The Son of God proclaimed to youIntroduction by the Celebrant
was never Yes and No;
with him it was always Yes.
That is why it is through Christ
that we say our Yes to God.
May the Spirit of Jesus be always with you.
R/ And also with you.
A. Beyond the Law
Laws, orders, commandments, who likes them? Don't they take away our freedom? Yet the word of God tells us: make your free choice between life and death. We see Jesus make his free choice repeatedly, as at his baptism, his temptations, during his agony in the garden. He chose God, his mission, for that was his life. He lives in us; in us and with him he invites us to choose life and love and to go with him far beyond the commandments. Then we will be really free.
B. Jesus Himself Is Our Law
A lot of Christians look upon their faith as a set of commandments to be obeyed and practices to be faithfully kept. Jesus' message to us today is: our faith is much more than rules and observances imposed from outside. Our faith is within us, in our hearts, and that faith tells us what to do; the Spirit is prompting us. But remember we can do nothing without Jesus. He is our model and our strength and we are united with him. We ask him in this eucharist to help us see and do what is right.
If you are bringing your offering to the altar
and there you remember
that your neighbor has something against you,
go and be reconciled first with your neighbor
and then come back and present your offering.
Lord Jesus, you want us to respond to God's love
not just according to the letter of the law
but with our whole heart:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you have made love
the foundation of all commandments:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, all your life
was a Yes to the Father and to people.
Make our Yes join yours:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Lord, forgive us all our sins
and teach us to serve you and people
from the depths of our heart.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray that we may share
in Jesus' goodness and faithfulness
Lord God, loving Father,
in your Son Jesus you have shown us
how we should seek and fulfill your loving will.
Dispose us to respond to your love
from the depth of our heart
and to be faithful to you in all we do.
Make us also respectful of one another
and attentive to the needs of people,
even when they remain indifferent and thankless,
that we may help to ban evil from this world
and bring to it your love and mercy.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: Choose Between Life and Death! The prophet tells us today: God will be near to you and you will shine with his light if you are near to the needy around you.
Second Reading Introduction: God's Wise Plan Leads Us to Happiness
If we love God, we rely on his wisdom. With the help of the Spirit, we carry out his plan; he will lead us to happiness.
Gospel Introduction: Jesus Invites Us to A Radical Choice Jesus invites us to go beyond the commandments to seek God's will and the good of people.
Let us pray to God our Father, whose law is a light for our life. Let us say: R/ Lord, set your people free.- For the Church, God's people on the march, that leaders and members may support one another in a spirit of service and sincere cooperation, let us pray: R/ Lord, set your people free.- For the leaders of nations, that they may respect and promote human rights and work relentlessly for justice and the happiness of all, let us pray: R/ Lord, set your people free.- For the poor, the sick and those living on the fringes of society,
that the Good News of God's love and mercy may be proclaimed to them first of all, let us pray: R/ Lord, set your people free.- For all of us, that we may never put the law above people but practice first the great commandment of loving one another, let us pray: R/ Lord, set your people free.- For our Christian communities, that we may seek God's will together,
accept one another, respect each other's freedom, and bear witness to God's goodness, let us pray: R/ Lord, set your people free.Lord our God, hear our prayers for ourselves and for all of humanity. Give us the courage to be free and responsible for ourselves and for others as Jesus was, your Son, who lives with you for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer Over the Gifts
God our Father,
you have shown us in Jesus
what it means to say Yes to you.
As we join him in his sacrifice,
may we say Yes and do what we mean,
that our Yes to you may be
a faithful response of love to you
and to the people around us.
Make us free to serve you wholeheartedly
through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With Jesus we thank the Father for writing his law of love in our heart. With Jesus we offer our Yes to God.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
With Jesus we pray to the Father
that we may do his will in everything. R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from our self-will
that makes us fall into sin.
Teach us to love your law
and to live according to its spirit
of commitment to you and to people.
May we serve you without fear
as we prepare in joy and hope
for the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus the Lord,
whose words and deeds were
an unconditional Yes to the Father
and to us.
Happy are we to receive
his bread of life and strength. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer After Communion
God our Father,
your Son Jesus has set before us
the demands of the Good News
and the table of himself.
In the tensions and risks of life;
with him may we choose you and happiness
rather than sin and death.
Give us a firm trust in you
that we can always count on you
and that your Spirit will guide us
to go the faithful way to you
shown us by your beloved Son.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Bow your heads and pray for God's blessing
May the almighty Father keep you in his love,
that you may not merely observe his law
but keep it in your heart and love it. R/ Amen.
May you follow in the footsteps of his Son Jesus Christ
and be faithful, whatever the cost,
to be free and to say Yes. R/ Amen.
May the Holy Spirit make you wise
and give you the insight and strength
to give a free and responsible answer to God. R/ Amen.
May almighty God bless you all:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go in peace and love one another.
R/ Thanks be to God.