31Aug Ordinary Time, 22nd Sunday (31 August)

Opening Comment
We gather to praise God and to ask for help and grace. We know the difficulties that can come when we try to live the right way. Often the road of life is like the way of the cross.

Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
O God,
whose word burns like a fire within us,
grant us a bold and faithful spirit,
that in your strength we may be unafraid
to speak your word
and follow where you lead.
We make our prayer through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God for ever and ever.

Introduction to the Scripture Readings
Jeremiah 20:7-9 — Jeremiah describes the difficulties preaching the word brought him.
Romans 12:1-2 — Paul believes we must offer our bodies as a living sacrifice to God.
Matthew 16:21-27 — Jesus warns of the suffering discipleship will involve.

BIDDING PRAYERS

Introduction (by the Presider) Brothers and sisters, let us bring our prayers to God, who has always been our help.

  1. For Christians who suffer persecution for their faith, that they may hold firm in the face of every trial (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  2. For all those who endure criticism for doing what they believe is right, that they may have the courage to persevere (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  3. For teachers and students returning to school these autumn days, that they may have the grace to make a new start (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  4. For the grace to support our fellow pilgrims in the hardships of life: that we may become more aware of each other’s sufferings (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  5. For all who struggle with illness, of mind or body, that their way of the cross may bring them to glory (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
  6. For our own needs, for those who have asked our prayers —especially those we remember now: (long pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.

The Presider prays for the faithful departed (especially N and N), that sharing the cross of Christ they may also share his victory over death. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) O Lord our God, your love is better than life: come to our help, we pray, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SONGS  AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘Christ Be Beside Me’; ‘The King of Love My Shepherd Is’; ‘O the Love of My Lord is the Essence’.