Liturgy Alive Thursday, February 16, 2012
Lord God, merciful Father,
your Son came to set all people free,
to make the poor rich in faith and hope,
to make the rich aware of their poverty.
Unite us all in one trust in you
and in one common concern for one another;
give us all your attitude and that of Jesus,
of not distinguishing between ranks and classes and sexes
but of seeking together the freedom
brought us by Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction
Our constant temptation is to look up to people in positions of power, wealth, influence, and to disregard the poor and the weak and to discriminate against them and also against half of humanity—women. It demands courage to associate with the poor and to stand up for their rights. The Gospel is not to be abused for social agitation to divide and polarize, for Christ came to save the rich too, but it demands social consciousness and involvement. The prophets and the Gospel—also the apostles—have hard-hitting passages about commitment to the poor and to social justice; we should do away with our tendency to deprive them of their impact by explaining them spiritually.
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, loving Father,
by uniting us around this table
and giving us your Son as our food,
you remind us that you have made us
responsible for one another.
Help us to extend our hands in love,
without any humiliating condescension,
to anyone suffering or in need,
aware that we are all sisters and brothers
of our one Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Prayer after Communion
Lord God, Father of all,
for you every person counts;
you accept and welcome everyone
who is willing to respond to your love.
Let every person who hungers or suffers
wear for us the face of your Son
and help us to share with her or him
the bread of our poverty,
that we may bear with honor
the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord.
All are children of God… But let us all grow to become adults of God, whatever way we come, with all our differences and similarities. "I want them all to become one," said Jesus. Let us become one in him, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.