Blessed be our Lord Jesus Christ: to him be honor and everlasting power. May his grace and peace be always with you. R/ And also with you.
Introduction by the Celebrant
Open Your Eyes
How come that we are merely aware of the misery—poverty, discrimination, injustice around us? Is it because we have not learned to see, or that we prefer not to see? It is said of God in the Old Testament that he saw the misery of his people, and, seeing it, he liberated them. Jesus saw the misery of the people around him and he did all he could to free them. Let us ask the Lord here with us that we may learn to see our own afflictions and those of the people around us. Then we can, with God's help, do something to remedy them.
B. Bridging The Gap Between Rich And PoorWe know that in our country and elsewhere—in fact, in large parts of the world—there is a wide gap between the rich and the poor. Many ask themselves, hopefully we too, "What can I do about all this misery? My means are very limited, and I cannot carry the burden of the world." But we know what the Gospel asks of us. If all contribute, each in his or her own place, their share toward solving the problems of poverty, need, and suffering, how much better our whole world would become and how much nearer the kingdom! We need no angel to come and tell us. Listen to the message of the Lord himself.
Blind as we are to our faults and to the needs of people let us ask the Lord to forgive us and to open our eyes. (pause) Lord Jesus, you saw in the eyes of sinners their hunger for acceptance and forgiveness: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Jesus Christ, you saw the silent need of the poor to share in the life of the community: Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy. Lord Jesus, you saw the need of the sheep without shepherds for someone to follow and to believe in: Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy. Take our sins away, Lord, and open our eyes to compassion and love. Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.
Let us pray to God for compassionate and generous hearts (pause) Our generous and loving God, your Son Jesus is risen from the dead and tells us to see the needs of the poor and to give them food and drink. In them, may we recognize your Son and love him and care for him. You have filled us with good things, all free of charge. Make us poor of heart, that we may understand the poor, generous enough not to measure our gifts, and grateful for all you have given us by bringing joy and liberation to the needy. We ask this in the name of Jesus the Lord. R/ Amen.
Liturgy of the Word
First Reading Introduction: The Rich Will Be Made Poor The prophet Amos rings out God's indignation over the insensitive rich. They enjoy life without any concern for the poor. God cannot accept that any person or community would tolerate such inequality and indifference.
Second Reading Introduction: Witnessing To Christ With Our Lives Christians, especially leaders in the community, must bear witness to the Father and to Jesus by their Christian living. For they owe to God their salvation in Jesus Christ.
Gospel Introduction: God Will Make The Poor Rich The rich man of the parable is unconcerned about the poor man. But God's justice reverses the situation: the poor will become rich before God, the selfish will lose everything.
Let us pray to our loving Father, the protector of widows and orphans and the support of the humble and of strangers. Let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For a prophetic voice for the Church, that it may not tolerate the poor to be trampled upon or to be silenced, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For open minds for the leaders of nations, that all the money wasted on weapons of destruction may be used for the welfare of people, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For open hands to all who extend theirs, whether in friendship or as an appeal for help, that we may welcome them and fill them, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For open hearts to all loneliness, to all fear and bitterness, that we may respond by becoming healers in the name of the Lord, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For open eyes toward the humble and the little ones, that we may respect and restore their dignity as human beings and children of the Father in heaven, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. • For communities in which the rich care for the poor and the poor teach the rich how to be patient and dependent on God, let us pray: R/ Lord, hear our prayer. God our Father, help us to use the goods of this earth to bridge the gap between rich and poor, for we are all your sons and daughters, now and for ever. R/ Amen.
Prayer over the Gifts
Our God and Father, here are bread and wine, simple food and the drink of joy. By this gesture of offering we assume our responsibility for the poor. With your Son, let us never remain indifferent to the human and spiritual misery of our brothers and sisters in need. Accept the poverty of our own hearts and be our only lasting riches, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer
Let us praise the Father with Jesus for showing us his compassion through his Son. May he give us a lively and warm concern for our brothers and sisters in need.
Invitation to the Lord's Prayer
Recognizing that we are all poor before our Father in heaven, we pray to him with all trust the prayer of Jesus, his Son: R/ Our Father...
Deliver us Lord, from all selfishness that closes our hearts and hands to the needs of the people around us. Keep us from becoming enslaved by the things we have, even by our talents. Help us to free your people from want and fear with the gifts of our minds, hearts, and with material goods, that we may prepare for the full coming of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...
Invitation to Communion
This is Jesus our Lord. He invites us to share his meal and to learn from him to share what we are and have. Happy are we to be invited to his supper. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...
Prayer after Communion
God, Father of the poor, your Son has been here among us and he has knocked on the door of our hearts. We have welcomed him, but it was he who gave us to eat. May we keep receiving him and making him feel comfortable as our brother every time someone begs for our help or, when in need, is too timid to express where it hurts. We ask you for this sensitivity through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.
In this Eucharistic celebration the Lord has enriched us with his word and with the gift of himself. His bread of life tasted better because it was shared. We are now ready to enrich one another and to make our happiness greater by sharing it, with the blessing of Almighty God, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen. Go in peace to love and serve the Lord in one another. R/ Thanks be to God.