There’s a reminder of the two great commandments in today’s celebration: we are called to love God and our neighbour: friend, visitor and stranger alike.
Alternative Opening Prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
Your love, O God, is boundless.
We who were strangers
have been made your children.
We who were defenceless
have been brought into your household.
Keep us mindful of your deeds of mercy,
that we may love you with our whole heart
and love our neighbour as ourselves.
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
Exodus 22:20-26 The people of Israel are reminded that in bad times they depended on the kindness of strangers. They should therefore treat the weak and helpless with compassion.
1 Thessalonians 1:5-10 Paul praises the people of Salonika for their good Christian living, which they had learned from him.
Matthew 22:34-40 Jesus discloses the greatest commandment — love of God and neighbour.
Introduction (by the Presider) We can take refuge in the Lord, so let us bring forward our prayers.
- For all who follow the Christian way, that their love for each other may shine out (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those parts of the world most battered by war and violence, that the Lord may grant them peace (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the weak and oppressed, that they may enjoy the protection of the strong and powerful (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those suffering because of the Ebola Virus in West Africa, that God may protect and save them (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us
- For refugees and asylum-seekers, that Christians may show them the love and care that is their due (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For the widowed and orphaned, that those who are troubled may experience compassion and justice (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
The presider prays for the dead: For the faithful who have departed this life (especially N and N), that our God of love and compassion may embrace them in peace (pause for silent prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) O God, you are our strength, our fortress, our saviour: hear the prayers we make in faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (Suggestions) Christ be Our Light; The Lord Hears the Cry of the Poor; Love One Another; Christ Be Beside me.