The drama of Jesus' passion and death is played out in full in Holy Week each year but is never off stage. We are caught up in it again through the parables we hear around this time. Today's story is told by Jesus after he has entered Jerusalem for the last time. The conflict between him and the Jewish authorities has escalated beyond repair. Jesus will soon become "the stone rejected by the builders" but this is not the end it seems. A new house of God will rise on the rock that is Christ. This is God's own work and it is wonderful to see.
The week's prayer focus
"There is no need to worry," Paul wrote to the Philippians. And so we pray: Dear God of peace, set us free from the anxieties that trouble us each day and help us put our trust in your unfailing goodness.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, Paul the apostle encouraged the Philippians not to worry but to pray in thankfulness and peace. In that spirit let us place our needs before our loving God.
- For all Christian communities, that they will recognise and give thanks for the beliefs and practices they have inherited from the Jewish tradition, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- [ACT, NSW, WA, Vic] We pray for children and teachers returning to school this week. May they come together refreshed and ready for a term of discovery and growth. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
- For faith communities that face discrimination, harassment or persecution because of their religion, that they will hold fast to all that is life-giving in their faith, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For children around the world, especially girls, that this week's observance of the International Day of the Girl Child will create fresh opportunities for them to flourish, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the prophets of our time who dare to declare unwelcome truths to us, that they not be silenced or sidelined by the vested interests they challenge, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For those who suffer from any form of mental illness, that they not be stigmatised or ignored but be respected and supported, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the homeless, that the whole community will unite to provide the resources and services they need for safe shelter and a new path in life, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the blind and visually impaired, especially those in countries that are impoverished, that they be given every opportunity to enjoy a full life in the community, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that God's face will shine upon them and bring them peace, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
God of Israel and Father of Jesus, you made the stone rejected by the builders a cornerstone for your dwelling-place among us. Keep us in your peace and help us be true to our calling as your people. We ask this through Christ our Lord.