We trust in the Lord who keeps us from lasting death, who stands by our side in sorrow and distress, and keeps our feet from stumbling. The Lord be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Do We Go Jesus' Way? What are we looking for in life? Good health, happiness in our families, in our job, in our faith, good relationships with ourselves, with people and with God. When Jesus tells us today that we have to follow him in taking up the crosses that come our way, do we accept that as disciples of Jesus today? Do we take that as a part of our faith or do we say, "Lord, everything - but not that!"? Jesus assures us: "Anyone who loses his or her life for my sake will find life, will save life." Come, let us meet the Lord who speaks to us.
A. Do We Go Jesus' Way?
We are scared of the cross. Let us ask pardon from the Lord that we have not always accepted our crosses. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, you suffered grievously and you ask us to take up our cross after you. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you were put to death and you ask us to lose our life for your sake. Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you rose again after three days and you promise us that we will find life with you. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Lord, forgive us all our sins, save us from evil and death and lead us to a full and everlasting life. R/ Amen.
A. Lord, Open Our Ears and Lips
Let us pray to God that we may learn to bear our crosses with Jesus (PAUSE) Lord God, our hope and trust, you have made us for happiness. When we seek it in glorious dreams of prosperity, success and freedom from pain help us to face the realities of real life. Make us accept the uncertain darkness of suffering and self-effacement as the price to pay for light and joy. Teach us the way of your Son Jesus Christ, who died of his own free will, that we might live and be happy. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: Suffering in Hope In this third song of the servant of God, the prophet expresses his trust in God. He and God's people suffer, but he is sure God is with him and will do him justice.
Second Reading Introduction: Faith Demands Practice James knows that a person is saved by faith. Yet he stresses that faith must become visible in the deeds of a Christian.
Gospel Introduction: Take Up Your Cross and Follow Me Peter recognizes Jesus as the promised Savior. But to win life for himself and for us, Jesus must first lose his life. We, his disciples, must go the way of the cross with him.
Let us pray to our living and loving God who has created us for happiness, that we may learn to face the responsibilities and hardships of life, and let us say: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
For the Church, that it may not be ashamed of preaching the crucified Christ and of being self-effacing with him, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
- For the victims of injustice and poverty, that we may have the courage to stand up for them and to bring them justice and love, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
- For the stragglers in life, for the little people who "do not count," that they may not be trampled underfoot by the high and the mighty, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
- For those not adapted to life, for those whose ideas or conduct we do not share, that we may respect them and have a heart and a place for them, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
- For the sick and the handicapped, that they may draw strength from the awareness of how close they are to the suffering Lord, and that we may visit them and care for them, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear the voice of your people.
Lord God, the crosses of the world are ours, for Jesus is ours. Let them be yours to lighten, for Jesus carried the cross for all, and he is your Son and our Lord for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Father in heaven, your Son Jesus gives himself to us in the signs of nourishing bread made from broken grains of wheat and of the sparkling wine of joy poured from grapes that are crushed. With this food and drink of life give us the mentality of your Son, that we may die to ourselves for love of you and those entrusted to us. May this be the sacrifice we offer you through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
We give praise and thanks to the Father for having saved and freed us by the suffering and resurrection of Jesus. We now join Jesus in his sacrifice. May he give us the strength to take up his cross in the sacrifices asked of us in everyday life..
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
In the words of Jesus, our Savior, let us pray to the Father in heaven for the bread that gives us the strength to follow in his footsteps: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, and from our fear of committing ourselves to you and to those you love. Give us the insight and the courage to overcome and surpass life's reality of suffering by accepting it and turning it into a gift of love and fidelity, on the road that leads to the full coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is the Lamb of God who accepted suffering and death to take away the sin of the world. Happy are we to be invited to share in his sacrifice so as to share also in his risen life. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Lord our God, we give you thanks for speaking to us your word of life and nourishing us with the bread of strength. Send us out into the world of people to bear one another's crosses and to share each other's joys, that we may not merely admire your Son for having borne his cross, but follow him on the road that leads to life and glory. Grant this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Jesus did not run away from the difficulties and pains of his mission in life. May God give you the same loyalty and strength, and bless you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us go with one another the road of Jesus our Lord.R/ Thanks be to God.