30th SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
Mark invites us to join him as he describes Jesus’ progress to Jerusalem: situating ourselves among the group that – though they are truly attached to the Saviour – still have so much to learn.
This story is about being able to see with the eyes of faith. Blind Bartimaeus is sitting by the side of the road because he can't see 'the way'. He calls out to Jesus asking for mercy. The Greek word for mercy used in the Gospel is 'eleein' meaning pity or compassion. He is asking Jesus to really understand how he is feeling. Jesus really feels for him and asks how he can help. Jesus tells Bartimaeus that his faith has made him well. Once Bartimaeus can see the way, he follows Jesus.
Today practise Christian Meditation using a mantra.
Say the mantra 'Maranatha' out loud and then in the mind when a signal is given e.g. a Tibetan bell or a zen chime.
Maranatha is Aramaic (the language that Jesus used) and means “Come Lord”. In meditation the word ‘maranatha’ is broken into 4 equal syllables.
MA RA NA THA
Repeat the mantra in the mind
Begin slowly e.g. say the mantra for 1 minute and gradually increase this. Meditation time can be related to a student’s chronological age e.g. a 5 year old could meditate for 5 minutes.
Image: Spider Orchid, Image by Peggy Roe used with permission
2 Minute Reflection
Take two minutes of silent and still reflection to think: “Who needs my love and support right here and right now?”
Is it a family member? The person you will sit beside in class today? The person who will sit alone in the playground today? The person whom no one will sit beside on the bus or train?
End the reflection with a prayer similar to the following:
You love each one of us unconditionally.
Help us, through the power of your Spirit, to show some of that love to someone who really needs to know it today. May the goodness and kindness we show today, be a sign to them of your love. We make this prayer in Jesus’ name. Amen.
Image by Peggy Roe, used with permission
All Hallow's Eve
Today is Halloween - the day before All Hallows (All Saints Day). It is also the last day of the month. Look back on the month, think about those we love and pray The Examen, asking ourselves “For what things in the past month am I grateful?”; “What do I regret doing in the past month?” ‘Whose forgiveness do I need to seek for things I have done in the past month?”.
After this time of reflection, join in a prayer similar to the following:
Loving God, thank you for our lives. For all we have been given, for the love and support we give each other; for the forgiveness we give and receive: Thank you. Help us, through the power of your Spirit, to make new beginnings in the month to come. We ask this in Jesus’ name. Amen.
ALL SAINTS (All Hallows) DAY
On this day the Church acknowledges those millions who now live in the presence of God forever. The Catholic Church has canonised some of these people over time. That is why Catholic Christians in particular continue to seek the prayers and intercession of saints to help them live the Way of Jesus.
Today, lead the students in part or whole of a Litany such as the Litany of Mary of Nazareth or A Litany of Saints and Founders (See RLOS Prayer and Ritual) which includes the names of the patron saints of our schools.
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All Souls Day (Commemoration of the Faithful Departed)
Families remember their relatives who have died and pray for them. This day is part of the belief in the Church that our journey to God does not end with our earthly death. In some cultures, people visit graveyards and even eat picnics at the graves of loved ones, celebrating their belief in life after death and their ongoing connection with loved ones who have died.
For prayer today, invite students to think of the names of family members, friends, fellow students, school community members, people in the news who have died and whose names they wish to place in prayer and remembrance before God.
Students may like to light a candle for the people they have named and in the silence and stillness pass the candle. The class could end the prayer with the traditional prayer for the dead:
Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord and may God's light shine upon them. May they rest in peace. Amen.
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