Home prayer service: 4th week of Lent
Lenten meditations from Bishop Jacobs, Legatus’ International Chaplain . . .
Dear Legatus members and your families,
As we enter into this holy time of the Church year, Lent and the Easter Season, I would like to share the attached Home Prayer Service for recitation during the Weeks of Lent. I offer these prayerful considerations to encourage the inclusion of family prayer in the Lenten Season. May Our Crucified Lord draw you closer to Himself and may you come to know Him more intimately through these brief dialogues.
Yours in Christ,
+ Bishop Samuel Jacobs
Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
International Chaplain, Legatus
Leader: In the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Leader: This week we will focus on the need to forgive others and ourselves as well as to ask forgiveness from others and God. Aware of being in God’s presence, let us recall our sins. (Pause) Lord Jesus, your forgiveness for our sins is unconditional and in love. Lord, have mercy.
All: Lord, have mercy.
Leader: Christ Jesus, you remind us that we are to forgive others and ourselves as you have forgiven us. Christ, have mercy.
All: Christ, have mercy.
Leader: Lord Jesus, not only are we to ask your forgiveness but those we have hurt in any way. Lord, have mercy.
All: Lord, have mercy.
Leader: Let us attentively listen to the Word of God found in Luke.
Then he said, “A man had two sons, and the younger son said to his father, ‘Father, give me the share of your estate that should come to me.’ So the father divided the property between them. After a few days, the younger son collected all his belongings and set off to a distant country where he squandered his inheritance on a life of dissipation. When he had freely spent everything, a severe famine struck that country, and he found himself in dire need. So he hired himself out to one of the local citizens who sent him to his farm to tend the swine. And he longed to eat his fill of the pods on which the swine fed, but nobody gave him any.
Coming to his senses he thought, ‘How many of my father’s hired workers have more than enough food to eat, but here am I, dying from hunger. I shall get up and go to my father and I shall say to him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you. I no longer deserve to be called your son; treat me as you would treat one of your hired workers.”‘ So he got up and went back to his father.
While he was still a long way off, his father caught sight of him, and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, embraced him and kissed him. His son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and against you; I no longer deserve to be called your son.’ But his father ordered his servants, ‘Quickly bring the finest robe and put it on him; put a ring on his finger and sandals on his feet. Take the fattened calf and slaughter it. Then let us celebrate with a feast, because this son of mine was dead, and has come to life again; he was lost, and has been found.’ Then the celebration began. (Pause) The Gospel of the Lord.
All: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.
Leader: Put yourself in the place of the younger son and see how you have run away from God the Father through sin. (Pause) Hear in your heart the Father’s call to come home. (Pause) Allow the Father to embrace you even before you ask forgiveness. (Pause) Tell God you are sorry for what you did against him, against yourself and against others through your sin. (Pause) The rest of the parable tells how the older son refuse to forgive his brother and was angry with his father for being so foolish. Have you been so angry at God and at others to the point you could not forgive them? (Pause) What is God saying to you now? (Pause)
Like the younger son we turn to the Father knowing we are unworthy because of our sins. Father, most merciful, we ask you to forgive all our sins. We pray: Lord, have mercy.
All: Lord, have mercy.
Leader: Father, most loving, we ask the grace to forgive ourselves, especially that area of sin we are most ashamed of in our life. We pray, Lord, I choose to forgive myself.
All: Lord, I choose to forgive myself.
Leader: Father, most compassionate, we ask for the grace to forgive everyone who has every hurt us. We pray, Lord, I choose to forgive all.
All: Lord, I choose to forgive all
Leader: In the Our Father we express the need for forgiveness and to forgive, and so we pray together.
All: Our Father…
Leader: Forgiveness is not a word or an option. It is a lifestyle of a follower of Christ. Go in peace to forgive.
All: Thanks be to God.