Lent 5 C: Liturgical Prayers

Adapted from Bibleclaret.org edited. TK
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Introduction by the Celebrant 

A. Throw No Stones

Have you ever had the experience of hurting someone very much but that the offended person forgave you, perhaps with difficulty, and accepted your apology, and that was the end? Do you remember how relieved you felt, as if you were a new person? That is how God keeps forgiving us: he makes us new every time again. Do we live as forgiven, new people? Do we make others new by our pardon? Let us encounter again in this Eucharist our patient, forgiving Lord Jesus. 

B. Look First Into Your Own Heart  

When they have sinned, especially when grievously, some people are afraid that God is out to catch them, like a policeman who has to implement the law. Today we learn from Jesus that God goes beyond the law, for he forgives and keeps forgiving. This is the attitude we learn from God. Look into your own heart and see that you need forgiveness. And repeatedly so. Then you will also easily forgive others. Let us ask Jesus for this attitude, even when we still feel the hurt inflicted.

 Penitential Act

-Lord Jesus, you throw no stones at us and you don't want us to throw them at anyone:
-Jesus Christ, you do not condemn us for you have come to save what was lost and you want us to be free and alive
-Lord Jesus, you tell us to go and sin no more:  

Opening Prayer

God of life, this is the Good News you let us hear today through your living image, Jesus Christ: Love is stronger than death, you want the sinner to live and to become all new. Let us no longer live in the past of sin but make us free for life and for love. Give us hearts as merciful to one another as you have been lenient and loving to us. We ask you this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

General Intercessions

In his love, God wants to make the world ever new. Let us entrust to his mercy our intentions and those of our brothers and sisters.  

Let us say: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.

 • For the Church we love, that it may be in our world a place and a sign of forgiveness and reconciliation, let us pray: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.
• For those who condemn and for those who are condemned, let us pray: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.
• For broken homes and for families that are united, let us pray : R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.
• For those wounded by the hardships of life and for those who keep hoping, let us pray: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.
• For those in authority, that they pay attention to the people's needs and not crush anyone with their power, let us pray: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.
• For our Christian communities, that we keep accepting everyone with understanding and compassion, let us pray: R/ Lord of life, in you we trust.  

Lord our God, we thank you for listening to us and for showing us your patient mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

Prayer over the Gifts

Lord God, merciful Father in these signs of bread and wine we share in the forgiveness and life of your Son Jesus Christ. By his body and blood make us, limited and fallible people, your new creation, your people of hope, capable of rising above ourselves and preparing your new heaven and new earth. For we expect everything from you through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen. 

Deliver Us

Deliver us Lord, from a past of evil, from everything that estranges us from you and one another. Gather us in the solidarity and peace of one faith, one hope, one love, as people set free by your Son. May we spread your reconciliation to build up a liberated world and to wait in hope for the coming in glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  R/ For the kingdom... 

Prayer after Communion

Tender and compassionate Father, we thank you for letting us share in the sacrifice of your Son that brought us your pardon and peace. Let him give to us, pardoned sinners, the strength to remain faithful to you. Let us be disciples demanding to ourselves and very merciful to others. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

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 Homily Prayer:


“Those who live in constant terror of their own sins are powerless to accomplish anything in the world.” …Berdyaev
Lord, there was a time when the feeling of guilt had us paralyzed.
We felt condemned by voices within us:
•  sermons we had heard in our childhood threatening us with hell fire;
•  teachers who told us we had to be perfect.
We felt as if we were standing in full view of our accusers
and they were condemning us as deserving of death.
We thank you, Lord, that you sent us, at that moment,
a wise and kind person, who stayed with us, saying nothing,
just being there like Jesus bent down and writing on the ground,
until, very gradually, as the weeks went by,
the harsh accusing voices were silenced, one by one,
beginning from the most deeply rooted,
and eventually we were standing there knowing you were looking at us,
and telling us that we were now free to go out and lead a good and creative life.
“All condemnation is of the devil. We condemn others
only because we shun condemning ourselves.”
 …
St Seraphim of Sarov

Lord, we who are community leaders in the Church or the country
often have to point out people’s faults.
Help us to do so without condemning them.
But that is not easy; we have to listen to our innermost selves,
waiting patiently until every scribe and Pharisee within us has walked away
because only then do we have the right to look at another and say, “Go, and sin no more.”
Lord, just as in the time of Jesus, society pronounces its harshest judgments
on those who are caught committing sexual sins, especially if they are women.
Authorities will always single them out and make them stand in full view of everybody,
insisting that in the name of religion they must condemn such persons to death by stoning.
We pray, Lord, that your Church will be like Jesus,
pointing out the hypocrisy of the accusers,
and protecting the dignity of those who have sinned.
“One form of gentleness we should practice is towards ourselves. It is reasonable to be displeased and sorry when we commit faults, but not fretful or spiteful to ourselves. …St Francis de Sales
Lord, teach us to look at ourselves with respect and compassion,
as Jesus looked at the woman taken in adultery
when he was left alone with her and she remained standing before him.
Lord, send us leaders like Jesus,
who will stand with the weak and the vulnerable against their oppressors,
not aggressively, but calmly, so that the oppressors walk away of their own accord,
and the weak find the space to create a good life for themselves.
Lord, we remember a time when we were using a Bible passage to condemn someone,
and quite suddenly the passage came alive for us,
and we saw that we were condemning the other for what we were guilty of ourselves,
so that we let the stone fall from our hands and went our way.


Blessing

We have heard today our Lord's invitation not to shut ourselves up in the mediocrity of our past but to set out boldly for the future with fresh generosity. This future will not be without difficulties: the Lord never promises an easy life. But he promises to be with us with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.