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Prayers of the People: Fourth Sunday in Lent Year C, 31 March

21 March 2019

Introductory reflection

Whatever the best title of today’s parable – the prodigal son, the two brothers, the forgiving father, or something else – there is no mistaking its powerful appeal or the inspiration it has given to artists of every kind. Above all it has kindled hope in the hearts of countless human beings who find themselves, like Paul, caught up in the age-old conflict: “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do” (Roms 7:19). Whether that evil is the self-indulgence or the self-righteousness of the two sons, the story can lead to a place of peace and praise: “Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!”

The week’s prayer focus

For all who struggle to believe in the mercy of God, that they will come to know the joy of forgiveness.

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, by eating with sinners Jesus broke down the walls of judgment and opened the way for mercy. Let us pray for mercy to heal our wounded world.


  1. For all public officials and people of influence, that they may use the power of words to promote respect, reconciliation and mutual acceptance throughout the nation. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  2. For families grieving the loss of loved ones in every place of hate-filled violence, that their desolation will move us to work for peace with all our hearts. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  3. For the Catholic community in Australia, that God’s Spirit will raise up prophetic leaders to stir up new faith in the boundless mercy of God. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  4. For the starving and sick people of Yemen, that their terrible suffering will persuade the warring parties to allow the passage of humanitarian aid. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  5. For the peoples of East Africa, that they will receive the emergency aid they need to cope with the devastation caused by tropical cyclone Idai. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  6. For those who are framing this week’s Federal Budget, that they will be guided by principles of social justice and by the urgent need to address the climate crisis. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  7. For the First Australians running The Wellbeing Project in Alice Springs, that our support for Project Compassion will help them care for dialysis patients far from home. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.
  8. For all who are subject to any form of autism, that their families and the whole community will support their full acceptance and participation in society. (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 they will be made eternally new in Christ. (Pause for silent prayer) Let us pray to the Lord.


God of infinite mercy, in your goodness you reconciled the world to yourself in Christ. By the power of your Spirit make us faithful instruments of your peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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