1. I Have Come to Bring Fire
2. No Easy Peace Greeting (See Second Reading)
We must run with perseverance the race we have entered, with our eyes fixed on Jesus. May the Lord Jesus give you that strength you need and be always with you. R/ And also with you. Introduction
1. I Have Come to Bring Fire Today the Lord confronts us with the question: How fiery is your love? How fervent is your faith? Can our faith accept contradiction and ridicule without reducing us to silence? Perhaps we are resigned to the evil in us and in the world and do not stand up for what is right and good. If we love the Lord, and people, enough we do not tolerate an easy peace that puts our conscience to sleep. In this Eucharist we pray to the Lord for the fire of his Spirit.
2. No Easy Peace Is there anyone of sound mind who doesn’t want peace? Jesus promised: “I leave you peace; my peace I give you,” and he meant it. Yet today we hear him say: “I am here to bring you not peace but rather division.” Is there not a contradiction here? No, for he simply wants to say: My peace and your peace must not be a guilty peace of compromises with evil. It is a peace that allows itself to be disturbed by injustice and wrongdoing that contradicts our faith. We are here together with the Lord who gave up his own peace to accept even death so that we might be free and happy.
1. I Have Come to Bring Fire Where is the fire of our love and our faith? Let us examine ourselves before the Lord. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, you came to bring us your fire: Kindle in us the fire of a courageous faith. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Jesus Christ, you came to bring us your fire: Kindle in us the power of a love that commits itself to you and to people. Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you came to bring us your fire: let it wake us up from our indifference and fears. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Forgive us, Lord, for we have been lukewarm. Give us the quiet courage to live our faith deeply and to love without hesitation. Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
2. No Easy Peace The responsibilities of faith and love at times disturb our easy peace. We ask forgiveness from the Lord that we have not allowed ourselves to be disturbed when needed. (PAUSE) “Do not disturb,” we say, and we silence our conscience. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. “Do not disturb,” we say, and we close our eyes to the needs of our neighbor. Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy. “Do not disturb,” we say, and we tolerate injustice and discrimination.
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us our cowardice. Light in us the fire of your Spirit and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray that we may follow Jesus without fear or guilty compromise (PAUSE) God our Father, by his life and death your Son showed us the stony road that leads us to life and love. Let the fire of his Spirit burn in us, that we may reject easy compromises with evil, with guilty, uncommitted peace, and silent complicity in iniquity. Make us honest and straightforward like Jesus, so that with him we may put your will and love above everything else. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Let us ask the Lord Jesus that he may fill his Church and the world with the fire of his love and life. Let us say: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Jesus, set your Church afire with the flame of a deep concern to bring your Good News to all. May the Good News dialogue with the world, and with its aspirations and needs. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Jesus, inflame all Christian Churches with a passion to work untiringly toward unity in you. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Jesus, inflame the leaders of nations with the fire of seeking justice and peace for our world, and respect for the human dignity of all. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Jesus, give the fire of your strength to all who have to pass through the fire of suffering, failure and discrimination, and keep them from discouragement. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Jesus, light your fire again in those whose faith has become lukewarm or who have lost the way to you. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. – Lord, inflame our hearts with the fire of your love. Make us recognize and serve you in our neighbor, especially in the poorest. We pray you: R/ Lord, put our hearts afire. Lord Jesus, make our hearts burn with your love as we hear your word and eat from your table, now and for ever. R/ Amen
Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father, we bring before you bread and wine, gifts of peace and joy. In our struggles and tensions, may we never buy an easy peace by sacrificing for the sake of our own comfort, the truth and justice demanded by the gospel. May we not fail in the service we owe our neighbor. Nourish our hesitant faith with the body and blood of your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
By his death Jesus paid the price for his fidelity to people and to goodness and truth. Let us offer ourselves with him and ask for his strength, that we may give all praise to the Father.
Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer
In faith and hope we pray to our Father in heaven in the words of Jesus our Lord: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil and grant us peace in our day. Let it not be the easy peace that comes from self-contentment or the lack of involvement, but an interior peace which accepts the struggles of faith and which dares to opt for the challenging way of the loving service of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord, who accepted the cross and disregarded its shame to lead us in our faith. He invites us to his table to inflame us with faith and love. R/ Lord, I am not worthy... Prayer after
God our Father, your Son has spoken to us his stirring, challenging Word and shared his own strength with us. Send us out to live our faith in all its consequences, and even to be, if necessary, a sign of contradiction, like your Son. But sustain us in faith and give us endurance, that with Jesus your Son we may live in your joy and peace for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Blessing: Jesus brought fire on earth to burn with a bright flame. May our living faith be such a fire and such a flame, with the blessing of almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Let us go in peace and live our faith. R/ Thanks be to God.