The Lord says: "I have seen the misery of my people; I have heard their cry to be free; I am aware of their suffering. I intend to set them free." May this caring God be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
A. Unless You Repent We all know that Lent is a time for conversion. There is much evil in the world and we know that there are also things wrong with us. These are certainly reasons for change. But the deepest reason for conversion is not the evil we see in the world and in us, nor the penalties we may have to pay for it. The ultimate "why" for conversion is God himself, that we encounter God and his love. Our faith in God and his fidelity to us and the goodness God showed us in Christ are the most profound motives to repent and to respond to his holiness and patient love.
B. I Have Seen The Misery Of My People If we are living with both feet firmly on the earth, we cannot but see that we live in a world that is not exactly God's world. We are not the people we are called to be, many situations and structures need change, and many people live in misery. We need conversion, the world around us needs it. The Lord is quoted as saying on this Third Sunday of Lent: "I have seen the misery of my people." Do we see it and what do we do about it? For conversion means changing our ways, turning to God and to people. Are we willing to change?
How far are we still from being the persons whom God calls to be fully human and deeply Christian! We ask God to give us the spirit of repentance. (PAUSE) Lord Jesus, you were in all things like us but there was no sin in you. Make us aware of the evil there is in us: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.Jesus Christ, you repeatedly call us to conversion and penance: Make us humble enough to repent: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, you rejoice over one repentant sinner. Bring us the joy of your forgiveness: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Have mercy on us, Lord, and forgive us all the evil we have done. Let your holiness shine on us and lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray that God give us the courage to repent and to turn to him and to people (PAUSE) Patient God, we are reluctant and slow to make the change of heart we need. Give us the time to understand the extent of your mercy and your love, which your Son Jesus showed us in its fullness in his suffering and death. Recognize your own Son in us and accept us in our poverty. Raise us up, change us, that we may proclaim your persistent love, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
God is patient and aware of our miseries. Let us pray to him to help us on the way of conversion and renewal, and let us say: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. • That all the faithful, leaders and members, may heed the call of Christ and his Church to look into our hearts and to change what ought to be changed, let us pray: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. • That God may give us the courage to commit ourselves to the liberation in Christ of all those imprisoned in their selfishness and in unjust political and economic systems, let us pray: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. • That those responsible for others may be people of faith and vision, close to the people entrusted to them and concerned about their material and spiritual welfare, let us pray: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. • That we may bring a bit of warmth to those whose hearts are empty and cold, that they may discover happiness in the love of God and of their neighbor, let us pray: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. • That the Word of God may stir all in our communities for us to bear fruits of justice and love and that the bread of the Eucharist may give us strength and faithfulness, let us pray: R/ Have mercy on your people, Lord. God of compassion and love, hear the cries of a word trapped in suffering and sin and make us free and eager to do all that is good, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Lord, merciful Father, in baptism you have sown in us the seeds of new life; in the Eucharist you give us your Son as our companion in life and our food for growth. Do not allow us to think we are safe because your Son is with us. Let him help us not to fall but to grow in your life and to support one another on the way to you, our God for ever and ever. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Let us give thanks to the Father for giving us each year during Lent the opportunity to change and to grow closer to him and to people.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
Let us pray with Jesus our Lord to the Father who sees all our needs: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us Lord, from every evil and grant us the peace of forgiveness and reconciliation. Set us free from all the shackles of sin and give us the courage to lead the life to which you have called us. Strengthen us in the trials of life, as we wait in joyful hope for the coming of our Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord, the Lamb of God who came to free the world from sin and to sustain us in our struggles against the forces of evil. Happy are we to be called to live the life of our Lord. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
God our Father, let your Son stay with us on the way of renewal, that we may speak your name with respect and thanks; that we build your kingdom and do your will, that we give bread and space to every person, that there be forgiveness for all; that we may not tempt one another nor harden in our selfishness. Let there be redemption and liberation from sin, so that we keep hoping in you and live in your love today and tomorrow and for ever. R/ Amen.
Where God reveals himself to people, there he gives them a mission. Today he has again spoken to us in this Eucharist through Jesus: "I have seen the miseries of my people." He tells us too: Tell them, your brothers and sisters, that the God of our fathers sends me to you to lead them to a land of freedom, where it is good to live together in peace and friendship. Bring God's love to one another with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Let us go in peace and share God's concern for people. R/ Thanks be to God.