Introduction to the Mass
The feast of the Ascension offers rich fare for the Christian imagination. It invites believers to explore the interplay between earth and heaven, time and eternity, presence and absence, faith and doubt. That is where the church lives out its faith and mission: at the intersection of these various crossroads. The challenge is to hold these dimensions together and keep them all in play. This, in the end, is the work of God’s Spirit. Both in human hearts and throughout the cosmos, the Spirit never ceases to unleash the power of love and renew the face of the earth.
Dear friends, Jesus promised to be with us always, even to the end of time. With trust and confidence in his word, let us place the entire world in the hands of our loving God.
1. We pray for Pope Francis, bishop of Rome, and for all Christian leaders. May their joyful preaching of the gospel call the human family into a new era of hope and peace. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
2. We pray for Christian communities around the world. May this week of prayer for Christian Unity draw them close together in the mission Jesus entrusted to his disciples. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
3. We pray for the followers of Islam as they begin the month of Ramadan. May their practice of fasting, prayer and almsgiving renew them in body, mind and spirit. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
4. We pray for the whole Australian community. May this year’s National Reconciliation Week help pave the way for constitutional recognition of the land’s indigenous peoples. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
5. We pray for all who are engaged in formulating policy for education funding in Australia. May they give first place to the right of all children to receive a sound education. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
6. We pray for the staff and volunteers of aid agencies working in places of great danger and distress. May they succeed in relieving the suffering of those they serve. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
7. We pray for people, young and old, who are either unemployed or under-employed. May local communities find ways of supporting them as they search for work. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
8. We pray for ourselves as the Easter season draws to a close. May we be blessed with a spirit of wisdom to see the hope and glory promised us as believers. (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 to life in Christ and reign with him for ever. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Father of glory, in the waters of baptism and by the power of your Spirit you have made us new in your Son Jesus Christ. Help us to walk always as children of light. We ask this through the same Christ our Lord.