Unchanging and ever-new God,
you want us to be your pilgrim people
on the march with Jesus, your Son,
toward a new future of justice and love.
Do not allow us to be suffocated in being contented
with old habits and sluggish ways.
Help us to accept the pain
of leaving the familiar behind us
and open us to the challenge of the Gospel
to become more like your Son
who guides our faltering steps,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction
The reading from Samuel narrates the beginning of the disenchantment with King Saul. He kept the spoils of war that he was told not to keep.
You know from experience that change is always a problem to us. It calls us away from the security of our ingrained habits and our certainties. And it forces us to go unfamiliar ways. That is why, as if by nature, we resist change. It is an inherent law of Christianity to be always open to renewal and conversion. The trouble is that the old and the new are usually intolerant of one another.
– For the Church, that the People of God and its leaders may follow the promptings of the creative Spirit, to speak to the people of today in the language of today, the ever-new message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, we pray:
– For artists, poets, and inventors, that they may reveal to us the splendor of creation and the riches of life beyond its apparent drabness, we pray:
– For our communities, that we may not be afraid of authentic change and draw from Christ the courage to start the renewal of the world and of the Church with the renewal of ourselves, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, our God,
with bread and wine, we celebrate
the covenant you renew with us
in the blood of Jesus Christ.
Make us indeed your new faithful people
bound to you in an everlasting union of love.
Renew our hearts;
make us your new wine of hope and joy,
that we may rebuild this earth today
and march forward with your Son
toward a new heaven,
where you will be our God for ever.
Prayer after Communion
God of hope,
you have given us Jesus, your Son,
as our companion on the road
for understanding the old familiar things
with a new and young heart
and for renewing ourselves and the world.
Let him prod us on
when we try to compromise
by merely patching up the old here and there;
let him curb our impatience
when we try to rush people
beyond their capacity for growth.
Lead us ever forward through our trusted guide,
Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Yes, it is not easy to change ourselves, our Church, our world. But life is growth. We have to grow up to the size and the stature of Christ. We have to become mature Christians in mature communities, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.