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Prayers of the people: 11th Sunday in Ordinary Time Year B, 17 June 2018

08 June 2018

Introductory reflection

To search the gospel for a definition of the reign of God is to find no decisive answer. What we discover is a swag of stories that baffle as much as they shed light. The parables tease our literal mindset. They contest our addiction to empirical results. Rather they invite imagination, a willingness to wonder, a readiness to have our world-view called into question. Today’s two stories—the crop growing secretly and the mustard seed become a shrub—dare us to look beyond unpromising appearances and to discern a deep divine power at work within hearts, communities and creation. In these times of Christian crisis that’s a graced opportunity to grasp happily.

The week’s prayer focus

For the Catholic church in Australia that it will become an open community of faith in which the voice of the Spirit is bold and free.

Sample intercessions

These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns


Dear friends, Jesus spoke in parables to proclaim the reign of God. In faith let us pray for God to rule over our hearts and our world.


  1. For church communities diminished by persecution or loss of faith, that the power of God’s word will bring them to life again and give them fresh growth, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  2. For the tens of millions of refugees around the world, that the international community will provide them with safe shelter and do everything possible to address the root causes of their displacement, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  3. For the citizens of Australia, that Refugee Week will unite them in goodwill and practical support for refugees and asylum seekers held in detention centres here and offshore, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  4. For the peoples of the Asia Pacific under threat from regional rivalries and rising sea levels, that their governments will work closely together to reduce the risks they face, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  5. For drought-affected communities across the land, that they will have the strength and resilience they need to deal with the challenging conditions, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  6. For all in positions of responsibility in Australian politics, business and the workplace, that they will pledge themselves to ethical decision-making and the observance of agreed codes of conduct, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  7. For all who seek to save the ocean life of the world from the scourge of plastic waste, that they will persuade businesses to eliminate harmful and wasteful packaging, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  8. For family members and friends who have lost faith in the church, that God’s Spirit will continue to guide them on paths of love and goodness and joy, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
  9. For the recently deceased… and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that the seed of life sown in baptism will yield a harvest of eternal peace, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.


Living and life-giving God, by the word of Jesus and the work of the Holy Spirit you extend your reign among us. Open our minds to see what you do. Open our hands to work with you. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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