Liturgy Alive Monday, August 22, 2011
God our Father,
you want us to be the body of your Son.
Let our faith be deep and strong,
like a light in the darkness
for us and for all our neighbors far and near.
Let hope sustain us on the way
to you and one another
and keep us from discouragement.
Let your Holy Spirit bind us together
in one loyal love that is always ready
to excuse, to trust, to hope,
and to endure whatever comes,
on account of Christ Jesus, our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
Introduction to the First Reading
The very reason why we are together here is that we believe in God and his Son, Jesus Christ, that through the Holy Spirit, we hope in the promises of God our Father and in the future to which Christ leads us, that we are united through the Spirit of love with God and one another. These are the marks of a good Christian community, for which Paul praises his Christians of Thessalonica, the first Christian foundation in Europe (the present Salonika in Greece). 1 Thes is also the first New Testament writing, written in 51 of the Christian era. May faith, hope and love be a characteristic for us and all our Christian communities.
Introduction to Gospel Reading
When we hold on to the letter of the law without concern for its spirit, we easily become hypocrites, perhaps without realizing it fully; also when in the name of tradition, we sap it of all life, or worse, when we speak beautiful words but act differently. For example, when we speak of poverty, community, or dialogue, but live in grand style or fail to communicate from person to person. Such contradictions are not only the lot of Pharisees and scribes: they are often with us today.
– For the community of the Church, that our leaders may inspire us by their faith and that we may bring God's joy and peace to a world in dire need of hope and love, we pray:
– For our national community, that there may be reconciliation where we are divided, and that both our leaders and people may believe in a future based on justice and peace, we pray:
– For our communities of religious men and women, that their members may accept, respect, and enrich one another, we pray:
– For the community of our parish, that we may be concerned about the poor and the sick among us and that we may strengthen their faith as they recognize your goodness in us, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God our Father,
with trusting faith
we bring these gifts before you.
One with our Lord, Jesus Christ,
we offer you ourselves,
our willingness to serve
and to become more like him.
Accept our offering,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
God our Father,
we have celebrated the mystery of faith
of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
May he live on in our hearts and deeds
and mark us with his love without boundaries,
that he may grow in us
and that we may build up in hope
your kingdom of justice and peace
that will last, for ever and ever.
It is good to hear the joyful praise Paul gives about a fervent Church, a good Christian community. Would that our community deserves such praise also! May Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.