Hello everyone, good morning to you and I hope all is going well for you and your first week back into School and the new Half Term.
In these days and beyond, may we always know the loving presence of our Risen Lord Jesus as He walks beside us and cares for us.
Welcome to our Spiritual Lift for Thursday.
Today is Stephen Lawrence Day 2021.
On 22nd April 1993, Stephen Lawrence was a black teenager who was murdered as he waited for a bus in South-East London. He was 18 years old. This is the 3rd Stephen Lawrence Day. On the 25th Anniversary of Stephen’s death in 2018, the special day to commemorate Stephen’s memory and work for lasting change and racial equality was announced by the then Prime Minister Theresa May and would be celebrated thereafter. On this day, let us pause to remember Stephen and pray for him and his family. May Stephen rest in God’s peace. We give thanks for the work to promote racial justice in the UK and around the world and we acknowledge that in the Lord’s eyes as human beings we are all precious, unique and special and as brothers and sisters together as one global human family and we should strive to do all we can to promote justice, fairness, equality and dignity for all people. May we be the hands, feet and heart of Jesus as we choose to welcome everyone we meet as if we were welcoming the Lord Himself.
“What is good has been explained to you, o man;(o people;)
this is what the Lord asks of you: only this, to act justly, to love tenderly and to walk humbly with your God.” Micah 6:8
Season of Easter:
We are now in the third week of the wonderful Easter Season.
We are an Easter People and ‘Alleluia’ is our song! During these weeks of Easter (7 weeks in total) we celebrate the victorious and glorious rising of the Lord Jesus from death in His triumphant Resurrection that took place on Easter Sunday and we join in with the cries of hope and joy as we hear, ‘He is not here! He is Risen!’
Weekly Scripture Verse: For the 3rd Week of Easter:
Our scripture verse for us to ponder and pray for this week comes from St Luke’s Gospel. (Luke 24:5b-7) These verses are taken from the CTS New Catholic Bible Edition. Let us give thanks to the Lord for the precious gift of His Word, the Bible. May it guide and strengthen us in these days. Be encouraged!
“Why look among the dead for someone who is alive? He is not here; he has risen. Remember what He told you when He was still in Galilee; that the Son of Man had to be handed over to the power of sinful men and be crucified, and rise again on the third day?”
Prayer focus: Month of April:
During the Month of April, we traditionally remember the life-giving work of the Third Member of the Blessed Trinity – the Holy Spirit of God.
Let us make this special prayer to God and ask Him to fill us with the powerful love, tenderness and mercy of His Holy Spirit.
Here is a beautiful prayer we can say every day to ask God for more of the Gift of His Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit, come and fill our hearts!
Breathe into me, Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy. Move in me, Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy. Attract my heart, Holy Spirit, that I may love only what is holy. Strengthen me, Holy Spirit, that I may defend all that is holy. Protect me, Holy Spirit, that I may always be holy.
Prayer by Saint Augustine of Hippo.
Here are some more special prayers to the Holy Spirit for this month from Catholic.org www.catholic.org.
Prayer for the Month of April and Eastertide:
In honour of our Blessed Lady, the usual prayer every day of the ‘Angelus’ is replaced with the ‘Regina Coeli’ or Queen of Heaven.
Prayer source taken from: https://www.ourcatholicprayers.com/regina-coeli.html
Queen of Heaven, rejoice. Alleluia.
For He, whom thou wast worthy to bear. Alleluia.
Has risen as He said. Alleluia.
Pray for us to God. Alleluia.
V. Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary. Alleluia.
R. Because the Lord is truly risen, Alleluia.
Let us pray
O God, Who by the Resurrection of Thy Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, hast been pleased to give joy to the whole world, grant we beseech Thee, that through the intercession of the Blessed Virgin Mary, His Mother, we may attain the joys of eternal life. Through the same Christ, our Lord. Amen.
The Year of Saint Joseph continues!
Here is the information from the Catholic Bishops Conference of England and Wales with more details about the Year of Saint Joseph.
Here are some special prayers we can say during the Year of Saint Joseph. These are from www.ourcatholicprayers.com
Saint Joseph, pray for us! Amen.
Holy Father’s Prayer Intentions: April:
Here is the link to the Holy Father Pope Francis’ Special Prayer Intentions for the Month of April from Missio. www.missio.org.uk
Cycle of Prayer – Liturgy Office:
We are now in the joyful Easter Season. Here is the updated information about the cycle of prayer from now until the Feast of Pentecost, here is the link for the Liturgy Office website with more details of this Season’s Prayer Intentions for Eastertide.
Weekly School Community Prayers:
Every week I shall be offering intercessory prayers for each of the MAC School Communities. Every day this week I shall be holding in prayer before the Lord, all the Staff, Pupils, Families and Governors/Directors who belong to the schools within: Holy Family Catholic MAC.
Daily special candle offered for all MAC Staff, pupils and their families – Summer Term 1- April – May 2021
As we have now begun our new Half Term let us continue to place all our prayers and petitions into Our Lady’s hands.
A special candle continues to burn again for us all in honour of Our Lady of Lourdes and the Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph. May they keep us all safe and well in these extraordinary and unprecedented days. May your days and weeks go well for you, your pupils, and their families who live and work within all the School Communities in our MAC.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us. Amen.
St Thomas More, pray for us. Amen.
St Peter, pray for us. Amen.
St Bede the Venerable, pray for us, Amen.
St Augustine of Canterbury, pray for us. Amen.
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us. Amen
Keeping Jesus company in the Blessed Sacrament – Holy Hour for Coronavirus Pandemic this evening. 8-9pm.
We will be meeting together again tonight in a spirit of community and prayer from 8-9pm. Once again at 8pm this evening, I invite you if you are able to join with me, I will be holding my Holy Hour with the Lord online in the Blessed Sacrament again this evening from 8-9pm.
You can access Eucharistic Adoration online by simply typing in “Eucharistic Adoration” into your browser or click on the site I use which is www.savior.org. As before, you are most welcome to join in with me if you are able. Please do consider joining in yourself at home if you can, even if it is only for a few moments to offer a prayer or thought during 8-9pm.
Tonight, let us remember before the Lord those who are struggling in these days and who carry heavy burdens because of the pandemic. Let us remember those parts of our world where the virus is quickly spreading and is causing great suffering. Let us remember to keep all the peoples in our world and global Community affected by the virus in our prayers.
We continue to pray for those in the UK who have recently tested positive for COVID 19 and those who are in hospitals, care homes and their own homes. We remember especially all those 120,000 plus souls who have died from this disease and their loved ones. May they rest in God’s peace and love in His eternal Kingdom.
We pray for the Administrations/Governments of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as they Govern their people and work for the common good of all. May the light of the Holy Spirit help and guide them as they consider the way forward in these days.
We pray for our Nation as we spend another day in our third National Lockdown and as we take the small steps and begin to enjoy some of the lifting of restrictions. We commit into Our Lord’s loving Hands the next few days, weeks and months ahead, trusting in His deep love and care for us. May our loving God walk beside us and draw especially close to us all. He is our loving Heavenly Father, and we can fully trust Him because He is always faithful, dependable and true.
Suggested Prayer points:
(i) We continue to hold up in prayer those who are sick, suffering and those who have died.
(ii) We pray for those who care for them, their friends and families. May our loving Lord draw close to all NHS Medical and Care Staff who are under overwhelming pressures and are in need of refreshment, strength to continue and personal
support in mind, body and spirit.
(iii)We pray for those who suffer also in mind and spirit and ask that they may receive the help and support they need from the Lord and His Church on earth and those dedicated to care for them in the Medical profession.
(iv) May people be caring and continue to be mindful of others as they remember to observe social distancing and safety guidelines.
(v) We pray for England as we continue another day in our third National
(vi) We pray also for the other devolved Nations of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland as they continue with their restrictions and lockdowns.
(vii) We pray for those businesses which have yet to re-open or which had to close down again, and we pray for those who are still furloughed or who have lost their jobs. May the Lord help and guide them to find employment.
(viii) We give thanks for the breakthroughs in medical research and tests as the pilots for the many vaccines which are being put forward at this time. We ask that
the Lord may continue to bless and inspire our Medical Researchers, Doctors and Scientists as they work together for the good of all people. May He grant
them continued success.
(ix) We give thanks for the news that the coronavirus vaccines have now been given to those most vulnerable and other groups most at risk are now beginning to receive their first dose of the vaccine.
(x) We give thanks for all the vaccination centres, Pharmacists and
Pharmacies, volunteers, Armed Forces Personnel and NHS Staff who have helped to make the Vaccination programme a remarkable achievement.
(xi) We give thanks that these life-saving vaccines continue to be given to those most in need and at risk of this awful virus and those who are in the younger ages groups with underlying medical and health conditions.
(xii) We pray that all people in our world especially those who live in developing countries and those from the poorest communities in our world would also be treated with the same dignity and respect as those in more developed countries are, may also be able to receive these life-saving vaccines.
(xiii) We pray that more people who are from a BAME background – Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Groups would come forward to receive the vaccine and we give thanks that there is much support, advice and encouragement available for all who feel anxious or unsure about receiving the vaccine.
(xiv) We give thanks that the UK is beginning to ease restrictions and take small steps in the unlocking of our communities and the measures which are allowing more social interaction within COVID safe and secure guidelines. May the Lord help and guide us in these days and teach us wisdom.
Our daily scripture reading today comes from Saint John’s Gospel. (John 6:44) Verse quotation is from the CTS New Catholic Bible Version.
Jesus said, “No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father who sent me, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Our prayers for today:
Today, I will be keeping a special prayer candle burning for you and will remember you and your prayer intentions before the Lord.
Let us ask…..
Holy Family of Jesus, Mary and Joseph, pray for us. Amen.
Our Lady of Consolation, pray for us. Amen.
Mary the Mother of Jesus, Mother of the Church, pray for us. Amen.
Our Lady of Lourdes, Patron of our Archdiocese and our MAC, Health of the Sick and Comforter of the Afflicted, pray for us. Amen.
Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Beauty of Carmel, pray for us. Amen.
St Luke, Beloved Physician (Doctor) and companion of St Paul the Apostle, Patron of Doctors and Healthcare professionals, pray for us. Amen.
St Jude Thaddeus, Patron of impossible or difficult circumstances, pray for us. Amen.
St Raphael, Archangel, God’s healing Angel, pray for us. Amen.
St Catherine of Siena, Patron of Nurses, pray for us. Amen.
St Camillus of Lellis, Patron of the Sick, pray for us. Amen.
St Sebastian, patron of the sick and plagues of disease, pray for us. Amen.
St John Henry Newman, pray for us. Amen.
Blessed Dominic Barberi, pray for us. Amen.
Blessings to you all on this day.