Liturgy Alive Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Lord our God,
we hold you to your promise
to those who have left everything
for the sake of your kingdom
and for the Gospel of Jesus Christ, your Son.
Let them be men and women
poor in the things that count on this earth,
but rich with your love and your grace
and with a wealth of friends
to whom they can bring
our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
First Reading Introduction: To keep the law is a great oblation.
“Honor the Lord with generosity… Add a smiling face to all your gifts” says the first reading. The advice of Ben Sirach is for honest persons to thank God by offering sacrifices, but God will not accept sacrifices from dishonest people, for he accepts no bribes.
Gospel Introduction: You will receive a hundred times as much persecution in this present age, and eternal life in the age to come.
What about those who give up everything for the sake of the kingdom of heaven? They will not only “inherit heaven” but find happiness on earth in the freedom from worries about losing material goods and the inner freedom of belonging to all, in the joy of winning many brothers and sisters in the community. And curiously enough but realistically, Mark adds that they will retain their happiness and reward even in the contradictions and persecutions they encounter in their endeavors for the kingdom. One must remain free and poor within oneself.
– For all Christians, that we may be generous in serving the Lord and our neighbor, we pray:
– For those who have dedicated their lives in the direct service of God, as priests, religious, ministers, that they may live fully in the loving hands of the Lord, we pray:
– For all Christians, that they may be joyful people, who do not lose their smile even when they meet difficulties, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father,
with bread and wine we remember him
who gave himself totally for others,
your Son, Jesus Christ.
Everything was taken away from him
except the certainty that you were with him.
With him then, we offer ourselves,
that we may belong to you
and to the brothers and sisters
you have placed on our way.
Let no trial keep us from remaining free
and from living in communion with you,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
by the power of this Eucharist,
help us to see and to practice fully
what it means to be a disciple of Jesus:
that only when we forgive we find forgiveness,
that our thirst is quenched
when we give our neighbor to drink,
that we find consolation
when we speak words that alleviate pain,
that when we break and share bread
we will find your joy
that lasts for ever and ever.
We are in the hands of God, a good God, a merciful God. We try to serve him well and entrust ourselves to him. May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.