Liturgy Alive Friday, May 13, 2016
Many today refuse to accept the shepherd image which God attributes to himself (for example, Ez 24), which Christ claims for himself and which he gave to the apostles. Are the faithful no more than docile sheep? Are the pope, bishops and priests who "dominate in the name of truth, repress in the name of morality, and keep 'the flock' infantile in the name of God's goodness" (Bernard Feuillet, Journal de la Vie 78, p. 25)? Not if they understand their mission of service and self-giving. Not if they are shepherds in Christ's way. Not if they are agents and centers of unity for their people.
Lord our God,
you have appointed shepherds in your Church
to speak your word to us
and to build community in your name.
We pray you today:
May they be shepherds like your Son
who look for those who have lost the way,
bring back the stray, bandage the wounded
and make the weak strong.
May they all be ministers
of your tender love and service,
as Jesus was, your Son and our Lord.
- Lord, we pray you for your shepherds in the Church. They are our shepherds. May their love overflow on us, their people, we pray:
- Lord, that love may be the key to the living faith of the Church, both in us the faithful and in our leaders, we pray:
- Lord, let the Holy Spirit fill us with a compassionate love for the poor and the weak among us, we pray:
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
in these signs of bread and wine
your Son comes among us to serve us
and to unite us.
We pray you for those in the Church
whom you have chosen
for a ministry of service.
Human and vulnerable as they are,
may they have the strength
to serve and to unite
and to have for their pastoral concern
May building up communities of faith and love
be their pastoral concern.
We ask you this through Christ our Lord.
Prayer after Communion
Our God, you care for us
through our Lord Jesus Christ, our shepherd,
Let the Holy Spirit inspire and strengthen
those who have a pastoral task in your Church.
Help them to bring out the best in people
and to make all in the community
responsible for making the Church
the sign of Jesus' presence among people,
that all may recognize him
as our Lord now and for ever.
Do you love me? Do you let me lead you? This is a question Jesus asks us, weak and fickle people. And may our answer be in words and deeds a wholehearted "yes." May almighty God confirm you in your love and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.