Meeting Jesus in our Welcome

Saturday 7th December 2019

In the Third Stage of our pastoral programme, Hope in the Future, Bishop John has called on us “to value Sunday Mass more and more, devoting ourselves to its preparation and celebration.”

To help us achieve this four pastoral messages and worksheets will be distributed throughout the liturgical year. The worksheets are hoped to prompt reflection and discussion among parish communities. The first sheet is distributed this  weekend and asks us to consider the welcome we give and receive at Sunday Mass. The other topics will cover listening, offering and our mission.


In the first worksheet Bishop John Writes:

During Stage 3 of Hope in the Future, we are considering four particular “moments” in our celebration of the Sunday Eucharist. Our participation in the Mass binds us together as disciples, strengthens us and prepares us for our mission. During Stage 3 of our Pastoral Programme we are reflecting on how we encounter Jesus in four key parts of the Mass: Our Welcome, Our Listening, Our Offering and Our Mission. This week, as we enter the Season of Advent, we concentrate on meeting Jesus in our Welcome.

This Welcome is expressed in various ways. We arrive at church and welcome one another as members together of our parish community and be sure that visitors feel welcomed as our guests. We have come from our busy lives to celebrate the family of our parish. We bring with us our intentions for ourselves, family and friends and our hopes and concerns. When we arrive at Church, we encounter Jesus in one another, the Body of Christ. We are also welcomed, in the opening prayers of our Mass, by Jesus himself who greets us with forgiveness and reconciliation.

As we prepare to welcome Jesus anew this Christmas let us pray that each of us personally, and our parish community, may ‘prepare a way for the Lord’ in our lives. (Matthew 3:3).

Questions to Consider

Use these questions to guide your personal reflection, or any discussions either at Mass or in Parish groups

How do I prepare for Mass each Sunday?
When I arrive at Church what is the first thing I do?
Do I greet others? Do others greet me?
How do I welcome the visitor or stranger?
Is the Church conducive to prayer before Mass?
Do I enter the Mass ready and looking forward to meeting Jesus?
Do the Introductory rites get us into “the right place” for this celebration?

You can read the worksheet here.

Three further worksheets for Stage 3 will be on:

8th/9th February 2020 – 5th Sunday of Ordinary Time – ‘Encountering Jesus in Our Listening’.
13th/14th June 2020 – Feast of Corpus Christi – ‘Encountering Jesus in Our Offering’
11th/12th July 2020 – 15th Sunday of Ordinary Time – ‘Encountering Jesus in Our Mission’

Find more Hope in the Future resources on our website


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