The Sundays of Easter pass by in numerical succession but the real graph of the season is a spiral rather than a straight line. Week by week we circle around and down inside a double mystery: the mystery of the one God who is Father of all, Crucified and Risen Lord, and Spirit of Love, and the mystery of the church, built of living stones on the foundation of Jesus Christ. Even as we are drawn more and more deeply into the intimate inner life of God we are commissioned to go forth and testify that Jesus is the Way, the Truth, the Life.
Dear friends, as God’s holy people, called out of darkness into his wonderful light, let us put our faith in the Father of Jesus and pray for his blessing on the whole of creation.
1. For the human family in all its diversity, that the Spirit of Jesus will draw us together in peace and reveal to all people the true face of God, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
2. For those who see Jesus Christ as a stumbling block on the path of life, that they will come to recognise him as the cornerstone on whom they can build with confidence, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
3. For church leaders around the world, that like the Twelve apostles in Jerusalem they will be guided by the Spirit to authorise the new ministries the church needs for today, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
4. For the members of Federal Parliament, that they will collaborate in their support of budget measures that are fair, that serve the common good, and that protect the poor, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
5. For mothers and grandmothers at every stage of their lives, that love will abound for them more and more, even through times of personal difficulty and grief, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
6. For women and children ensnared in the criminal world of human trafficking, that they will be set free from their servitude and be enabled to embark on new and fulfilling lives, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
7. For those who suffer from mental illness, especially schizophrenia, that they will receive the support and understanding they need from their families and the wider community, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
8. For the refugees and asylum seekers detained on Manus Island and Nauru, that the Australian government will bring their cruel suffering to an end and release them, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
9. For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will be welcomed into the many rooms prepared for them in the Father’s house, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
Good and holy God, you gave us your Son Jesus to be the way that leads to you, the truth that sets us free, the life that fills us with joy. Deepen our faith in him until the day we see you face to face. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.