Opening Comment (for the Presider)
Loving the enemy and praying for those who make life difficult are two marks of a Christian, as Jesus teaches us today. We gather, aware of how difficult love can be, yet united by the saving mercy of God, on which we rely.
Alternative opening prayer (from the 1998 ICEL Missal)
in Christ Jesus you challenge us to renounce violence
and to forsake revenge.
Teach us to recognise as your children even our enemies and persecutors
and to love them without measure or discrimination.
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 (for Ministers of the Word)
Leviticus 19: 1-2, 17-18 Love for the Lord is seen in love for all God’s people.
1 Corinthians 3:16-23 We belong to Christ and Christ is God’s, so we belong to God.
Matthew 5:38-38 In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus explains how Christians should live.
Introduction (by the Presider) We bring our prayers to the God of compassion and love, who is slow to anger and rich in mercy.
- For Francis our pope and all Church leaders — that they may show us how to live in peace and friendship (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For an end to war and violence, especially in Syria and Ukraine — that hatred may give way to love (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are at war with each other, that they may forgive and make peace (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For those who have hurt us, those we find it hard to love — that God may help us to end our quarrels (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For people who are sick or troubled — that God may bring them healing and peace (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
- For ourselves and those we love — that God may always be with us (pause for quiet prayer). Lord, hear us.
Conclusion (by the Presider) God of love and compassion, have pity on your people and grant us your gracious help, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
SONGS AT MASS (suggestions for Ministers of Music) “Love is His Word”, “A New Commandment”, “Peace I leave with you”, Walk in the Light”; “Colours of Day”.