Liturgy Alive Saturday, March 19, 2016
At the time of the purifying trial of the exile, Ezekiel preaches God’s utopian dream: Israel will be gathered into one: one nation, one land, one sanctuary, ruled by one shepherd and a servant king under one God in a covenant of peace.
After the resurrection of Lazarus, the cynical High Priest and leaders decide to put the embarrassing troublemaker, Jesus, to death for opportunistic reasons of the state. But John, and Christians with him, realize that Jesus’ death, for the sake of all, will ultimately unify us all in his kingdom.
We are today still scattered and divided tribes, within the Church and outside it. Is unity for us utopia or a firm hope? Do we realize that it can be attained only by respect, love, and sacrifice?
Lord God, creator and Father of all,
your sons and daughters
are still scattered and divided:
Christians and non-Christians,
various Churches and sects
claiming exclusive rights on your Son,
and each of them full of factions.
Make us dream again the dream
which you alone can make possible:
that we can all be one
if we believe and follow him
who died to unite all that is scattered,
Jesus Christ, our Lord for ever.
– That our world may become one in seeking peace for all; with access for all nations to the goods of our world and respect and understanding for every people on earth, we pray:
– That the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus may bring together the divided and scattered Churches, we pray:
– That our communities may find unity in prayer, sharing, and mutual service, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
you have called us together
at the table of your Son.
Unite us in him,
make us one of heart and mind,
that we may become to a divided world
a sign that unity is possible
when we can meet in Christ Jesus,
your Son and our Lord for ever.
Prayer after Communion
Lord, our God and Father,
you want us to become one
under Christ, our shepherd and servant.
May we learn from him
to be servants of love and truth
and to sacrifice our clannish interests
for the sake of the good of all.
Under the guidance of your Son,
may we truly be your people
and you our God, for ever and ever.
How far we are still from the ideal of one heart and one mind, be it our world, our Churches, our communities? May God bring his scattered children together and bless us, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.