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Appleton, WI

March 20/21: Day by Day with Father Bill – Weekend Edition

I wanted to share with you the prayers and music that were a part of A CELEBRATION OF THE LORD’S MERCIFUL LOVE: A PREPARATION FOR THE SACRAMENT OF CONFESSION that took place in our Church last Tuesday evening, and was live-streamed, as well. The recorded prayer service can be accessed at our St. Mary Catholic Community YouTube page.
PRELUDE MUSIC: Jesus, Joy of Man’s Desiring – Johann Sebastian Bach
GATHERING SONG: Psalm 32
I turn to you, LORD, in time of trouble, and you fill me with the joy of salvation.
Blessed the one whose fault is taken away,
whose sin is covered.
Blessed the one to whom the LORD imputes not guilt,
in whose spirit there is no guile.
OPENING PRAYER
Standing at the foot of your Cross, Merciful Lord, we admit our need for your forgiveness. Our hearts are knotted up at times and our consciences are troubled, because often we find ourselves doing the very things we do not want to do. Our selfishness binds us and Your mercy frees us from our misery. You remind us again and again that you never tire of forgiving us. We are grateful for your unconditional gift of forgiveness, which you shower upon us during this Holy Season of Lent. We pray in your Name. Let all say: AMEN!
A READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN
THE RAISING OF LAZARUS
When Mary came to where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at his feet and said to him, “LORD, if you had been here, my brother, Lazarus, would not have died.” When Jesus saw Mary weeping and the people who had come with her weeping, he became perturbed and deeply troubled, and said, “Where have you laid him?” They said to him, “Sir, come and see.” And Jesus wept. So the people said, “See how he loved him.” So Jesus, perturbed again, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone lay across it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” So they took away the stone. And Jesus raised his eyes and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I know that you always hear me; but because of the crowd here I have said this, that they may believe that you sent me.” Then Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, tied hand and foot with burial bands, and his face was wrapped in a cloth. So Jesus said to them, “Untie him and let him go free.”
HOMILY
EXAMEN
JESUS, you know me better than I know myself and, knowing all of that, you never stop loving me. JESUS, you know those areas of darkness in my heart that keep me from loving you with all my heart and keep me at a distance at times from others.
TAKE THE STONE AWAY! COME OUT! COME OUT!
JESUS, you know what troubles my conscience and weighs me down. You know what ties me up and keeps me from the freedom that you promise to those who love you. I want to be free. Lift the chains from my body, my heart, and my spirit.
TAKE THE STONE AWAY! COME OUT! COME OUT!
JESUS, sometimes I want to lick my wounds and resist your command to forgive those who have hurt me. I am haunted by my past at times. My guilt and shame weigh me down. Help me, JESUS, to place my wounds into the wounds that you received as you hung upon the Cross. Help me to trust that by joining my wounds to your wounds, I am healed.
TAKE THE STONE AWAY! COME OUT! COME OUT!
JESUS, upon the Tree of the Cross, your heart was pierced for love of me. JESUS, you are Mercy within Mercy within Mercy. Let your soothing Mercy wash over me. JESUS, I trust in you. JESUS, I love you so very much.
TAKE THE STONE AWAY! COME OUT! COME OUT!
ACT OF CONTRITION
LORD JESUS, you chose to be called the friend of sinners. By your saving death and resurrection, free me from my sins. May your peace take root in my heart and bring forth a harvest of love, holiness, and truth.
MEDITATION SONG: Psalm 103
Loving and forgiving are you, O LORD; slow to anger, rich in kindness, loving and forgiving are you.
All my being, bless the LORD, bless the holy name of God. All my being, bless the LORD, remembering the goodness of God.
God forgives us all our sins, healing those who live in pain, saving us from final death. God fills us with goodness and love.
CLOSING PRAYER [after receiving a penance and absolution, offer this prayer to the LORD on your own]
LORD JESUS, your marvelous love for me is beyond what I can begin to imagine. You never tire of forgiving me. May your love fill my heart to overflowing, like a fountain of living water. Freed from all that keeps me from drawing near to you, may your love spill over onto all my words and actions. I am so grateful for your promise to always be with me. Amen.
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