Spiritual Help

Holy Father's Prayer Intentions - April

Universal: For Those who have Responsibility in Economic Matters – That economists may have the courage to reject any economy of exclusion and know how to open new paths.

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Prayerfully preparing for the Sunday Mass and praying in particular for our school families.

The Wednesday Word

Connecting Home, School & Parish through the Word of God. There are currently two versions of The Wednesday Word - one for schools and one for parish churches. The complete parish version contains a commentary on all three Sunday readings.


Parish priests can access next Sunday’s Gospel (for inclusion in the bulletin) by clicking here.

The school version is for you to share with your children. To find out more about the school version of The Wednesday Word please click here.

The Wednesday Word is under the patronage of St Joseph, Patron Saint of Families and Protector of the Church. Within the tradition of the Catholic Church, each Wednesday is dedicated to St Joseph.

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The Catholic Voice of Lancaster website has been given kind permission from The Wednesday Word to use this text each week.

Preparing for the Mass of
Sunday 29th April 2018 -
The Fifth Sunday of Easter

Relax & Remember:

Set aside 10 -15 minutes and create a suitable environment by removing any distractions. Make sure that you are comfortable. Perhaps light a candle. Make the sign of the cross † and remain still for a minute of settling silence. Call to mind the love that God has for you. Remember that through this scripture our Lord is truly present. Then read the Gospel, preferably aloud and slowly, and pay attention to any words that stand out. If any do, meditate on them for a few minutes and be invited into a dialogue with God.

Taken from the Gospel for 29th April 2018 (John 15:1-8): The True Vine

Jesus said to his disciples: “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in me that bears no fruit he cuts away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes to make it bear even more. You are pruned already, by means of the word that I have spoken to you. Make your home in me, as I make mine in you. As a branch cannot bear fruit all by itself, but must remain part of the vine, neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine, you are the branches. Whoever remains in me, with me in him, bears fruit in plenty; for cut off from me you can do nothing. Anyone who does not remain in me is like a branch that has been thrown away - he withers; these branches are collected and thrown on the fire, and they are burnt. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask what you will and you shall get it. It is to the glory of my Father that you should bear much fruit, and then you will be my disciples.”

After spending a few minutes considering this Gospel, continue by reading Fr Henry Wansbrough’s reflection.

A vine is an extraordinary plant. It can grow to a huge size, spreading over a wide area, a whole garden wall or trelliswork, from one single root, and producing a rich sap which yields grapes at the end of countless little branches. And then there is the business of pruning: cut it back thoroughly on all its many shoots and tendrils, and it seems only more determined to grow thick and strong. So the vine was the symbol of Israel, drawing from the Lord a sap which penetrated to all its shoots, and lovingly pruned by the gardener in a way which best encouraged its growth. The image was taken over by Jesus for his own community, the new Israel. Pairing with last week’s picture of the good shepherd, it is one of the greatest of Jesus’ images. It perfectly sums up the two emphases of this Sunday’s other two readings. The only source of fruitful energy for the Christian is union with and dependence on the life flowing from Christ. Without that, the branches wither and die; a trimming cut off from a vine no longer has any chance of life. The vine itself at pruning season looks stark, rough and suffering. It is in fact bursting with new life.

What bits of your life need to be pruned away now? What more can you do to express the flow of Christ’s life within you?

Respond & Request:
Now slowly and prayerfully read the Gospel once again but this time in silence. Consider how this Gospel could apply to your life in general. Then thank God for any insight you may have received. Conclude by asking God to bless you with one of the following spiritual gifts to help you act on any resolution you have made: love, understanding, wisdom, faithfulness, peace, self control, patience, or joy. Please remember to pray for the Church and particularly our school families. Then conclude by requesting the prayers of Our Lady & St Joseph.