Introduction to the Mass
On this holy day we hail Jesus as the Christ, our Messiah and God’s anointed Son. He comes as prophet of peace, mounted on a beast of burden not a steed of war. Soon he bids farewell to his disciples in a communion of bread and wine, prays in the garden to be spared his cup of suffering, and carries his cross to the hill of shame. Witnessed by the faithful women, he cries out and surrenders his spirit. For the moment we leave him in the silence of the tomb. The rest is in God’s hands.
Dear friends, today we acclaim Jesus as Servant of God and Saviour. Let us join our hearts to his and pray for an outpouring of God’s spirit of peace on the whole of humanity.
1. We pray for peace-makers around the world. May they remain strong and steadfast in their mission of mercy and never cease to call on warring parties to renounce the ways of violence. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
2. We pray for Christian communities enduring persecution or harassment because of their faith. May they be given the courage they need to stay true to the gospel. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
3. We pray for the people of the Jewish faith as they celebrate the feast of Passover. May they be faithful to the covenant and renewed in their calling as God’s chosen people. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
4. We pray for Caritas Australia’s partner agencies in the Philippines. May our support for Project Compassion help them work with coastal communities threatened by extreme weather events. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
5. We pray for flood-affected communities in Queensland and New South Wales. May they and local authorities support one another in the long recovery from loss and damage. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
6. We pray for the young people of Australia. May National Youth Week inspire them with hope for the future and a passion to care for the planet. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
7. We pray for all who will take part in this week’s solemn paschal liturgies, especially those who are to be baptised. May they journey with Jesus through his passion and death and be filled with joy at his resurrection. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
8. We pray for those who holiday together as families at Eastertime. May their time away be an opportunity for relaxation and the renewal of their relationships. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they be raised on high with Jesus their crucified and risen Lord. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
All-loving God, you gave us your beloved Son to share our humanity even unto death. Deepen our faith in him and renew our hope that the whole of creation will be raised from death to your eternal glory. We ask this through Christ our Lord.