Liturgy Alive Monday, January 31, 2011
Lord, our God,
through your Son, Jesus Christ,
you showed your concerned love
even to the most pitiable of people.
Inspire among us too people who care,
and may our own words and gestures
always reflect the love without boundaries
of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
First Reading Introduction: By faith they conquered kingdoms. God had foreseen something better for us.
The author of Hebrews gives praise to the faith of great men and women of the Old Testament: Kings and other leaders, prophets, martyrs. Even if they did not yet know Christ, they had great faith.
Gospel Introduction: Unclean spirit, come out of the man!
On his first journey to pagan territory, Jesus cures a possessed man. Biblical scholars generally accept the historical foundation of this strange incident, namely, that Jesus took pity on a sick man and revealed his divine power to the pagans. Much of the rest may be a midrash, a sort of free allegorical theological commentary in rabbinic style. For the Jews had a very low opinion of pagans. They were slaves of demons, living in impure places of death, like tombs, and not much better than pigs. In any case, Jesus is not limited by boundaries and goes to these most alienated people, but they do not accept him. Only the man who is healed shows faith in Jesus.
– For the many in our harsh world who are still suffering from discrimination, treated as outcasts or nowhere welcome, we pray:
– For all of us, that we may never see compassion as weakness or something to hide, we pray:
– For gratitude for the gifts we have received from the Lord and for the goodness people have let us experience, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, our God,
we bring bread and wine before you
to share in the thanksgiving of your Son.
With him we give you praise
for your covenant of love
and we ask you in all humility
always to remember that those around us
belong to you as much or more than we do,
on account of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, you taught us today
that it is better to forgive than to punish,
better to help than to speak words of pity.
Help us to have concern toward our neighbor,
even when it is not appreciated,
the compassionate and uplifting attitude
of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
To the man he had cured, Jesus said: “Go home to your friends and tell them how much the Lord has done for you.” Let us tell our friends how much the Lord has done for us, and may Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.