The Society of Jesus was born as a group of friends, united in heart and mind with the Lord and with one another. They fostered this union through prayer, mutual sharing and common discernment. As we prepare to celebrate the 200th anniversary of the re-establishment of this apostolic body, let us pray for the renewal and deepening of our union with the Lord and with one another.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.
A suitable hymn may be sung, or the following psalm recited.
How good and how pleasant it is,
when brothers live in unity!
It is like precious oil upon the head
running down upon the beard,
running down upon Aaron’s beard,
upon the collar of his robes.
It is like the dew of Hermon
which falls on the heights of Zion.
For there the Lord gives his blessing,
life for ever.
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
and ever shall be,
world without end.
Scripture Reading (Acts of the Apostles 4:32-35)
The whole body of believers was united in heart and soul. Not one of them claimed any of his possessions as his own, but everything was held in common, while the apostles bore witness with great power to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. They were all held in high esteem; for they had never a needy person among them, because all who had property in land or houses sold it, brought the proceeds of the sale, and laid the money at the feet of the apostles; it was then distributed to any who stood in need.
The Word of the Lord / Thanks be to God.
Brief moment of silence
From the Tradition of the Society of Jesus (Constitutions, no. 671)
The chief bond to cement the union of the members among themselves and with their head is, on both sides, the love of God our Lord. For when the superior and the subjects are closely united to His Divine and Supreme Goodness, they will very easily be united among themselves, through that same love which will descend from the Divine Goodness and spread to all other persons, and particularly into the body of the Society. Thus from both sides charity will come to further this union between superiors and subjects, and in general all goodness and virtues through which one proceeds in conformity with the spirit.
Brief moment of silence
The whole body of believers was united in heart and soul;
R: They bore witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus and were all held in high esteem.
Intercessions (may be adapted)
Animator: Our Lord has formed us to be an apostolic body, a visible sign of the union of the Father and the Son in the Holy Spirit. Let us now call upon our Lord to grant us the strength to live out this grace.
Prayer: Our Father
Blessed are you, Lord, who choose
the weak and make them strong,
raise the fallen, heal the wounded
and gather the dispersed back to you.
Renew us with the Spirit who moved
St. Ignatius and his companions to serve
your Son under the standard of the Cross.
Grant us the courage to reach out
to our forgotten brothers and sisters;
the generosity to open our doors to those
who seek you, and the wisdom to sow
seeds of your Kingdom in the hearts
of all we meet, for the greater
glory of your Name, as we pray… (or sing)
Take Lord, and receive all my liberty, my memory,
my understanding, and my entire will,
all that I have and possess.
You have given all to me.
To You, O Lord, I return it.
All is Yours, dispose of it wholly according to Your will.
Give me Your love and Your grace,
for this is sufficient for me.
Animator: Let us bless the Lord.
All: Thanks be to God.