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Prayers of the people: Fourth Sunday of Easter Year B, 22 April 2018

13 April 2018

Introductory reflection

Of all the recurring themes in the Judaeo-Christian tradition, that of shepherd is one of the most enduring and endearing. Prophets, psalmists and evangelists all invoke its evocative power. It illuminates the covenant love between God and God’s chosen people and it establishes norms for servant leadership in the community. Before his memorable phrase about the “smell of the sheep,” Pope Francis wrote: “An evangelising community gets involved by word and deed in people’s lives; it bridges differences, it is willing to abase itself if necessary, and it embraces human life, touching the suffering flesh of Christ in others” (The Joy of the Gospel #24). Such is the spirit of the good shepherd.

The week’s prayer focus

For young people finding their way in life, that they will be guided by a sense of vocation to put their lives at the service of God and others.

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, our good shepherd Jesus has gathered us together around him. Taking his word to heart, let us pray for the whole human family and all that God has made.


  1. We pray for all who put their lives at risk by professing faith in Jesus Christ. May the power of the cross keep them safe and strong. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. We pray for fellow believers working for Christian unity. May they be tireless in their efforts to bring the churches together as one flock under one shepherd. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. We pray for pastors of every kind. May they minister to those in their care with love, compassion and integrity. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. We pray for the young and not-so-young who sense a call to serve in the church as priests, deacons or religious. May the self-sacrifice of the good shepherd inspire them to answer that call. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. We pray for all who undertake their family or work responsibilities as a life vocation. May they enrich the community with their loving dedication. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  6. We pray for the people of Australia preparing to observe Anzac Day. May this national day of remembrance inspire them to work unceasingly in the cause of peace and justice. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  7. We pray on this international Earth Day for all who are devoting themselves to the care of the planet. For the sake of future generations may they succeed in their efforts. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  8. We pray for those who are responsible for safe conditions for workers. May they ensure that workplaces and work practices protect employees from the risk of death or injury. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  9. We pray for the recently deceased . . . and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time. May these children of God see and rejoice in him as he really is. (Pausefor silent prayer) Lord, hear us.


Loving God and Father of Jesus, in your wisdom and by your power you made the stone rejected by the builders the cornerstone of our salvation. Keep us true to his name. We ask this through Christ our Lord.


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