Introduction to mass
At every Mass, we dare to say the Lord's Prayer. It is daring of us, because to pray the Our Father is to take the risk of asking for far more than we might have expected. Today it's the petition for forgiveness that reveals the challenge. In words that sum up the parable of the unforgiving servant, we pray in the Lord's Prayer that we be forgiven even as we forgive others. It's a dangerous request to make as Jesus' story makes clear. The heart that is closed to others is closed to God. But the merciful heart knows the boundless mercy of God.
The week's prayer focus
Deliver us, dear God, from hardness of heart. Open our eyes to your goodness and set us free to be faithful missionaries of your mercy.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, Jesus taught us to pray to be forgiven even as we forgive others. With Jesus' own spirit of mercy let us pray for the whole of God's creation.
- We pray for the citizens of Australia and for those who hope to become citizens. May Australian Citizenship Day help us all to recognise both the blessings and the responsibilities of citizenship. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for those who suffer from Alzheimer's disease and for members of their families. May they receive the care and support they need to live through this condition with dignity. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for ourselves. May the way we live for Christ and die in him influence others for good. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the members of the Jewish and Muslim communities as they celebrate New Year this week. May they be renewed in spirit and refreshed in faith for the year ahead. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for heads of state around the world. May this year's International Day of Peace inspire them to lead their people in the work for justice that makes peace possible. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for all who engage in bloodshed under the banner of hate-filled ideology. May they repent of their violence and become agents of peace and reconciliation. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for those in our midst who feel excluded from the benefits enjoyed by others. May they not become captive to resentment but determined to work for a fairer society. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for Pope Francis, Apostle of mercy. May he and all Christian leaders never cease to bear witness to the boundless mercy of God. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- We pray for the recently deceased... and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May the mercy of God free them from sin and lead them to eternal life. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
God of all kindness and mercy, on the cross of Calvary your Son reconciled heaven and earth. Open our hearts in thanksgiving for your goodness and make us instruments of your peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord.