Catholic Education Week: January Prayer Service

January 2017: Walking Forward Together with Our Families”

SUGGESTED OPENING SONGS

OPENING PRAYER

Lord our God,

You gather us as one family
to share in the abundant love that comes from you.
Help us to recognize the challenges of today’s families
and support them in the education of their children
so that they can come to know you more intimately.
We ask this through your Son, Jesus Christ.
Amen.

READING (Luke 8:19-21)

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

The mother and brothers of Jesus came to him but were unable to join him because of the crowd. He was told, “Your mother and your brothers are standing outside and they wish to see you”. He said to them in reply, “My mother and my brothers are those who hear the Word of God and act on it”.

The Gospel of the Lord. R: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ. QUESTIONS FOR PERSONAL REFLECTION

The gospel reading invites us to reflect on belonging. Jesus’ words confirm that everyone “who hears and acts on the Word of God” is a privileged member of God’s family and that a relationship with Jesus is available to everyone.

  • Does my family (the domestic church) reflect a community of Christians to which everyone is welcomed and belongs?
  • Does my family take time to listen and discern God’s Word together? Does my family practice the teachings of the gospels? How so?
  • How is my family called to grow in holiness together?

READING: Pope Francis, Amoris Laetitia – The Joy of Love, #279

To help expand the parental relationship to broader realities, “Christian communities are called to offer support to the educational mission of families” particularly through the catechesis associated with Christian initiation. To foster an integral education, we need to “renew the covenant between the family and the Christian community”. The Synod wanted to emphasize the importance of Catholic schools which “play a vital role in assisting parents in their duty to raise their children… Catholic schools should be encouraged in their mission to help pupils grow into mature adults who can view the world with the love of Jesus and who can understand life as a call to serve God”.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION/REFLECTION

  • How is our school community, together with the parish, supporting the educational mission of the families?
  • How are we, members of the school community, helping students discern the Word of God and their baptismal call to serve God?

CLOSING PRAYER

Jesus, Mary and Joseph,
In you we contemplate the splendor of true love;
to you we turn with trust.
Holy Family of Nazareth, Grant that our families too
may be places of communion and prayer,
authentic schools of the gospel and small domestic churches.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
May families never again experience violence, rejection and division;
may all who have been hurt or scandalized find ready comfort and healing.
Holy Family of Nazareth,
Make us more mindful of the sacredness and inviolability of the family and its beauty in God’s plan.
Jesus, Mary and Joseph, Graciously hear our prayer.
Amen.

SUGGESTED CLOSING SONGS

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