Introduction to the mass
The festivals of Trinity and the Body and Blood of Christ have eased our transition from Easter back to Ordinary Time. Now for the long haul through to the end of the church’s year. The evangelist Matthew returns as our principal guide. Escorting us through the drama of Jesus’ mission, he alternates action and teaching through to the climax of the cross and ultimate triumph. The demands of discipleship and the complex inter-relationship between the emerging Christian community and its Jewish matrix are a special focus. Jesus has the last word: “I am with you always, to the end of the age” (28:20).
The week's prayer focus
We pray that we will understand and put into practice God’s word from ages past, “what I want is mercy, not sacrifice” (Hosea 6:6). Lead us, O Lord, into the freedom of the children of God.
Dear friends, Jesus bids his followers be fearless in bearing witness to him. Trusting like Jesus in the Father’s steadfast love, let us place our troubled world in God’s merciful hands.
- We pray for Christian communities in the many countries where they face aggressive persecution. May they be strengthened by the power of the Holy Spirit and by our solidarity with them in faith. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the prophets of today’s church and society who speak unwelcome truths to us. May we have the courage to heed their word and change our ways. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for a new spirit of integrity in the world of business and public life. May all people of influence uphold values of honesty and fairness, no matter what the cost. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all seafarers and maritime workers, especially shipping crews subject to harsh conditions. May they receive the justice and respect they deserve. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for couples whose yet-to-be-born or newborn children face the risk of serious or life-threatening health conditions. May they be given the medical care and moral support they need. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all refugees and asylum seekers still held by Australia in overseas or mainland detention centres. May political differences be set aside to bring their cruel punishment to an end. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all children receiving the sacrament of confirmation around this time. May the anointing in the Spirit they are being given deepen their own faith and that of their families. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for ourselves. Like the apostles Peter and Paul, may we come to know and rejoice in the free gift of God’s grace that has come to us through Jesus Christ. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May they share to the full in Christ’s victory over sin and death. (Pause) Lord, hear us.
Almighty and ever-living God, your Son taught us to pray that we be saved from the time of trial and delivered from all evil. Hear and answer our prayer which we make through Christ our Lord.