We have God for our help. The Lord upholds our life. May the Lord Jesus be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Who Is the Greatest? "We are the greatest, the mightiest, the strongest nation on earth," say the politicians. "I am the greatest of all time," says the boxer. "I am the boss, and you do what I say," says the manager. "I am stronger than you," says the schoolboy. "Anyone who wants to be first must make himself or herself the last and the servant of all," says Jesus. Jesus asks us, "What do you say?"
B. And A Child Shall Lead Them
We, parents particularly, all know how defenseless and fragile children are. That is why God loves children very much, as Jesus showed us in his whole life. Jesus tells us even how we have to become like children, not that we have to become childish but that like children we must be spontaneous, open and simple. Children do not ask for their due; they expect things from others and they accept everything as a gift. In the same way we must be open to the gifts of God and of people. People are God's gift to us too. Children symbolize the beginning of life; so everything should be ahead for us, too, and we go forward with Jesus as our guide.
A. Who Is the Greatest?
Too often the urge to dominate others is strong and we are not ready to serve people. We ask the Lord and people to forgive us. (PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you humbled yourself and became like the least of us: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you were born a little child and became obedient to your parents: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you took our sins upon yourself and served the Father and us to the end. Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us when we are pretentious. Make us servants with you and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
B. And A Child Shall Lead Them
Let us ask forgiveness from the Lord that too often we are self-satisfied and expect very little from him. (PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, you loved little children and you blessed them: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, you tell us that unless we become open and receptive like children we cannot enter the kingdom of heaven: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, in little children and in all that who are weak and fragile we welcome you and your Father: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, forgive us our pretensions, pride and self-assurance and lead us forward in hope to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
A. Who Is the Greatest?
Let us ask the Lord for the gift of knowing how to serve (PAUSE) God, giver of all good gifts, give us the ambition to belong among the last and the least as people who know how to serve, generously and without condescension, the people around us, especially all who are little and brittle. We ask this through him who made himself the servant of all, Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
B. And A Child Shall Lead Them Let us pray to God our Father that he may welcome us into his kingdom (PAUSE) God our Father, you tenderly stoop down to us, fallible and limited people, and your preference goes to children, to the weak and the humble. Help us to accept your good news with the receptive attitude of children. And give us also eyes of admiration to see the mystery of your greatness and love, that the kingdom of heaven may be ours. Grant us this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: The Upright Person Is Contested The faith of the just is a silent accusation against those of little or no faith. This is why they are ridiculed or persecuted.
Second Reading Introduction: The True Christian Is a Peacemaker
How much peace there would be if Christians did not give in to the evil in their hearts.
Gospel Introduction: The Child as Model
Who is the greatest? In God's kingdom it is the little ones!.
Like Jesus, by loving them and praying for them, let us place in our midst the poor, the humble and all who serve, and let us say: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
- For those who are the greatest in the Church, that they may serve with great dedication and without looking down on them the weakest, the poorest, those wounded in life, let us pray: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
- For the mighty of this earth, that they may care about the rights, the dignity and well-being of especially the lowliest people under their charge, let us pray: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
- For people working in social welfare institutions, that they may provide shelter and much love for orphans and rejected or abandoned children, let us pray: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
- For those who work in lowly jobs shunned by others, for those who have unhealthy and dangerous tasks, for those who care for the old and the handicapped, that we may appreciate them and that the Lord may help them, let us pray: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
- For the leaders in our Christian communities, that they may serve the unity of all and make our parishes and neighborhoods places of welcome and acceptance for all, let us pray: R/ Lord, in you we trust.
Father, make us servants with Jesus that you may welcome us into your kingdom. Accept us in Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
With these gifts of bread and wine we open ourselves, God our Father, to your own gifts of life and growth which you offer us in Jesus Christ. May the bread of life he gives us help us to grow up to his full maturity, and may we give ourselves without calculation to you and to one another with the fresh simplicity of a child. We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
All we have, all we are is a free gift from God. We are dependent on him. Let us thank the Father through the offering of this eucharist.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
As God's children, we pray with the fullest trust the prayer taught us by Jesus: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us, Lord, from every evil, for we know that we live in your hands. Make us aware of our littleness and of how much we are dependent upon you and one another. Keep us from all anxiety and help us to grow in freedom and responsibility for our lives and for one another, as we prepare in hope and joy the full coming among us of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord, who wanted the poor and the little ones to come to him with trusting faith. Happy are we to receive him. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
Loving Father, no one is greater than you, yet you have made yourself small and near to us in our weakness in your Son Jesus Christ here in this eucharist and in every day life. Give us the attitude of Jesus Christ, self-effacing and respectful before you and one another in trust, hope and joy. Grant this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Those among us who are parents or teachers love their children and try their best to teach them all what is right and good. But let us also learn from our children to be spontaneous and trusting towards God and one another, admiring and grateful, and expecting all that is good. May God keep you in his love and bless you: the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Let us with one another go the simple way of God's love. R/ Thanks be to God.