24th Sunday of Ordinary Time — Liturgy Preparation

Opening Comment

Forgiveness is one of the great qualities of Christianity. We are challenged to forgive each other as readily as God forgives us. We celebrate God’s mercy, and ask for the grace to pass it on to those who hurt us.

Penitential Rite: Remembering that God’s mercy is the source of all forgiveness, let us call to mind our need of it (pause): Lord Jesus, you came to reconcile us to one another and to the Father…


Introduction to the Scripture Readings

Ecclesiasticus 27:30 to 28:7 — Both the first reading and Gospel invite us to be merciful and forgiving to each other, as God is towards us. If we nurse anger, how can we expect compassion?

Romans 14:7-9 — Paul tells us the good news that whether alive or dead, we belong to the Lord.

Matthew 18:21-35 — The Gospel has a sting in the tail: if we fail in forgiveness, we risk being judged according to our own standards.


The General Intercessions

Introduction (by the Presider) The Lord is compassion and love, so we present our prayers with confidence:

  1. For forgiveness among Christians, that we may treat each other as God treats us. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  2. For an end to vengeance and hatred, that all people may learn to live together in tolerance. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  3. For our community, as parish activities resume after the summer break, that God may be with us as we make a new start together. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  4. For the people of the United States, still hurting after the attacks of 11th September ten years ago, and for all those who died on that day and in the violence since, that the Lord may keep them in his loving care. (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.
  5. For our friends who died recently (N & N) and for all those whose anniversaries occur (N & N) that they may share in the eternal redemption won by Christ: (Pause for silent prayer) Lord, hear us.

Conclusion (by the Presider) God of mercy and compassion, you heal every one of our ills: help us, we pray you, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Other Liturgical Suggestions

Highlight forgiveness in today’s liturgy by emphasising the Sign of Peace and the Our Father. (Use Introduction C: ‘Let us ask our Father to forgive our sins and to …) Penitential Rite c-iv). First opening prayer. Eucharistic Prayer of Reconciliation 1 (with its own preface). Or Preface of Sundays 5 and Eucharistic Prayer 2. Solemn Blessing 13 (Ordinary Time 4).

Songs ‘Blest be the Lord’; ‘Grant to us O Lord’; ‘Love is His Word’.

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