21st Sunday Ordinary Time
We gather as people who have chosen to serve the Lord, chosen to walk the Christian way. We worship God who leads us on — and ask for strength to continue as we have begun. Penitential rite: To prepare ourselves for this celebration, let us call to mind our sins: (pause) I confess…
Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Joshua 24:1-2, 15-18 — Given a choice by Joshua, the people of Israel decide to serve the Lord, thus renewing the covenant.
Ephesians 5:25-32 (omitting first two sentences in lectionary and beginning: ‘Husbands should love their wives…’) — St Paul uses images from the husband-wife relationship, as it was viewed in his time, to represent Christ’s love for the Church.
John 6:60-69 — After hearing Jesus describe himself as the bread of life, some of the disciples stopped following him. But Peter spoke for the loyalty of those who remained.
Introduction (by the Presider): Sisters and brothers, the Lord is close to the broken-hearted, so let us pray for God’s assistance.
- For the gift of faith, that we may not be slow to accept what Christ has taught (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of courage, that those who have difficulty believing may continue to search for truth (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of wisdom, that those in leadership — in the Christian family, politics and business life — may do what is right (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of true love, that all married people may be as close to each other as Christ is to the Church (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of wisdom, that students and teachers returning to school at this time of year may have the strength they need (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the gift of eternal life for our dead (especially N & N), that the message of eternal life may be fulfilled for them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Lord our God, you save those whose spirits are crushed: hear our prayers and give us the gifts we need, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Liturgical Suggestions: Penitential Act page 379-380 (Confiteor). Shorter form of the Second Reading is recommended* (beginning with the third sentence of the reading, as given in the Lectionary: “Husbands should love their wives…”). *Or use shorter form suggested in Volume III, page 278. Preface VIII of Sundays in Ordinary Time, page 454. Eucharistic Prayer 2. Solemn Blessing 9 (Ordinary Time I, page 553). Songs: ‘Be Thou My Vision’; ‘Blest be the Lord; ‘Shepherd me O God’; ‘On Eagles Wings’.