Introduction to the mass
Today’s gospel, like many others, does not instantly sound like good news. At first, it may disturb and trouble us. Only by dwelling on it can we discover its welcome truth. Jesus calls us to renounce ourselves, take up our cross and let go of our lives. None of this is meant to cast a sad shadow over us. Jesus never sought out suffering, nor does he teach us to. He simply tells the truth: that the way to life opens up when we cast off the tyranny of self and give ourselves wholeheartedly to the task of love.
The week's prayer focus
You do not ask us, Lord, to go in search of the cross but to take up the cross that life brings. Give us the courage to embrace the daily cross of love’s demands and to find you there.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, Jesus dares us to follow him on the way of the cross. Taking up his challenge to put self-interest aside, let us pray for the human family in all its need.
- For the people of every nation suffering from war or natural disaster, that the world community will unite in coming to their aid, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For Christian believers around the globe, that their lives will testify to Christ’s victory on the cross and inspire fresh hope where there is darkness and pain, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the Catholic community in Australia, that God’s Spirit will help the church discern how best to promote the value of family life and faithful love in the debate over same-sex marriage, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For fathers and grandfathers, that they will find joy in their children and be blessed by giving them the time, attention and love they need to flourish, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For parents, teachers, coaches and all who have the care of children, that Child Protection Week will strengthen their resolve to ensure all children’s safety and well-being, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For adults who have never learnt to read, that even late in life they will be given the opportunity to gain this basic skill and enjoy the new horizons it opens up for them, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the millions of displaced people living in refugee camps in Africa and the Middle East, that the world will not tire of giving them what they need for a tolerable life, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For ourselves, that we will not model our behaviour on the world around us but live our lives according to the mind of Christ, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the recently deceased... and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that they will see God’s strength and glory and be filled with joy in God’s presence, (pause) let us pray to the Lord.
True and living God, your Son Jesus did not cling to his equality with you but became one of us, even to death on the cross. As you raised him from shame to glory, so lift us up to a new life in you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.