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22 Sunday B - Liturgical Prayers

Greetings (see the Gospel)
Jesus our Lord has called us together
and he says to us today:
"Listen to me, all of you,
and try to understand."
May we hear his word
and put it into practice,
and may the Lord be always with you. R/ And also with you.


Introduction by the Celebrant
A. The Spirit of the Law
How do you experience laws, especially God's commandments? Many people consider them as something coming from outside themselves, as burdens imposed on them. Of course, if they are outside you, you cannot love them, you feel like rejecting them or observe only the absolute minimum required. If we understand that their inspiration is love of God and love and respect for people, then they can become a part of ourselves and live in our hearts. Let us ask the Lord that with generosity and love we may go far beyond the letter of the law. 
B. With All Your Heart
We are gathered here to listen to the word of God and to eat from his table. To listen means not simply to hear what the Lord has to say, but to let his word guide our life. But even our obedience to God's word should not become a mechanical compliance. God is a God who loves us, who wants to be near to his people. If we respond to his love, our response to him and to his word and commandments cannot be anything else than a response from the heart, an answer given to him by free and responsible people.
Penitential Act
Let us ask the Lord to forgive us
that we have not always lived
according to the spirit of the commandments.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you said,
This is my commandment:
Love one another as I have loved you:
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.

Jesus Christ, you taught us:
Do to one another
what I have done for you:
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.

Lord Jesus, you told us:
what you do to the least of those who are mine
you do to me:
Lord, have mercy R/ Lord, have mercy.

Forgive us our sins, Lord,
and help us to serve you and others.
with a generous love.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Opening Prayer
Let us pray that our whole life
may give praise and thanks to the Lord
(PAUSE)
Father, God of the ever-new covenant,
you have tied us to yourself
with leading strings of lasting love;
the words you speak to us
are spirit and life.
Open our hearts to your words,
that they may touch us
in the deepest of ourselves.
May they move us to serve you
not in a slavish way
but as your sons and daughters
who love you and whom you have set free
through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word

First Reading Introduction: The Law Brings Life and Wisdom
      Keeping God's law brings wisdom and life to his people. It is their response of loyalty to God's liberating nearness.

Second Reading Introduction: Live by God's Word      God's word has brought us life. We should put it into practice, with love of neighbor as the heart of it; then we will give genuine worship to God..

Gospel Introduction: Serve God with the Heart
      True religion consists in a personal relationship with God (and people), not in the observance of the law. Human traditions often stand in the way of God's law of love.

General Intercessions
Let us pray to God, the giver of all good gifts, that we may always obey his laws with the free attitude of Christ, and let us say: R/ Father, your will be done.

- For the Church, that it may not replace the gospel with rites and laws of human invention but bring people to the freedom, the gentleness and the light of Christ, let us pray: R/ Father, your will be done.

- For the leaders of people everywhere, that God's Spirit may inspire them to give their people wise laws that bring them freedom and justice, let us pray: R/ Father, your will be done.

- For those who do not know Christ, that they may discover God's law written in their hearts and find salvation by the integrity of their lives and the love of their neighbor, let us pray: R/ Father, your will be done.

- For those upset by the changes in the Church, that they may learn to appreciate the attempts of God's people to understand and live our faith in a contemporary way that remains true to the gospel, let us pray: R/ Father, your will be done.

- For us who share in the Lord's table, that we may learn from Jesus our Lord that love is the heart of the law and that true love knows how to serve, let us pray: R/ Father, your will be done.
Lord our God, may we not only hear your word but live by it day after day by the strength of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior for ever.R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord our God,
we bring before you our readiness
to respond to your love.
Strengthen us with the body and blood
of your Son Jesus Christ,
that with him we may be dedicated to you
with our whole mind and heart,
and that we may be capable
of communicating your love and justice
to all those around us.
Grant this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
With Jesus we now give thanks to the Father that he has given us the example of Jesus himself to make us understand that love is the basis and the spirit of all commandments.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
Our lips will now speak Jesus' own prayer.
May his Spirit speak in our hearts
that we may really mean those words : R/ Our Father...
Deliver Us
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us peace in our day.
Keep us from formalism and lip-service
in obeying your commandments.
Help us to serve you and people
in freedom and responsibility
and let love inspire all we do,
as we wait in joyful hope
for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus, the Lamb of God who said:
My food is to do the will
of him who sent me
and to complete his work.
Father, let your will be done, not mine.
Happy are we to be invited
to the table of the Lord
and to receive from him the strength
to do the will of God. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God,
your Son has shared himself with us
in this eucharistic celebration.
Give us his Spirit of strength,
we pray you,
that we may also share in his attitude
of openness to your will
and to the needs of people.
May we thus fulfill more than the law
and serve you as your sons and daughters,
in whom you recognize Jesus Christ,
your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
Blessing
In a spirit of gratitude
for all God has given us,
let us put our hearts
into seeking in the commandments
not our will but the will of God.
God's word in the gospel
and Jesus' own attitude tell us
what is meant by God's will.
May almighty God give you the strength
to do his liberating will:
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit . R/ Amen.

Let us go and seek God's will in all we do.R/ Thanks be to God.