At this time of year endings are coming into focus. The end of the school year approaches, heralding the end of the calendar year. This month we remember those whose earthly lives have ended. Soon we will come to the end of the liturgical year. Now the Sunday gospel is taking us to the brink of Jesus' final days of life. No wonder we hear much from him about being ready for the end. He invites us to join him in readiness, not in fear, for whatever the call of God may ask and for whenever it may come. It promises so much.
The week's prayer focus
In this age of endless information and argument, our hearts long for wisdom. Open our minds, dear God, to the gift of your divine Wisdom and bless us with the courage to be guided by her in all our ways.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, Jesus often likens God's reign to a wedding feast. Today he warns us to be alert, awake and ready for the call to come in. In that spirit let us pray for all our needs and for those of the world.
- For ourselves, that in this month of November our remembrance of the dead will deepen our gratitude for all who have been a loving part of our lives, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For Pope Francis, bishop of Rome, and all his fellow bishops, that their example will inspire us to seek out and live by the wisdom that God reveals to hearts of faith, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For leaders of nations and states, that in the face of an uncertain future they will always appeal to our better selves and not play on our fears, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all members of the Australian Parliament, that they will rise above their political differences and unite in bringing the humanitarian crisis on Manus Island to an immediate end, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the Catholic community in Australia, that God's spirit of truth will enable the church to offer a wise response to the contested moral issues of our time, especially those of abortion and euthanasia, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For young people becoming aware of their sexuality, that they will be blessed with loving parents and role models as they negotiate the challenges of friendship and intimacy, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all students undergoing major exams at this time, that they will cope well with the stress they feel and do justice to themselves and all that they have learned, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For scientific researchers and health workers, that their combined efforts to deal with disease will bring relief to those suffering from life-threatening conditions, especially diabetes, (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 they will be raised to life in Christ and rejoice with him forever, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
Living and life-giving God, you bring us to birth, sustain us in life, and at life's end call us to yourself. Give us eyes of faith to see your Son Jesus as our good shepherd all along the way. We ask this through Christ our Lord.