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Easter Journey with Mary Preparing for the Consecration to Our Lady

April 5–11

All gather around an image of Mary and a candle. Light the candle and make the sign of the cross:

V. In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

R. Amen.

For those families that will pray together, the opening prayer is read by the father, the teaching and the intercessions by different children, and the final prayer by the mother.

I. Opening Prayer

On the cross, the Lord gave us his Mother and in John, the beloved disciple, we all received her among our dearest things. As a good Mother, she not only distributes God's graces to us but also helps us to understand how Jesus makes our lives great and beautiful. Through Mary, we want to rediscover how Christ risen has touched all the dimensions of our life. We want to prepare ourselves as a family for the consecration of our parish to Her. We ask Mary that she will bless and transform our parish into a family of families where all of us can find our Home.

II. Teaching

Read the reflection by St. John Paul II assigned for the day (below).

III. Intercessions

Say the following intercessions and responses:

V. Mary, you who begot the Son of God and raised him in Nazareth, teach us to welcome your Son into our family so that he may renew it from within and turn it into another Nazareth. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, we ask you to help us sanctify our family so that it may become leaven that transforms other families in need of the Gospel of Jesus. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

V. Mary, Mother of the Church, guide our families in these difficult times so that they may be a reflection of the Church and a light for our society. Let us pray to the Lord...

R. Lord, hear our prayer.

All: Our Father... Hail Mary... Glory Be...

IV. Final Prayer

Lord God, through the Resurrection of your Son you have made all thinks new, show us how your love has made new our family.

From You, Lord, every family in Heaven and on earth takes its name. Father, You are love and life. Through Your Son, Jesus Christ, born of woman, and through the Holy Spirit, the fountain of divine charity, grant that every family on earth may become for each successive generation a true shrine of life and love. Grant that Your grace may guide the thoughts and actions of husbands and wives for the good of their families and of all the families in the world. Grant that the young may find in the family solid support for their human dignity and for their growth in truth and love.

We ask this of You, Who are life, truth and love with the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Amen

(Pope John Paul II)

Readings from St. John Paul II

Monday, April 5

Dear brothers and sisters Bridegroom is with you. You know that he is the Good Shepherd. You know who he is, and you know his voice. You know where he is leading you, and how he strives to give you pastures where you can find life and find it in abundance. You know how he withstands the marauding wolves, and is ever ready to rescue his sheep: every husband and wife, every son and daughter, every member of your families. You know that he, as the Good Shepherd, is prepared to lay down his own life for his flock (cf. Jn. 10:11). He leads you by paths which are not the steep and treacherous paths of many of today's ideologies, and he repeats to today's world the fullness of truth, even as he did in his conversation with the Pharisees or when he announced it to the Apostles, who then proclaimed it to all the ends of the earth and to all the people of their day, to Jews and Greeks alike (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Tuesday, April 6

The disciples were fully conscious that Christ had made all things new. They knew that man had been made a "new creation": no longer Jew or Greek, no longer slave or free, no longer male or female, but "one" in Christ (cf. Gal. 3:28) and endowed with the dignity of an adopted child of God. On the day of Pentecost man received the Spirit, the Comforter, the Spirit of truth. This was the beginning of the new People of God, the Church, the foreshadowing of new heavens and a new earth (cf. Rev 21:1). The Apostles, overcoming their initial fears even about marriage and the family, grew in courage. They came to understand that marriage and family are a true vocation which comes from God himself and is an apostolate: the apostolate of the laity. Families are meant to contribute to the transformation of the earth and the renewal of the world, of creation and of all humanity (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Wednesday, April 7

Dear families, you too should be fearless, ever ready to give witness to the hope that is in you (cf. 1 Pet. 3:15), since the Good Shepherd has put that hope in your hearts through the Gospel. You should be ready to follow Christ towards the pastures of life, which he himself has prepared through the Paschal Mystery of his Death and Resurrection. Do not be afraid of the risks! God's strength is always far more powerful than your difficulties! Immeasurably greater than the evil at work in the world is the power of the Sacrament of Reconciliation, which the Fathers of the Church rightly called a "second Baptism". Much more influential than the corruption present in the world is the divine power of the Sacrament of Confirmation, which brings Baptism to its maturity. And incomparably greater than all is the power of the Eucharist (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Thursday, April 8

Dear families, the Eucharist is truly a wondrous sacrament. In it Christ has given us himself as food and drink, as a source of saving power. He has left himself to us that we might have life and have it in abundance (cf. Jn. 10:10): the life which is in him and which he has shared with us by the gift of the Spirit in rising from the dead on the third day. The life that comes from Christ is a life for us. It is for you, dear husbands and wives, parents and families! Did Jesus not institute the Eucharist in a family-like setting during the Last Supper? When you meet for meals and are together in harmony, Christ is close to you. And he is Emmanuel, God with us, in an even greater way whenever you approach the table of the Eucharist. It can happen, as it did at Emmaus, that he is recognized only in "the breaking of the bread" (cf. Lk. 24:35). It may well be that he is knocking at the door for a long time, waiting for it to be opened so that he can enter and eat with us (cf. Rev. 3:20). The Last Supper and the words he spoke there contain all the power and wisdom of the sacrifice of the Cross. No other power and wisdom exist by which we can be saved and through which we can help to save others. There is no other power and no other wisdom by which you, parents, can educate both your children and yourselves. The educational power of the Eucharist has been proved down the generations and centuries (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Friday, April 9

Dear families, everywhere the Good Shepherd is with us. Even as he was at Cana in Galilee, the Bridegroom in the midst of the bride and groom as they entrusted themselves to each other for their whole life, so the Good Shepherd is also with us today as the reason for our hope, the source of strength for our hearts, the wellspring of ever new enthusiasm and the sign of the triumph of the "civilization of love". Jesus, the Good Shepherd, continues to say to us: Do not be afraid. I am with you. "I am with you always, to the close of the age" (Mt. 28:20). What is the source of this strength? What is the reason for our certainty that you are with us, even though they put you to death, O Son of God, and you died like any other human being? What is the reason for this certainty? The Evangelist says: "He loved them to the end" (Jn. 13:1). Thus do you love us, you who are the First and the Last, the Living One; you who died and are alive for evermore (cf. Rev. 1:17–18) (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Saturday, April 10

Dear families, the family itself is the great mystery of God. As the "domestic church", it is the bride of Christ. The universal Church, and every particular Church in her, is most immediately revealed as the bride of Christ in the "domestic church" and in its experience of love: conjugal love, paternal and maternal love, fraternal love, the love of a community of persons and of generations. Could we even imagine human love without the Bridegroom and the love with which he first loved to the end? Only if husbands and wives share in that love and in that "great mystery" can they love "to the end". Unless they share in it, they do not know "to the end" what love truly is and how radical are its demands. And this is undoubtedly very dangerous for them (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).

Sunday, April 11

The teaching of the Letter to the Ephesians amazes us with its depth and the authority of its ethical teaching. Pointing to marriage, and indirectly to the family, as the "great mystery" which refers to Christ and the Church, the Apostle Paul is able to reaffirm what he had earlier said to husbands: "Let each one of you love his wife as himself". He goes on to say: "And let the wife see that she respects her husband" (Eph. 5:33). Respect, because she loves and knows that she is loved in return. It is because of this love that husband and wife become a mutual gift. Love contains the acknowledgment of the personal dignity of the other, and of his or her absolute uniqueness. Indeed, each of the spouses, as a human being, has been willed by God from among all the creatures of the earth for his or her own sake. Each of them, however, by a conscious and responsible act, makes a free gift of self to the other and to the children received from the Lord. It is significant that Saint Paul continues his exhortation by echoing the fourth commandment: "Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 'Honour your father and mother' (this is the first commandment with a promise), 'that it may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth'. Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord" (Eph. 6:1-4). The Apostle thus sees in the fourth commandment the implicit commitment of mutual respect between husband and wife, between parents and children, and he recognizes in it the principle of family stability (John Paul II, Letter to the families, 1994).