” Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

The Gospel of the Lord. R: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


Who is your neighbour? Who do you see acting as a Good Samaritan?

READING: Fr. Gustavo Gutierrez at Vatican: Church Must be Samaritan Reaching Out to Others

The Samaritan is not a Christian, is part of the gospel as an example of someone who is not Christian. This is the starting of the story: Who is my neighbour, the neighbour that I have to love?…

Our neighbour is a person who is not close to us. It is not the person next to us. The neighbour is not the person that we find on our way, but that person that we approach to the extent we leave our own way, our own path, managing to approach others. If we leave our path at the moment, then we go towards a person. The Good Samaritan leaves his own path in order to help the wounded person. The Samaritan doesn’t know who that person is. He only knows that person has been abandoned and mistreated and that is the reason he approaches him. What motivates the Samaritan to feel closeness with this person is how he feels when he sees this person who is wounded. He sees this is a person in need and this person is in need of help. So the Samaritan becomes the neighbour for the wounded person. And the wounded becomes the neighbour of the Samaritan; he became that once he was approached by the Samaritan. The possibility implies reciprocity. And the Samaritan approaches the wounded person and in that moment, the two become aware of each other. This is the meaning of the parable of the Good Samaritan – something that expects a lot of us. Because it is easy to help those who are physically close; my family, my town, my country. The issue here is to go to approach those who are farther away.


Our society and culture can breed a climate of fear and suspicion. In this climate, how can we teach our students to go out of their way to show love? To show mercy?


CLOSING PRAYER: The Road Ahead ~Thomas Merton

My Lord God,

I have no idea where I am going.

I do not see the road ahead of me.

I cannot know for certain where it will end.

Nor do I really know myself.

And the fact that I think I am following your will

does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you

does in fact please you.

And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.

I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.

And I know that if I do this, you will lead me by the right road

though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore, I will trust you always

though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.

I will not fear, for you are ever with me

and you will never leave me to face my perils alone.


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