BY: SR. MARY HADDAD, RSM, M.B.A., M.S.W.
LEADER: The late Fr. Thomas Berry, CP, wrote, "All human professions, institutions, and activities must be integral with the earth as the primary self-nourishing, self-governing and self-fulfilling community. To integrate our human activities within this context is our way into the future." As we gather, let us ask for God's blessing upon all our efforts to bring the richness of our scientific research in health care to the service of all people.
READING I: Isaiah 65:17-20, (New American Bible)
READER: Lo, I am about to create new heavens and a new earth; the things of the past shall not be remembered or come to mind. Instead, there shall always be rejoicing and happiness in what I create; for I create Jerusalem to be a joy and its people to be a delight; I will rejoice in Jerusalem and exult in my people. No longer shall the sound of weeping be heard there, or the sound of crying; no longer shall there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not round out his full lifetime; he dies a mere youth who reaches but a hundred years, and he who fails of a hundred shall be thought accursed.
READING II: "Prayer Reflection," by Sue Biskup*
READER: In some small way I have come to understand "creation" as a continual process; scientists probe each bit of our earth, its life forms, its atmosphere and its galaxies — and all is discovered to be miraculously complex and connected — and ever-unfolding.
The words from Isaiah seem to jump out of the reading and stand alone in urging me to "be glad" and to "rejoice" for what is being created. I am in awe of this creation and my place in it. In Isaiah, Yahweh promises a New Jerusalem where life will be very different from what people of the time experienced. In our time, the more we learn and understand about our relation to all of creation, the more we can "rejoice" about the wonder of it. The more we can feel the need to change some of our ways, to "be glad" and live in a new and conscious way, the more we can touch the new Earth and become part of the creation. "Be glad and rejoice forever and ever …"
From Psalm 104, (New American Bible)
LEADER: Bless the Lord, my soul! Lord, my God, you are great indeed!
ALL (Response): When you send forth your breath, they are created, and you renew the face of the earth. May the glory of the Lord endure forever.
LEADER: You are clothed with majesty and glory, robed in light as with a cloak. You spread out the heavens like a tent; you raised your palace upon the waters.
LEADER: You make the clouds your chariot; you travel; on the wings of the wind. You make the winds your messengers; flaming fire, your ministers.
LEADER: You fixed the earth on its foundation, never to be moved. The ocean covered it like a garment; above the mountains stood the waters.
LEADER: You made the moon to mark the seasons, the sun that knows the hour of its setting. You bring darkness and night falls, then all the beasts of the forest roam abroad. Young lions roar for prey; they seek their food from God.
LEADER: All of these look to you to give them food in due time. When you give to them, they gather; when you open your hand, they are well filled.
LEADER: If God glares at the earth, it trembles, if God touches the mountains, they smoke! I will sing to the Lord all my life; I will sing praise to my God while I live.
LEADER: Let us pray together.
ALL: Oh God of all creation, you have given us life and set us in a world that is filled with your glory. Be with us on this journey of discovery and gift us with insight and understanding as we continue to explore the unfolding wonders of your creation. Give us the wisdom to guide all our work as we strive to serve the common good. We ask all of this in Jesus' name, Amen.
*"Prayer Reflection," Sue Biskup, CSJ Associate
Courtesy of www.Ministryofthearts.org
Congregation of St. Joseph
"Prayer Service," a regular department in Health Progress, may be copied without prior permission.
Copyright © 2012 by the Catholic Health Association of the United States
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