17 Sunday B - Liturgical Prayers

Greetings (see second reading)
We are gathered here together
by the Holy Spirit as one body,
united in one Lord, one faith, one baptism,
and one God, the Father of all.
May the Lord Jesus, who has called us together,
be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. God Provides Food
The traditional sign in the scriptures that God loves us and cares for us is that he provides food for his people, usually bread, the staple food in much of the world. Can we believe this when so many go hungry? Let us first ask ourselves whether food is lacking or the distribution and sharing are bad. The bread of the Bible stands not only for food for the body but also for God's word, love, concern and presence. The most profound of these signs of God's care is the eucharist in which Jesus keeps giving himself as our food and drink for the road of life. Let us give thanks to the Father with Jesus this great gift.
B. The Meager Gifts of a Little Boy
Who are we in the eyes of God? What can God do with us? After all, we are no more than little people in a vast world. Today's liturgy shows us that God can do very much through us and with the little we have to give. When we give to him our time, our life, our talents and the little we can do, he turns them into blessings for many. He can do great things with us, but we have to put them at his disposal. The gospel shows us what Jesus could do to satisfy the needs of a large crowd with the meager gifts of a little boy. We ask the Lord to make us generous with the little we have.
C. He Took Bread and Gave Thanks
Whenever Christians come to the eucharist they hear what Jesus did for people. He took bread, gave thanks, and gave the bread to those present, saying, "Take this, all of you, and eat it. This is I myself giving myself to you." We hear in today's gospel that one day Jesus gave food to a hungry crowd. He is the one who can appease the hungers of all people of our earth. He wants us to share him with all and, like our Lord, to share ourselves too with one another. Ask him in this eucharist to teach us how.
Penitential Act
Are we hungry for God's word and care
or have we been cold to his love through sin?
Let us examine ourselves before the Lord.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you took pity on the crowd
and gave them to eat:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you take pity on us
and nourish us with your body and blood:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you want us to take pity
on people hungry for food and love:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Take pity on us, merciful God,
and still our hunger for forgiveness.
Nourish us with the body of Jesus
and lead us to the feast meal of everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray that our heavenly Father
may give us all we need in Christ
(PAUSE)
God our Father,
you give your children everywhere
all the good gifts for a fully human life.
Let your Son give us the bread
of his word that nourishes our faith,
of his peace that brings us rest,
of his consolation that gives us hope and joy,
and the nourishing bread that sustains us
on the way to you and to people.
Make us share this bread with all
as a token of the feast meal
which you have prepared for us in heaven.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
Introduction to the First ReadingBread for the Poor
        
In a time of famine the prophet Elisha orders bread destined for a religious offering to be given to the hungry poor. As there is not enough, God sees to it that there is more than needed to satisfy all.
Introduction to the Second ReadingOne People, for God Is One
       The apostle Paul exhorts the Christian community to be one. Our unity bears witness to the Trinity, which is the source and model of all unity.

Gospel Introduction: Bread for the Hungry
       
Jesus reveals himself in the multiplication as the giver of bread to the hungry. He will use this sign later to reveal himself as the bread of life in the eucharist.
General Intercessions (inspired by RenĂ© Mouret)
Let us pray to God, from whom all good things come, that all may have in abundance what they need to live as his sons and daughters, and let us say: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

- For the Church, that those who lead and preside may serve and unite all in Christ; that they may constantly remind the people of God of the true values of the gospel, let us pray: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

- For both the leaders and the faithful in the Church, that they may have the courage to stand up for human rights, for a just sharing in the earth's goods, for justice and for responsible freedom everywhere, let us pray: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

- For agencies of international aid, for the United Nations and govern- ments, that they may use all human potentials and all the resources of science and nature to feed the hungry and to develop the earth, let us pray: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

- For all Christian communities, that we may not abandon anyone in need; that we may share joys and sorrows and all that is true, beautiful and good, and that we may serve one another, let us pray: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

- For this community gathered here to break the Lord's bread, that the Spirit of the Lord may make us the sign of the Lord's generosity and love, let us pray: R/ Lord, grant us all that is good.

Indeed, Lord our God, make us open and receptive to all your gifts and available to all needs and all people, through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Father, 
here is a little bread
and here are we with our empty lives.
Multiply our poor offering
and substitute for it the rich bread
and the tasty wine of Jesus.
Let him become our daily bread,
that from him we may learn
to share our food and ourselves
with all who cry out their need to us.
We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. Amen
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
In this eucharist, Jesus will say again: "This is my body given up for you. This is I myself giving myself to you." Let us thank the Father for this great gift of Jesus to us.
Introduction to the Lord's Prayer
United in one faith and one baptism,
let us pray through the Holy Spirit
to God, the Father of all,
in the words of our Lord Jesus Christ:  R/ Our Father...
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and help us in our day
to bring food to a hungry world.
In your mercy keep us free
from greed and self-sufficiency
that close our hearts to your gifts
and to one another.
Give us bread that does not perish,
as we go forward in joyful hope
toward the coming in glory
of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
At the Breaking of Bread
Jesus broke his life for us.
He now breaks the bread of himself
to satisfy our deepest hungers.
May we also learn from him
to share our food with one another,
for it tastes better when it is shared
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord
who multiplied bread for the hungry
and who gives himself to us, saying:
This is my body for the life of the world.
Happy are we to be invited
to eat this Bread of life. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
We give you thanks, generous Father,
for giving us Jesus, your Son,
as our food on the road
to you and to one another.
Give us the will and the creativity
to bring to a hungry world food
and a fair share in the riches of the earth.
Help us also to break the bread
of dignity and hope for all.
And be yourself the highest fulfillment
of all our aspirations,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.
Blessing
We have broken bread with the Lord.
This commits us to call on all human resources
to share with those in need
food, justice, culture and freedom.
He also invites us to break for all
the higher bread of the gospel,
which satisfies the deepest hungers
of every human heart.
May God strengthen and bless you for this task:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go, and share God's love and gifts
with one another. R/ Thanks be to God.