Preserve me, God, I take refuge in you.
I say to the Lord: ‘You are my God. My happiness lies in you alone.”
I will bless the Lord who gives me counsel,
who even at night directs my heart.
I keep the Lord ever in my sight:
since he is at my right hand, I shall stand firm.
And so my heart rejoices, my soul is glad;
even my body shall rest in safety.
For you will not leave my soul among the dead,
nor let your beloved know decay.
You will show me the path of life, the fullness of joy in your presence,
at your right hand, happiness for ever.
LITANY OF PRAISE:
Preserve me God, I take refuge in you!
SCRIPTURE READING: Ephesians 4:11-16
Some, God has appointed to be apostles, others to be prophets, others to be evangelists, or pastors or teachers. They are to order the lives of the faithful, minister to their needs, build up the frame of God’s body, until we all realise our common unity through faith in the Son of God . . . On him all the body depends; it is organised and unified by each contact with the source which supplies it; and thus, each limb receiving the active power it needs, it achieves its natural growth, building itself up through charity. The word of the Lord.
REFLECTION: (Michel Quoist)
This evening at the stadium the night was stirring, peopled with ten thousand shadows. And when the floodlights had painted green the velvet of the great field, the night intoned a chorale, filled by ten thousand voices.
The master of ceremonies had given the signal to begin the service. The impressive liturgy moved forward smoothly. The ball flew from celebrant to celebrant, as if everything had been minutely planned in advance. It passed from foot to foot, slipped along the field, and flew away overhead. Each was at his post, taking the ball in turn, passing it to the next one who was there to receive and pass again. And because each one did his part in the right place, because he put forth the effort required, because he knew he needed all the others, slowly but surely the ball gained ground and made the final goal!
In this world, Lord, we each have our place. You, the far-sighted coach, have planned it for us. You need us here, our brothers need us, and we need everyone.
It isn’t the position I hold that is important, Lord, but the reality and strength of my presence. What difference whether I am forward or back, as long as I am fully what I should be?
Here, Lord, is my day before me . . . Did I sit too much on the sidelines, criticising the play of others, my hands in my pockets? Did I play my part well? And when you were watching our side, did you see me there? Did I co-operate with my team without seeking the limelight? Did I play the game to obtain the victory, so that each one should have a part in it? Did I battle to the end in spite of set-backs, blows and bruises? Was I troubled by the demonstrations of the crowd and of the team, discouraged by their lack of understanding and their criticisms, made proud by their applause?
Did I think of praying my part, remembering that in the eyes of God this human game is the most religious of ceremonies?
I come in now to rest in the dressing-room, Lord.
Tomorrow, if you kick off, I’ll play a new position. And so each day . . .
Grant that this game, played with all my brothers, may be the imposing liturgy that you expect of us, so that when your last whistle interrupts our lives, we shall be chosen for the championship of heaven!
INTERCESSIONS: Lord, in your mercy . . . Hear our prayer
CLOSING PRAYER: Glory be to the Father . . .