12 Sunday C - Liturgy

Greetings (See Second Reading)
We are all sons and daughters of God
through faith in Christ Jesus;
we belong to Christ.
May we also follow Christ our Lord
and may his strength be with you.
R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Jesus' Identity And Ours 

Jesus asks of us, his disciples today, "You, who do you say I am?" I hope that we can say with Peter that for us he is Jesus, our Savior. This is a very important question for us, for our own identity depends on it. Who are we? We are Christians, followers of Christ, and therefore people who try as much as we can to become like him. And that will include also at times that we have to bear the cross with him. But don't you worry: he is our "com-pan-ion" in life, literally, the one who breaks bread with us.


B. No Following Jesus Without The Cross 

Everyone without exception meets in life pain, sickness, suffering, and at the end, death. Do we have to say that these are good or look at them as the will of God? The will of God is our happiness! With Jesus going through his agony in the garden, we do not glorify suffering. But with him we learn to accept it where it can help us to grow as persons, where it can serve our love for God and people. And we are sure that pain does not have the last word. We ask Jesus that we may follow him all the way.

Penitential Act
A. Jesus' Identity And Ours 

We are disciples of Jesus,
but we have not always acted as his followers.
Let us ask him to forgive us.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you ask also from us
who we think you are,
and we say: You are the Christ of God.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you ask us
to follow you day after day,
also when the going is rough:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you ask us
to put ourselves at the service of others
the way you did, gently and unselfishly:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Lord, take the burden of sin away from us
and help us to carry one another
in patience and love.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.


B. No Following Jesus Without The Cross 

We are scared of pain and suffering and rightly so.
But can we accept sacrifices with Jesus
where our love for God and people demands them?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you invite us
to follow you wherever you lead us:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you call us
to renounce ourselves for the sake of others:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you ask us
to commit ourselves also when it hurts:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
and forgive us all our sins.
Make us courageous enough to follow you,
that you may lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray to God for the courage to follow his Son
even on the road of the cross
(pause)
God of power and love,
in your mercy you sent us your Son
to liberate us by his cross
from our selfishness,
from fear and sin and death.
Make us grow in the mentality of Jesus
and fill us with the strength of his Spirit,
that we may bear life's burdens with him
and that with him we may also take the pains
to live for others and bring them hope and joy.
May we thus go the way of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: A Suffering Savior      Zechariah announces a Savior who will die to bring conversion to the people of God. In the light of the New Testament, we understand that he is speaking of the crucified Lord.
Second Reading Introduction: People With The Mentality Of Christ
      All of us, without any discrimination, are saved because we believe in Christ and are "clothed" in Christ, that is, have the mentality of Jesus. This mentality includes accepting the cross with him.
Gospel Introduction: Take Up Your Cross And Follow Me
      Jesus saved us by his cross and resurrection. If we want to gain his new life, we must bear the crosses of life with him and accept sacrifices for the sake of others and for our personal growth.
General Intercessions
Let us pray today to the Father in heaven that we may follow all the way Jesus, his Son, and become more and more like him. Let us say: R/ Lord, save your people.
• For the people of God, the Church, that Christ may be with it to carry the crosses of the trials of our time and to be to all people a living message of hope, let us pray: R/ Lord, save your people.
• For our country, that our leaders and all of us may hear the cries of the people for justice and that we may all realize that we are coresponsible by our silence and our lack of concern for the evils of oppression and exploitation among us, let us pray: R/ Lord, save your people.
• For those who stand alone in life, that we may be to them companions on the road who help them to bear their crosses and who bring them hope and joy, let us pray: R/ Lord, save your people.
• For those who are discouraged, for all who can no longer believe in the gospel because we have not lived as followers of God's Son, that we may be converted and bring them fresh courage to face life, let us pray: R/ Lord, save your people.
• And for ourselves, that we may grow in love and openness to others and that we may learn from Christ to be people for others, let us pray: R/ Lord, save your people.
Lord our God, your Son Jesus came to make everything new. Renew us day after day, that we may be a bit more like your Son and that, as we change, we may also change the world around us to make it a better place to live in, through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
we bring these humble gifts before you.
In these signs of bread and wine
Jesus, your Son, will give himself to us.
May he give us the strength
to go with courage on our journey through life
also when it becomes a way of the cross,
that we may follow him all the way
to you, our God and Father for ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
We thank God for saving us by the suffering and death of Jesus and by his rising from the dead. In this whole Eucharist we celebrate his saving death and resurrection and we offer ourselves with him.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
With Jesus' mentality
of openness to God's will,
let us pray to our Father in heaven
in the words of Jesus himself: R/ Our Father...
Deliver Us
Deliver us Lord, from every evil
and grant us the peace of your Son.
Give us his attitude
of accepting life and doing your will,
that with him we may be willing
to bear the hardships of life with patience
and to commit ourselves fully to people,
as we work with courage and hope
for the final coming
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Christ,
the Son of the living God,
who died for us on the cross
and rose from the dead.
Happy are we to be invited
to share his table and to follow him. 

R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Father,
we have been one with Jesus at his table;
may we also be united with him
on his way to you and to people.
May we follow him
wherever he leads us
on dark days as well as in days of joy,
and send us wherever people wait for us
to bring them your liberating word
and your helping hand.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Blessing
The question asked of us today was:
Who is Jesus for you?
And the answer was and is:
the Savior, the Son of the living God.
As we believe in him,
may we follow him wherever he leads us,
on the way of the cross and sacrifice
as well as on the road of happiness,
with the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. 
R/ Amen.Go in peace and follow the Lord
on his way to people. 
R/ Thanks be to God.