This is the first Sunday on which green vestments have been worn at Mass since last February. Green is the colour of growth: the Kingdom of God grows slowly in our world and in our hearts. May its growth continue throughout 2015.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from 1998 ICEL Missal)
at whose bidding the seed will sprout
and the shoot grow toward full stature,
hear the prayer of your assembled people.
Make us trust in your hidden ways,
that we may pray with confidence
and wait for your kingdom now growing in our midst.
We ask this 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
Ezekiel 17:22-24 The Lord raises up a tree from the most unusual source. In the process he humbles all that are considered great. 2 Corinthinans 5:6-10 Our confidence is strong, because it is built on the Lord. Mark 4:26-34 Jesus describes the mystery of the Kingdom of God in parables.
Introduction (by the Presider) Our help comes from the Lord who made heaven and earth. Full of confidence, we bring our intentions before the Lord.
- For our Holy Father, Pope Francis, our own Bishop and all the shepherds of our souls — that they may gracefully help us to follow Jesus, the way, the truth and the life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For all who hold public office — that the Holy Spirit of wisdom and right judgement may guide their decision-making towards justice and peace (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For immigrants and refugees — that they may find welcome and respect in the countries to which they come (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For our sick sisters and brothers, and all carrying heavy burdens — that we may show Christ’s compassion to them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For students sitting exams and all those waiting for results — that they may have serenity and confidence (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For young people making choices about their futures — that encounter with Jesus may arouse in them the desire to give their lives in priesthood or consecrated life (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The Presider pray for the dead: For our beloved dead, especially N and N: that through the mercy of God, they may rest in the Paradise of the Blessed (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) Eternal Father, in your loving kindness listen to our prayers. May your Holy Spirit open in us the gates of your kingdom. We ask this though Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) ‘Seek Ye First the Kingdom of God’; ‘Sweet Heart of Jesus’; ‘Colours of Day’; ‘Let us Build the City of God’.