Liturgy Alive Monday, October 20, 2014
Lord our God,
we are your work of art.
When we were vowed to death through sin,
you called us to life
through the death of your Son.
God, open us to your love and life
given for free as a gift
without charge or regret
and give us thankful hearts.
May we learn from you and your Son
to place ourselves in the service
of our brothers and sisters,
through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction
Ephesians gives us the very fundamental message of our gratuitous salvation by the death and resurrection of Christ. Life, real life, comes through him. We have not done anything to deserve it and we can't do anything to merit it. All we are, we are by the grace of God. It goes perhaps against the grain of our human thinking, but we are dependent beings, a gift from God living by the gifts of God. And yet, this should not be humiliating, for it is in accordance with our human nature. We are dependent, yes, but we are loved—and this is what changes everything.
When Jesus speaks out against the rich, he does not intend to condemn them but to liberate them. What he denounces is not the fact that they have material goods, but their own attachment to them and the use they make of their riches: for hoarding, for selfish enjoyment, or - as some rich countries do - stockpiling wheat in silos or using oil for economic and political pressure. The value of possessions is relative to the goods of the kingdom, to justice and love. What counts is to be rich and wise before God.
– For grateful hearts, that we can thank God for changing us from strangers to him into his sons and daughters in Christ, we pray:
– For loving hearts, that God has brought us peace with himself, with one another, and even with ourselves, we pray:
– For wide-open hearts, with which we can love the many brothers and sisters God's grace has given us in the Church, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
you let us use these offerings
as gifts from your hands
to eat and drink the life of your Son.
Confirm us in your grace
without any claim to our own merits
and let the Spirit of Jesus help us
to live the good life of your Son,
which you had meant us to live
from the beginning and for ever.
We ask you this
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
what else can we do
than give you thanks and praise
for speaking to us through Jesus
and strengthening us
with his bread of life?
May what we say and do
and all of our lives
be a gift to those around
and an act of gratitude to you,
our God, for ever and ever.
All is grace, all is a gift freely given. Even the use of our talents and our work is God's gift. Let us also give freely to our neighbor, like our love to the people close to us, but also our help to people who suffer, even if far away from us. And may Almighty God bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.