13 Sunday C - Liturgy Alive

Greetings (See Second Reading)
Christ has called us to freedom,
to serve God and one another.
May his liberating Spirit be always with you.
R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. On The Way With Jesus
A farmer who looks back while he is plowing will certainly make crooked furrows and perhaps not plow some parts of the field at all. Jesus invites us again today to follow him and to do so by going his way, not our crooked one. Once we have accepted his invitation, we should not look back to regret our choice or to dwell on past mistakes. Let us go ahead with Jesus, also when the going is rough. We ask the Lord to give us the strength to follow him all the way.
B. Radical Discipleship
When we hear the radical demands that Jesus makes on those who want to follow him, we think perhaps that these are for people with special vocations, like missionaries and religious. They are meant for every disciple. Once we follow him, we have to be consistent. We have to love even when it demands sacrifices. We have to love even enemies. We have to be honest through and through. But if we can do this, we will see how happy and free this makes us. We ask the Lord that we may follow him always.
Penitential Act
A. On The Way With Jesus 
How often have we wavered in following Jesus?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you invite us
to follow you without hesitation:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you invite us
to follow you without delay:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you invite us
to follow you without fear,
for you will make us free:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
and forgive us all our sins.
Make us free to follow you
all the way to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
 
B. Radical Discipleship
We have not always had the courage
to follow the Lord, especially when it was difficult.
We ask him now to forgive us.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, we are willing to follow you.
Give us courage when this demands sacrifices.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, we are willing to follow you.
Sustain us when, because of you,
people reject or ridicule us:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, we are willing to follow you,
but forgive us when we look back:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Forgive us our timidity and cowardice, Lord,
and keep us on the right road.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer
Let us pray to God for the strength
to follow Jesus wherever he leads us
(pause)
Strong and kindhearted Father,
in Jesus your Son you reveal to us
how love is a gift from you
calling us to give ourselves without hesitation.
We want to be his disciples, and so we pray:
Open our ears to his call,
commit us with open hearts and hands
to follow him all the way
in faithful and joyful service
to you and to people.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
 
First Reading Introduction: Follow The Lord Without Conditions      Called to become God's prophet, Elisha wants to add conditions to his response. He is made to understand that he has to follow God without conditions, as a free person.
 
Second Reading Introduction: The Spirit Of Freedom
      Christ died to make us truly liberated people, free from our selfishness and from everything that alienates. His Spirit of freedom is alive in us if we know how to love and serve.
 
Gospel Introduction: We Must Be Free To Follow The Lord
      Like Jesus on his way to his death in Jerusalem, the disciples must give up all security to be loyal to the mission Jesus has given them and to be free for people.
 
General Intercessions
As we are ready to follow Jesus Christ on the road of the Gospel, we entrust to him all the pains and cares of people, as we say: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
• Lord Jesus, we want to follow you, but must we really give up everything? Give us courage, we pray you: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
• Lord Jesus, we want to follow you, but must we really expose ourselves to be rejected by many? Give us courage, we pray you: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
• Lord Jesus, we want to follow you, but must we really do without even a place to rest our head? Give us courage, we pray you: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
• Lord Jesus, we want to follow you, but do we really have to give up people who are dear to us? Give us courage, we pray you: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
• Lord, we pray also for those who follow you on the way of the cross: the sick, the handicapped, those who suffer. Give them courage, we pray you: R/ Renew our heart and spirit, Lord.
Lord Jesus, you know from experience how much it costs a person to respond fully to your call. Help us to go forward with courage and be our Lord and guide for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
this bread and this wine express
our willingness to follow your Son
without conditions
on the way of unselfish love.
Give us the Spirit of your Son,
we pray you, that, like Jesus,
we may make ourselves free
to be attentive to one another
and to your loving will.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Jesus made us free to become God's special people by his cross and resurrection. We thank our Father for this.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
United in the Holy Spirit
of freedom and serving love,
we pray to our Father
the prayer of Jesus our Lord: R/ Our Father...
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and make us truly free for others.
Do not allow us to look back,
not even on our failures,
for you have forgiven them,
but lead us resolutely forward
in the footsteps of our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is the Lamb of God
who resolutely took the road
that led him to the cross.
Happy are we to be invited
to eat his bread of strength
and to follow him wherever he leads us. 
R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Lord, our God and Father,
in this Eucharistic celebration
you have given us the word and body of your Son
to make us a community of love and service.
May he be our strength
to liberate those who suffer
from exploitation and fear,
that we may all be free in Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
Blessing
Jesus has been with us in this Eucharist
to set us free from our fears,
from the deadening power of selfishness,
from all our pessimism,
to open us to the power of life,
of hope and youth,
that we may follow him without hesitation
on his road to the Father and to people.
May this freedom become real
in our everyday lives,
with the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go with the Lord to serve people. 
R/ Thanks be to God.