Liturgy Alive Wednesday, November 23, 2011
God our Father,
we believe that your plans for us
are for peace and courage, and not for fear.
Keep us open-eyed to the signs
of the constant coming of Jesus your Son.
Help us to commit ourselves untiringly
to the growth of your kingdom among us
by carrying out your plans for peace and love
and for all that makes our world more
your world and the way to your home.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction
The message of hope of the previous days continues in today’s readings. The Syrian king oppressed the Jews and declared himself “Epiphanes,” that is, “God become visible”; God will soon judge him and his kingdom will come to an end. He appears here disguised, under the name Belshazzar. On the other hand, the persecuted Christians will bear witness to God and to his Son Jesus Christ by their fidelity.
Our baptism has made us witnesses of Christ. But it is not always an easy path, especially in times of great change, and even more so for missionaries. Difficulties will come from those closest to us. But we may rest assured that Christ is with us and that through his Spirit he will make us eloquent and give us the wisdom what to say and do. Do not be afraid! This may be easier said than done.
– For the Church, that free from all paralyzing fears it may have the courage born of faith to bear witness to the demands of the gospel, we pray:
– For the leaders of the Church, that in our difficult times they may not be men and women of fear but of trust in God, we pray:
– For the prophets in our midst, sent by God to wake us up from our complacency, that we may not muzzle them but heed their call for conversion, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
accept this bread and this wine
as signs that we are committed
to build up your kingdom in our world.
May our attitudes and decisions in life
be those of Jesus, your Son:
to seek your dawn of love and service
rather than self-destructive selfishness,
to be constructive and creative
in giving shape to a new earth
rather than to be critical of the past.
May we thus fully encounter you one day
in the joys of a new heaven.
Grant this through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
your Son Jesus destroyed our death by dying
and by rising he restored our life.
By the strength of this eucharist
May we and the whole of humanity
grow up in Christ day after day
through the pains and tensions of all growth.
But keep alive in us the joy of a firm hope
that your dawn of justice is coming
to make us and all things new
and that Jesus will return
to make us share in his glory
for good and for ever.
Do not fear. We are in God’s hands. Trust in God. And let his Spirit live and speak and act in us, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.