Homeless Jesus

On Monday, 6 February 2017, in the presence of hundreds of homeless from around Johannesburg, and the friends and parishioners of Holy Trinity Catholic Church, we unveiled the generous anonymous donation of Timothy P. Schmalz’s Homeless Jesus, with the following prayer service kindly composed by Dr Judith Coyle of St Augustine’s College.

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We welcome our brothers and sisters who come to Holy Trinity church every Monday to share the word of God and the food of life.

We welcome our brothers and sisters from this parish who worship and serve in this community.

We welcome all others who might be gathering with us, you are welcome this evening to join us as we pray and bless this sculpture of the homeless Christ that now finds a home at this Shrine of the Holy Trinity.

We will begin our prayer singing …

Ukuthula kulumhlaba wezono
igazi likaJesus linyenyez’ ukuthula.
Usindiso … Ukubonga … Ukukholwa …

In the Passion Gospel of Matthew we read:

‘The soldiers gathered together and stripped Jesus of his clothes and put a military cloak on him. The put a crown of thorns on his head, a reed in his hand … and kneeling mocked him, spat on him and struck his head with the reed. Then they stripped him of the cloak … dressed him in his own clothes, and led him out to crucify him … As they were going out, they met a Cyrenian named Simon. They pressed him into service to carry his cross …. After they had crucified him, they divided his garments by casting lots; then they sat down to keep watch over him … From noon onward, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. About three o’clock Jesus cried· out in a loud voice, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ … They ran to get a sponge, soaked it in wine to give to him to drink. But he cried out again in a loud voice, and gave up his spirit … [The veil of the temple was torn in two; the earth quaked, rocks were split, tombs were open, and bodies of many saints came forth from the tombs. The men who were keeping watch were afraid and said ‘Truly, this was the Son of God’ … ] When it was evening, a rich man, Joseph of Arimathea, who was a disciple of Jesus, went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus; Pilate ordered it to be handed over. Taking the body Joseph wrapped it in clean linen and laid it in his new tomb that was hewn in t he rock.’

The Gospel of the Lord

Thanks be to God



Let us pray.

Lord Jesus Christ, you once said: The Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head. In this sculpture, we see you again, cold, hungry and with nowhere to lay your head.

As we place this statue in this shrine at Holy Trinity Church, let it always serve as a reminder to us to grow in greater love for you and to see you and serve you in our brothers and sisters who are in need.



Let us now ask God the Father to hear us as we pray for this church, this city, and all who are in need this night:

  1. For those who are sick, disabled, suffering, alone or fearful, … We Pray, Lord hear us [Lord, graciously hear us]
  2. For those who are in mourning, the unemployed, the homeless, the victims of discrimination, abuse and violence … We pray, Lord, hear us
  3. For those who work in our city and communities to shelter the poor, educate the ignorant, welcome immigrants, and serve the needy, … We pray, Lord, hear us
  4. For the leaders of our church, our parish, our government, our nation, and our world … We pray, Lord, hear us
  5. For the needs each one of us holds in our hearts … we pray, Lord hear us

Let us pray together now in the words that Christ himself has taught us …

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come,
thy will be done
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread,
and forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us;
and lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.

God of compassion and power, continue to support us on the pilgrimage of life. When we are weary, uphold us; when we are confused, give us your guidance; when we are suffering, give us your strength. Fill our own hearts with compassion for those who are in need. And give us the strength and courage to care for one another as did Jesus, our brother and saviour. We ask this in the name of Christ, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, now and forever. AMEN.

May God, our Creator and Father, Jesus our Redeemer and Lord, and the Holy Spirit our guide and comforter bless and keep us this night, in the name of the Father (+) and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Go now in the peace of Christ, who is one of us in our need and in our joy. AMEN.