Liturgy Alive Wednesday, February 9, 2011
Father, God of the ever-new covenant,?
you have tied us to yourself?
with leading strings of everlasting love;?
the words you speak to us are spirit and life.?
May your Spirit make us look at the commandments ?
not as a set of observances.?
May they move us to serve you ?
not in a slavish way, but as your sons and daughters?
who love you and whom you have set free?
through your Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord.
First Reading Introduction: The Lord God planted a garden in Eden and placed there the man whom he had formed.
After the creation poem of Gen 1, we get a second version of the creation, especially of the Earth Man (Adam, drawn from adamah, earth) in a down-to-earth story. The human person breathes with the same life-giving breath (spirit, ruah) as God, at least in the sense that he or she has to breathe at the same rhythm as God. Then, the human person is placed in a royal garden called paradise, to cultivate it.
Gospel Introduction: What comes out of the man, that is what defiles him.
Divided too, were the hearts of the Pharisees, as Jesus points out in the Gospel; their interior attitude did not correspond to their outward practices. The question of pure/impure was very important for the early Church, as it was one of the strongest traditions of the Jews and a point of contention for them. Hence, the Christians coming from Jewry asked themselves whether they could eat from the same table with non-Jews. According to Mark, in the light of creation that sees all foods as created good and pure, in the kingdom the rules about food are abolished.
– For families plagued by quarrels and division, that the Lord may bless them with peace, we pray:
– For all the Churches that invoke the name of Christ, that they may accept the invitation of our Lord to eat with him from the table of unity and love, we pray:
– That the Spirit may keep lawmakers today distinguishing between good and evil, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
we bring before you our readiness?
to respond to your love.?
We ask you that these gifts of bread and wine?
may become the body and blood?
of your Son, Jesus Christ,?
that with him we may be dedicated to you?
with our whole mind and heart,?
and that we may be capable?
of communicating your love and justice?
to all those around us.?
Grant us this through Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,?
your Son, Jesus, has shared himself with us?
in this Eucharistic celebration.
Purify our hearts and intentions,
that we may also share in his attitude?
of openness to your will ?
and to the needs of people.?
May we thus, fulfill more than the law?
and serve you as your sons and daughters,?
in whom you recognize Jesus Christ,?
your Son and our Lord for ever.
Commandments are not just observances that guarantee our salvation. They are a response to all God has given us. We ask God not what we are obliged to do, but what he expects us to do to respond to his love. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.