Liturgy Alive Monday, February 17, 2014
forgive us that in our weak faith,
we ask sometimes for signs and wonders.
We know that you are our Father,
but it is not always easy for us
to recognize your loving presence.
Give us eyes of faith to see the sign
that you are with us in Jesus and his message.
We say so reluctantly, for it is painful:
purify our trust in you and in Jesus,
that we may become more mature Christians,
who love you through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
First Reading Introduction: Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.
Sin, even murder, shows its ugly head right after the loss of paradise. Or does the story express the conflict between two cultures, the sedentary life based on the land (Cain) and the nomadic life of the shepherd Abel? Yet, for his punishment, Cain becomes himself a fugitive nomad.
Gospel Introduction: Why does this generation seek a sign?.
In the Gospel, the Pharisees ask Jesus for a sign that his authority came from heaven. But we too look often for signs and reassurances. Are the words of Jesus not assurance enough? Does not faith consist in trusting him? Our sign is the life and the message of Jesus.
– For people who have to face trials, that they may grow as persons and Christians through this testing of their faith, we pray:
– For those who doubt their faith or who hesitate to commit themselves the way their faith demands, that the Lord may give them insight and strength, we pray:
– For all of us, that the Lord may increase our faith and make it spontaneous and rich, without our needing special signs, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
God, our Father,
when contradicted and rejected,
your Son Jesus did not waver.
He accepted life with its sufferings
to bring us forgiveness and joy.
Do not allow us to be tossed about
by the waves of our doubts and fears,
but accept in this bread and wine
our will to be faithful to you and each other
in trials as well as in joys.
We ask this through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, loving Father,
we know that unseen but ever-present,
you stand by our side in days of trial.
Help us also not to abandon
our brothers and sisters in need
but to strengthen their trust in you,
that together we may go forward
toward the joy that you promise us
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
The sign given us by Jesus is Jesus himself, God is showing himself in Jesus, in his inspiring word of life, in the tenderness of his healing, in his acceptance of all people, including outcasts and the poor. May God open your eyes and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.