Liturgy Alive Thursday, February 17, 2011
Lord our God,
to meet hardship and suffering
caused by others or for the sake of others
is often hard to take.
We complain and it shakes our trust.
Help us to accept suffering
as a part of life and a way to grow
and if we do not understand its mystery,
help us to bear it for others,
as Jesus did, your Son,
who lives with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever.
First Reading Introduction: I set my bow in the clouds to serve as a sign of the covenant between me and the earth.
God makes a provisional covenant with people. Von Rad calls this the beginning of the patience of God. Life belongs to him too, for people can take the life of animals for their food provided the sign of life, blood, is drained from them, but the life of fellow human beings cannot be taken without punishment.
Gospel Introduction: You are the Christ. The Son of Man must suffer much.
The Gospel tells us today that Jesus asked his disciples one day who they thought he was, and Peter said: You are the Christ, that is, the promised Savior. But when Jesus told them, he would save people by his suffering and death before his resurrection, Peter protested. He could not accept a suffering Lord. For us too, it is hard to accept pain and contradiction. We grumble and protest: “Why me?” But, we have to learn from Jesus that pain and hardship is part of life, and often the way to life and joy. People who have suffered for others understand what love means.
– For the Church, that it may not be ashamed of preaching the crucified Christ and of being self-effacing with him, we pray:
– For the stragglers in life, for the little people “who do not count,” that they may not be trampled underfoot by the high and the mighty, we pray:
– For those not adapted to life, for those whose ideas or conduct we do not share, that we may respect them and have a heart and a place for them, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
in this Eucharist, we remember
the forgiveness and life
brought us by your Son in pain and death.
May we follow him not only
on his way to happiness and joy,
but also, when necessary,
on his way to the cross,
that we may live with him for ever.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, our God,
you have spoken to us in this Eucharist,
words of encouragement
and you have made us strong
with the bread of life of your Son.
Let him stay with us on the journey of life
not only on days of joy,
but also in dark moments,
when our bodies ache
or our hearts are wounded,
and help us to bring to each other
consolation and hope,
on account of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Peter protested against the suffering that would mark the life and death, the saving act of Jesus. We also protest at times, for suffering hurts. Yet, we are followers of Christ. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.