PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL

WEEK OF MAY 19, 2019

Response to each petition: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

  • For the church. Show us how to be more gentle and loving. Help us grow in compassion and forgiveness. May we recognize your love and goodness in every part of our world, in every person.

We ask: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

  • For the world. Heal the abused and the addicted. Help those who struggle with daily burdens. Relieve the sufferings of the sick, the poor and the hungry.

We ask: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

  • For freedom of mind and heart. Inspire us to refashion our broken relationships to enter new forms of service, to welcome new visions for our lives, to love those who we have judged negatively.

We ask: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

  • For peace. Help us to recognize the value of each person, to cherish the treasure of our loving relationships, to understand that your love is always bringing us closer together in divine glory.

We ask: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

  • For our personal needs that we hold in silence …

We ask: Risen Lord, receive our prayer.

Call to worship

The Easter season calls us to understand the new creation — the mutual union of God’s love and human love — a force that becomes more real every day. Loving is the only way to show God’s glory.

  • To the point: Jesus’ new commandment is, “As I have loved you, so you also should love one another.” The nature of our love as disciples is specific, singular and incomparable. We are to love to the extent and in the manner Jesus loved. Our love is to be the self-sacrificing love of Jesus. It is this kind of love that brings Jesus glory. It is this kind of love that brings God glory. It is this kind of love that enables us to share in that same glory.
  • Connecting the gospel  (John 13: 31-35) to the second reading: When we live Jesus’ new commandment of love, the results are dramatic: “A new heaven and a new earth,” “new Jerusalem,” indeed, “all things new.” This is the reality we must believe we are becoming every day of our lives.
  • To experience: We are keen on underscoring obligation — we must “love one another.” This is only possible because of the power and grace that come from our first being loved by God.

WEEK OF MAY 12, 2019

Response to each petition: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the Church. May we recognize your voice as our Shepherd. Help us to wipe away the tears of all who suffer, especially those who have been victimized by the church.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • Ease the worries and the burdens our world carries. Open our hearts and minds to envision and support better ways of living, to practice thoughtfulness and compassion, and to work together for the common good.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • Let us pray for peace in our world. For calmness where there is division, mistrust and violence. May we work together so that all people may find happiness.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our own pastor and shepherd Father Jim, and for all who minister in our faith community. May their compassionate and welcoming service be a sign to all of your generous love.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For all mothers, stepmothers, grandmothers and godmothers. May God bless them abundantly. May their continued love influence our lives and our relationships.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our beloved sick, dying, and grieving. We especially remember our mothers who have died and any intentions that we hold in our silence.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

Call to worship

Today we proclaim and celebrate that we are a part of God’s flock ready to hear God’s voice and ready to follow on the pathways where God leads us.

  • To the point: Our being “sheep” does not mean that we blindly follow Jesus but that we actively pursue a relationship with him by hearing his voice and heeding his words. Though following the Good Shepherd truly leads to eternal life, the way of discipleship is not easy. Yet, nothing can interfere with Jesus’ care for us: we are secure in his hands — never alone with the Good Shepherd.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 10: 27-30) to the first reading: Jesus is the Good Shepherd (gospel) and the Lamb who was slain (second reading). As shepherd, Jesus is the one who cares for us and leads us even when we face jealousy, abuse and rejection (first reading). As lamb, Jesus is the one who lays down his life in sacrifice for us.
  • To experience: The tumult of the world is not a sign that God has abandoned us. Jealousy, violent abuse, persecution, expulsions, etc., always have been part of our human condition. In all of this, Jesus shepherds us, lead us to “springs of life-giving water” and “wipes away every tear” (second reading).

WEEK OF MAY 5, 2019

Response to each petition: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the church. Broaden our vision. Help us find new ways to love all people through genuine forgiveness and hospitality.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the world and its leaders. Make them unafraid to honestly confront the challenges of inequality, racism and violence

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • Inspire Pope Francis and all church leaders and ministers. Help them make decisions that uphold the dignity of our human family.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For all gathered at worship. Nourish the hungers of our hearts. Open us to the needs of immigrants and strangers.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For peace on our planet and for a flourishing of love in our homes and workplaces.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For those who are suffering — the sick, the addicted, the dying and the grieving. And for our personal needs.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

Call to worship

Easter calls us to remain faithful to Christ who constantly nourishes us, who continually believes in us, who always calls us to recognize God’s gifts within us and who brings us new life.

  • To the point: The gospel hints at two failures: the fishermen coming back with no fish and Peter’s denial of Jesus before his death. Yet these failures became occasions for Jesus’ gift of abundance: a large catch of fish and a fuller love that would “glorify God.” Faithful discipleship is not measured by absence of failure but by openness to obeying new commands from Jesus, recognition of God’s abundant gifts and willingness to grow into new life. Today, we celebrate Easter openness and abundance.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 21:1-19) to the first reading: Strict orders from the Sanhedrin did not deter the disciples from obeying “God rather than men.” Faithful to Jesus’ command to follow him, they even rejoiced that they were able to “suffer dishonor for the sake of the name.”
  • To experience: Sometimes we can be so discouraged by our failure to follow Jesus faithfully that we tend to give up trying. Remembering that Jesus never gives up on us can instill in us the courage to stay the course of discipleship.
Penitential Rite

Kyrie Eleison / Christe Eleison/ Kyrie Eleison

You continue to love and empower us, even when we deny you or distrust our faith. When we are humbled and recognize our shortcomings, we are most ready to receive your grace. Bring us together, Lord in our humanity, and show us the great power of forgiving others.

WEEK OF APRIL 28, 2019

Response to each petition: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the Church. May we reveal the power of resurrection and new life in every part of our global society, especially to those who have lost hope.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the gift of peace. May nations and people know the power of forgiveness that there may be a lasting peace in every part of our world.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For the grace of healing. May our wounds of body, mind and spirit enable us to become instruments of new life and hope to others.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For a blossoming of hope. May our world be flooded with faith. May we not trust the illusions and false promises of secular society but rather bring all people to a deeper awareness of God’s love.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For those who question their faith or who have left the church or hurt by her. May our constant witness lead them to a deeper understanding of God’s abiding presence.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

  • For our own intentions. For our sick, dying and grieving; and for those needs we hold in silence.

We ask: Risen Lord, hear our prayer.

Call to Worship

The Easter Message is filled with peace, joy and forgiveness for all, especially those who have difficulty with faith.We are called to bring others to a deeper experience of Jesus’ peace.

  • To the point: Three times in the gospel, the risen Lord addresses the gathered disciples with “Peace be with you.” This peace he brings allays fears, empowers forgiveness and prompts us to accept the reality of suffering and death as doorways to new life. This peace is new life: the Spirit breathed into us by the risen Lord with Jesus. Though we sin, Jesus only wishes new life for us.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 20:19-31) to the first reading: The risen Lord “holds the keys to death.” He unlocks the doors to new life not only for himself who is “alive for ever and ever,” but also for us. We who believe in him as the gospel bids do not live in fear but in the peace his risen life brings.
  • To experience: The “signs and wonders” that reveal the presence of the risen Christ stretch far beyond miraculous healings. People see the risen Christ also in our everyday acts of kindness, sensitivity, generosity, patience and forgiveness.

WEEK OF APRIL 14, 2019

Response to each petition: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • Inspire Pope Francis and the entire Church. Give us renewed vision and strong direction. May Holy Week all over the world be a sacred and vibrant expression of our common faith.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • Give us the courage to empty ourselves, to gratefully surrender our lives into God’s hands, to give up our anxieties and worries and to embrace our suffering with understanding

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer

  • For all who carry the crosses of life. For all who are hungry, poor or suffering. For all who are unemployed or experience stress. For all who are persecuted, unjustly accused, abused, forgotten, sick or addicted.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer

  • Guide governments and people of every nation to welcome immigrants, reject violence and resolve conflict peacefully. May we find the best ways to foster reconciliation and healing.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer

  • For peace in the world and an end to violence, particularly in the Holy Land and throughout the Middle East. May the sacred events we recall this week inspire our world and fill us with hope in new life.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer

  • For the prayers we hold in silence.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer

Call to worship
  • To the point: Luke’s Passion account highlights how much Jesus loved life. His struggle to say yes to his Father’s will (“take this cup away from me”) was so intense that he sweats blood. He also intensely loved others and their lives: he healed the man with the severed ear, comforted the women of Jerusalem, forgave his executioners, promised paradise to the repentant thief. For the sake of others’ life he was willing to give over his own life (“not my will but yours be done.”) Jesus’ struggle and self-giving is to be ours. While intensely loving the life given us, we also are to give it over for others.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 22/23: 14-49) to the first reading: Isaiah’s prophecy finds its fulfillment in Jesus. It not only describes his suffering but also his concern for others, “speaking to the weary a word of comfort.”
  • To experience: When we hear the proclamation of the Passion, we are most mindful of all the suffering Jesus endured. Luke reminds us that the passion also proclaims Jesus’ ultimate self-giving ministry for others.

WEEK OF APRIL 7, 2019

Third Scrutiny: Deliverance from cosmic, universal evil

God is power God is might. God will triumph over sin.

Kyrie Eleison … Christe Eleison … Kyrie Eleison.

  • When the dignity of humanity is threatened or destroyed; when the thirst for power drives government and politics,; when people are victimized by discrimination, deceit or neglect.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison

  • Wherever we are indifferent to the cries of the poor and the needy; wherever people are threatened by political oppression; wherever addiction and suicide result from our depression; wherever the innocent are victimized by war.

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • Where prisoners are tortured and humiliated; where people are not free to practice faith; where the spirit of the powerless is stifled and crushed.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

  • From the ungrateful depletion of our atmosphere; from our failure to save energy and resources for future generations; from our exploitation of natural wonders given freely by God.

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • That peace and love may reign in our world; that justice and dignity may prevail in our time; that all creation may live in unity and harmony.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

God is power, God is might – Christe Eleison

God will triumph over sin – Kyrie Eleison

Prayer of Exorcism

We lift before you O God, our brothers and sisters preparing for the Easter sacraments and this entire assembly who seek renewal in our faith. May the power of your word change our lives and invigorate our spirit. Free us from any falsehood and evil, and create in all of us a clean heart, a renewed vision, a deepened sense of your indwelling holiness. We ask you this through Jesus, your son and our Lord. Amen.

Laying on of hands

Lord Jesus, in your gentle strength set free our spirit, touch our minds and our hearts, awaken our sense of mission. Guide these chosen people in the journey of our lives. May they be signs to the world of the greatness and power of your unconditional love. Amen

Call to Worship

During this last week of Lent, we recognize how God is doing something new within us. As Christ touches the woman caught in adultery, so also does he touch us with generous and nonjudgmental love.

  • To the point: The scribes and Pharisees brought an adulterous woman to Jesus and made her stand in the middle. In their self-righteousness they wished to make an example of her as a grave sinner deserving of death. Ironically, Jesus makes an example of them as sinners: they turned away from him and “went away one by one.” The woman, however, remained with Jesus. Our own work during Lent is like that of the adulterous woman: truthfully face our sinfulness and faithfully remain with Jesus. Though we sin, Jesus only wishes new life for us.
  • Connecting the Gospel (John 8:1-11) to the second reading: Paul admonishes us not to be prisoners of our sinfulness but to strain forward to the new life that lies ahead. This new life is the “supreme good of knowing Christ Jesus” and remaining with him (“be found in him.”)
  • To experience: When we focus exclusively on our own sinfulness we can easily lose sight of our goodness and God’s mercy. Jesus responds even to profound sin with even more profound mercy.

WEEK OF MARCH 31, 2019

Second Scrutiny: Deliverance from institutional evil

God is power God is might. God will triumph over sin.

Kyrie Eleison … Christe Eleison … Kyrie Eleison.

  • When we disregard the rights of children and their education. When we refuse to help the poor, the hungry & the homeless When we degrade others because of sex, race, lifestyle or social class.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

  • When we ignore the wisdom and dignity of the elderly.  When we refuse medical care or insurance to the needy.  When we silence our prophets and our visionaries.

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • From the prostitution of people and principles. From the enslavement and domestic abuse of children and adults. From injustice in the church and in enterprise. From violence in our homes, on our streets and in our schools.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

  • From the power of false news, propaganda and pornography.  From mismanagement and greed in enterprise and industry. From corruption and the abuse of time in our political systems.

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • From mistreatment in prisons, old-age homes and institutions for the marginalized. From the cult of Satan and the exaltation of evil. From our refusal to grow in our faith. From our denial of the holiness of others.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

God is power, God is might – Christe Eleison.

God will triumph over sin – Kyrie Eleison.

Prayer of Exorcism

We lift before you O God, those preparing for the sacraments, and this assembly who seeks a renewal in faith. May the power of your word change our lives and invigorate our spirit. Free us from any falsehood and evil. Create in us a clean heart, a renewed vision, a deeper sense of your indwelling holiness.

Laying on of hands

Lord Jesus, in your gentle strength set free our spirit, touch our minds and our hearts, awaken our sense of mission. Guide your chosen people through life’s journey.  May we be signs to the world of the great power of your unconditional love. Amen.

Call to Worship

As the loving father welcomes back the son who has squandered his inheritance, so, too, does God generously welcome us home — no matter who we are, or what we have done.

  • To the point: This familiar parable often is referred to as the parable of the prodigal (wasteful) son. On one hand, the younger son is prodigal when he prodigiously squanders his inheritance. On the other hand, the real prodigality of the son lay in that he loved his life enough to swallow his pride, return home and throw himself on the mercy of his father. The father, too, is prodigal: he welcomes him as son, clothes him in the finest array, and throws a lavish feast. He gave him new life. This is the most prodigal act possible: to give new life.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 15; 1-3, 11-32) to the second reading: Paul reinforces what the gospel parable points to — sureness in the Father’s prodigiousness — “new things have come.” As the younger son is reconciled with his father, we are all reconciled to God through Christ.
  • To experience: Good parents spare nothing for their children’s sake — sometimes even being prodigious beyond their means. How much more so is our loving Father prodigious with us!

WEEK OF MARCH 24, 2019

First Scrutiny

On the third, fourth and fifth Sundays of Lent, the church encourages all people and especially those who are to come into full communion in our faith at Easter to ask for freedom from all evil. On the third week of Lent, we pray for deliverance from personal evil:

  • When we fail to seek and proclaim you, when greed and selfishness divide us, when hatred and fear enslave us.

Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

  • Wherever we ignore the needs of others, wherever we have built walls of division, wherever we have shown arrogance or prejudice.

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • From the lure of wealth, power and glory, from our desires to manipulate and exploit, from our need to stay in control,

Deliver us Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

  • When we desire to hold revenge, when we hesitate to forgive, when we injure by our words and gossip

Deliver us O God – Christe Eleison.

  • From our impatience, anger and deceit. From our mistrust, conceit and pride. From our addictions, self-pity and envy,

Deliver us Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

Deliver us Deliver us O God – Kyrie Eleison.

God is power, God is might – Christe Eleison

God will triumph over sin – Kyrie Eleison

Prayer of Exorcism

We lift before you O God, those preparing for the Easter sacraments and this assembly who seeks a renewal in faith. May the power of your word change our lives and invigorate our spirit. Free us from any falsehood and evil. Create in us a clean heart, a renewed vision, a deeper sense of your indwelling holiness.

Lord Jesus, in your gentle strength set free our spirit, ttouch our minds and our hearts, awaken our sense of mission. Guide your chosen people through life’s journey. May we be signs to the world of the great power of your unconditional love. Amen

Call to Worship

Lent is all about redirecting our lives. The fig tree that bears no fruit gets added nourishment and a second chance to bear fruit. The same is true for each of us.

We must redirect our lives to be life-giving.

  • To the point: The owner of the fig tree only cares about whether the tree bears fruit — he has no regard for the tree and its life. The gardener, on the other hand, cares about the fig tree, sees the life still there and wants to give it every chance (“I shall cultivate … and fertilize it”) to produce. He knows that as long as there’s life, there’s potential to bear fruit. What wastes away life within us and prevents us from bearing fruit is sin. Repentance, then, means choosing to nurture new life and all the fullness it can bring.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 13: 1-9) to the second reading: Paul, like Jesus, offers examples from Israel’s history as a “warning to us” not to stray from God’s guidance. God offered every means for coming to new life to the people of Israel — including the burning bush through which Moses heard God’s words of compassion. So, too, Jesus offers us every means for coming to new and fruitful life (“I shall cultivate the ground … and fertilize it.”)
  • To experience: Growing up takes hard work. Getting ahead in life takes hard work. Deepening our relationship with God and others takes hard work. It is no surprise, then, that repenting takes hard work. The discipline of Lent includes this kind of “hard work repentance” which leads to the new life Easter promises.

WEEK OF MARCH 17, 2019

Response to each petition: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For the Church. Enlighten us with your Spirit in these times of chaos and confusion. Help us to be vessels of holiness.

We ask. Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For our world. May the homeless find shelter and welcome. May those who have lost hope find fulfillment. May we acknowledge everyone as a holy child of God and end so much separation, prejudice, violence and killing.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For those who live under clouds of fear; who suffer from depression or mental illness’ who live in unsafe communities; who do not believe in God.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For the blessings of Lent. Inspire those who prepare for sacraments and bless all who are on a spiritual journey.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • Bring peace to the human family. Guide us to find ways to end hunger, terrorism and war.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For our personal needs. For our beloved sick and dying. For all who grieve, and for the prayers we hold in our silence.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

Call to worship

In today’s Gospel, the disciples experience Jesus in his full glory. They are transformed by his holiness. We also can be changed during this Lent when we allow ourselves to be overshadowed by God’s presence.
To the point: During prayer Jesus’ “face changed.” This phrase is biblical language indicating that Jesus himself changed. The transfiguration is a fleeting glimpse of the glory of his risen life. To come to this glory, however, Jesus could not remain on the mountain but had to continue his journey to Jerusalem and the cross. During prayer we, too, encounter God in such a way that we are invited to change. We, too, are emboldened to follow our life journey and embrace the cross. And we, too, will be glorified now and forever.

  • Connecting the Gospel  (Luke 9:28b-36) to the second reading: On the mountain of transfiguration the disciples witnessed the glory of Jesus’ identity as the “chosen Son.” We, too, are destined for glory when Christ will “change our lowly body to conform with his glorified body” (second reading).
  • To experience: We often have glimpses of glory: in a remarkable sunset, in the shining face of a delighted child, in the radiant joy of new parents. Like the transfiguration, these glimpses of glory encourage and strengthen us to continue the journey of life toward eternal glory. Even the very old Abraham was asked to count the stars.

WEEK OF MARCH 10, 2019

Response to each petition: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For the universal church and for Pope Francis. May this time of Lent bring clarity and healing to those suffer or who have left us because of our sin.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • May governments all over the world offer safety to those fleeing danger and oppression. We pray for policies and borders that welcome the stranger.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For all who are incarcerated. For those imprisoned by addictions to drugs, alcohol, gambling, technology or pornography. We pray for adequate funding and for skilled treatment, and that these victims may be healed.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For us as we begin this Lenten journey. For strength to overcome temptations. That hurt our relationship with God. For reconciliation in our broken relationships and for a strengthening of the faith that supports us.

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

  • For all who are sick, dying or grieving. For people who are alone and need support and love. For a deeper care and understanding toward all who are living.
  • For the intentions we hold in silence …

We ask: Lord, hear your people’s prayer.

Call to worship

This is the time of fulfillment. We begin the holy season of Lent facing human temptations with the support of our faith and the love of God ready to change our lives for the better.

  • To the point — Twice the devil entices Jesus to give into temptation by saying, “If you are the Son of God …” Jesus is divine, but he also is fully human. Jesus resists the devil’s temptation to put aside his humanity and act like God, thus remaining true to himself and to why he came. But Jesus’ resisting the temptations has implications for us, too. By fully embracing his humanity Jesus lifts us up to be who we are in our relationship with God. Only from this relationship do we have the inner strength and conviction to make right choices in face of the temptations that are an inevitable part of being human.
  • Connecting the Gospel (Luke 4: 1-13) to the second reading — In the Gospel the devil sets himself up as Lord when he tempts Jesus to worship him. Paul reminds us in the second reading that Jesus is the One whom we are to profess.
  • To our experience — All temptation presents us with a choice in the face of a perceived good. We are able to see through the ruse of the perceived good to the inherent selfishness of all temptation when we spend our lives deepening our sense of who we are in relation to God.