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14 Sunday B - Liturgical Prayers

Greetings (see second reading)
It is when we are weak
that we are strong in the Lord.
May the strength of God's grace
be always with you. R/ And also with you.

Introduction by the Celebrant


A. Let Prophets Speak; Listen to Them

What do you think when you see around you people being trodden down and exploited? Most people do nothing. They think: "Who am I to speak up? What can I do to correct such situations? No one is going to listen to me. After all, no one is a prophet in his or her own town or country." Too many people leave too much good undone because of this self-doubt and lack of courage. Let us ask the Lord Jesus for the boldness to speak out with him and to go about doing good.

B. Someone from Down Our Street


A man or woman like us from down the street, whose parents we know, how dare he or she speak God's word to us - if it is God's word? Jesus, the town carpenter, whose mother and relatives everyone knew, how could he work miracles and where did he get his strange message? The Church with all its faults and the priest who is no better than we are, how dare they speak to us in the name of God? God speaks to us through ordinary people. God's word and message are stronger than the weak messengers he sends to speak his prophetic word. And each of us too has to stand up and speak out for what is right and good. Jesus will help us.

Penitential Act
Let us ask pardon from the Lord
that we have not always accepted him on his own terms
and lacked the courage to do what is right.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, your own people rejected you.
Never allow us to deny you:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you speak to us
your challenging words that ask us
to be just and loving servants:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, your grace is enough for us:
make us strong in our weakness:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Forgive us all our sins of cowardice, Lord,
and make us live and act
according to your Word.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer

A. Let Prophets Speak; Listen to Them
Let us pray that we may not reject
the Word of God coming among his own
(PAUSE)
God, our Father without equal,
your Son, your Word, came among us
as one of our own, our own flesh and blood.
Dispose us to welcome him always
and to listen to what he tells us,
even when his word upsets and disturbs us,
for it is a Word of life and grace.
And give us the courage
to pass on his word to one another,
that it may liberate us all
and lead us to you as your one people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

B. Someone from Down Our Street
Let us pray to our gentle God
that he may be our strength in our weakness
(PAUSE)
Gentle God of power and strength,
you chose us, weak people,
to put the mighty to shame
and to stand up and speak up
with our words and our lives
for what is right and good.
Make us realize more deeply that without your help
our human efforts cannot but fail
and that our very weakness
entitles us to your strength.
Be our courage and joy
through him who was weak with the weak
but lives with you as the Lord of all,
Jesus Christ, your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.

Liturgy of the Word

Introduction to the First Reading: God Entrusts His Word to an Ordinary Person
        
Ezekiel, an ordinary priest, is called by God to be a prophet. He has to speak God's word insistently to a people not disposed to listen.

Introduction to the Second Reading: The Strength of God Appears in Someone Weak
       
Paul defends the legitimacy of his ministry. In Paul's human weakness God's power stands out all the stronger.

Gospel Introduction: Jesus, Just Someone from Down The Street?
      
The people of Nazareth reject Jesus and his teaching. They know him: a young carpenter from down the street. How can he bring any special message and do wonders?

General Intercessions
Let us pray that God's voice may be heard and understood and put into practice in our communities and in each of us. Let us say: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

- That your Church may keep listening to the prophets among us through whom the Spirit speaks, let us pray: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

- That God's people may keep listening to the word Jesus speaks in our assemblies as a word spoken today to each of us, let us pray: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

- That in the silence of the voiceless God's people may hear the voice of the Lord crying out for justice and compassion, let us pray: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

- That the Word of God may resound and be accepted by those who hear it when God's messengers proclaim it among the nations, let us pray: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

- That our Christian communities may always keep listening to our Lord's Good News and take it as the guide of their lives, let us pray: R/ Lord, let your word stir us.

Father, give us your Holy Spirit that he may always move our hearts to accept and follow what you say to us through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
you ask of us to accept with faith
your word spoken by your messengers
and your living Word, Jesus Christ.
Make us truly recognize
the humble coming of your Son
in these simple signs of bread and wine.
May the strength of his Spirit
be stronger than our weakness.
Make us live together in peace
and let us be your sign to the world
of your justice and love.
May this be our offering to you,
our God for ever and ever. Amen

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With joy we give thanks to the Father that he speaks among us his living Word, our Lord Jesus Christ. Through him we offer the Father our willingness to accept his Word and to live by it.

Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
Weak as we are,
we dare call God our Father
and we pray to him for strength
in the words of Jesus himself:  R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
In your mercy accept us in our weakness
and fill us with the strength of Christ.
Keep alive in us the hope
that goodness and right will prevail
and that lasting happiness will be ours
at the coming in glory
of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Lamb of God,
who overcame the sin of the world
by his humble death on the cross.
Happy are we, weak as we are,
to be invited to share his table
and to be filled with his strength. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion
Lord God, loving Father,
you let us share in your strength
through Jesus, your Son in our midst.
Make us fully aware that he became one of us
and that he stays with us
not to impress us with his power
but to serve us in love.
Help us to serve one another,
that he may call us his friends
and accompany us on the way to you.
Make us messengers of his word
and give us the courage to proclaim it
without false shame or fear.
Grant this in the name of Jesus the Lord.  Amen.

Blessing
God comes to us through weak people.
He entrusts to them the message of his word
and even the body of his Son.
May God strengthen them,
that they may not obstruct our way to God
but speak God's word with boldness.
May we welcome them
because they bring God nearer to us.
And in our own weakness
may God be our strength and bless you all,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go, take the word of God with you,
live by it and speak it without fear. R/ Thanks be to God.