24 Sunday C: Liturgy

Greetings
Let us give thanks to the Father
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
for he has given us strength
and he came to forgive us our sins.
May his mercy and love be always with you.
R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant
 
A. It Is A Joy For God To Forgive
When you forgive someone who has hurt you much, how much does it cost you to forgive? Is it done reluctantly or with joy? Do you have the courage to take the first step, or do you wait until the other humbly begs you? Today's message is one of great joy and peace: God is happy to forgive sinners. He welcomes them and he embraces them. That's what he has done for us. How many times? Can we do it for one another? Let us celebrate with Jesus the feast of our reconciliation with God and with one another.

B. Which Son Am I?

Forgiveness is so difficult and at the same time so sublime that it surpasses our own powers. But not the power of God's love. When God forgives us we are loved in the deepest of our being, even where we are not lovable. We are accepted not because of what we have or what we are; for we are accepted also when we stand empty-handed and feel we are not worth much. We cannot earn forgiveness; it comes as a surprise from God. He begs us to spring that surprise on others too: he alone can make us capable of doing so.


Penitential Act
A. It Is A Joy For God To Forgive 
Let us thank the Lord for the many times
he has forgiven us our sins.
Let us ask him to forgive us once more
and to dispose us to forgive one another.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, you did not wait
for sinners to come to you
but you went to seek them:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, it is a joy for you
and for your Father in heaven
to forgive wholeheartedly the repentant sinner:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you ask us
to celebrate and rejoice with you
when forgiveness restores people to life:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord,
and bring us the joy of your reconciliation.
Dispose us to forgive others gladly
and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
B. Which Son Am I?Let God's forgiveness come down on us
as the wholesome rain after many dry days.
(pause)
Lord Jesus, your name means:
He who comes to save people from their sins.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you ask us
to be merciful as our Father is merciful:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, where you forgive
and where we can forgive,
there can only be joy and celebration:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Rain down on us your mercy, Lord,
forgive us all our sins
and make us forgive others as you forgive us.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.


Opening Prayer
Let us pray to our faithful Father
who always loves us and waits for us
(pause)
God, our patient Father,
it is a joy for you to forgive
the repentant sinner.
You even allowed your Son to lay down his life
to bring us forgiveness and life.
Dispose those whom we have offended
to forgive us too,
and make us always ready
to forgive wholeheartedly and without regrets
those who have hurt us.
Make us people who forgive and receive forgiveness
with the goodness you have shown us
in Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: God's Love Is Greater Than His  Justice
      
God had saved his people, yet they abandoned him to adore the golden calf. Moses pleaded with God to spare his people.
Second Reading Introduction: Christ Has Forgiven Me
      Paul is aware that he is a sinner. But he has encountered the forgiving Christ. Full of gratitude, he praises God's greatness and love.
Gospel Introduction: It Is A Joy For God To Forgive
      The parables of this chapter of Luke have one focal point: God does not give up on sinners; he keeps looking for them and welcomes them back with joy.
 
General Intercessions
Let us pray to the Lord our God who is patient with sinners and rich in mercy, and let us say: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That God's Church may bring the Good News of reconciliation and peace to all of humanity, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That the faithful of all Christian Churches may encounter one another in a spirit of reconciliation and friendship, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That the disciples of Christ may fight all forms of evil and sin and yet may not condemn and reject those who have committed them, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That priests may be patient and merciful ministers of the sacrament of reconciliation, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That in our Christian homes parents may teach their children by word and deed to be people who can forgive and are forgiven, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
• That in our Christian communities strangers and discouraged sinners may encounter the merciful God in the forgiveness of their brothers and sisters, let us pray: R/ Forgive us, as we forgive others.
God our Father, your Son came to seek and save those who are lost. Help us to accept wholeheartedly those who have failed and to celebrate together the joy of your forgiveness, in Christ Jesus our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord God, merciful Father,
this bread and this wine are the signs,
that you offer us forgiveness and life
through your Son Jesus Christ.
He is willing to sit at table
with people who have failed.
Make us one in heart and soul
with him and with one another,
that sin may no longer alienate us
from you, from our true selves
and from our brothers and sisters.
And may you welcome us one day
at your feast of joy
that lasts for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
At the heart of the Eucharistic Prayer we proclaim that Jesus shed his blood for us "so that sins may be forgiven." Let us thank the Father for his mercy.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
The prodigal son repented
and returned to his Father.
In the words of Jesus,
we too pray to our Father
to forgive us our sins
as we forgive others.
R/ Our Father...
Deliver Us
Deliver us Lord, from every evil,
and grant us the wisdom
of discovering your will in everyday life.
In your mercy, set us free
from all attachments and fears
that keep us from hearing
the call of your Son to follow him.
Help us to prepare in hope and joy
for the return in glory among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Lamb of God
who takes away the sins of the world.
He welcomed sinners and ate with them.
Happy are we to be invited
to share his meal. 

R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Lord God, Father of us all,
accept our thanks
that the grace and love
you offer us in Jesus your Son
is always greater than our sins.
In gratitude for your forgiving mercy,
may we carry out with joy
the mission of reconciliation,
which you entrust to us.
May we learn the joy of forgiving
through him who is our life and reconciliation,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Blessing
We know from experience
that one of the hardest things in life
is to forgive completely and without regret.
How much happier our communities would be
if we could put aside our injured pride
and forgive one another wholeheartedly,
if also we could give a place and new chances
to those who have failed.
May we be such a community
of acceptance, friendship, and reconciliation,
with the blessing of Almighty God,
the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us share with one another
the peace of the Lord. 
R/ Thanks be to God.