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27 Sunday C - Liturgical Prayers

TWENTY-SEVENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME

1. Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed
2. Faith of the Servant

Greeting (See Second Reading)

May you keep alive in you
the faith and love in Christ Jesus.
May the Holy Spirit who lives in you
help you to guard the riches of your faith
and be always with you. R/ And also with you.


Introduction

1. Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

Beautiful statements about our faith may impress others and ourselves for a moment, but they do not change us. Inspiration to change comes from living witnesses, people who inspire us by the way they live. Often the disciples did not even understand Jesus, but they saw what he did, and how he lived. They admired him and so they asked, “Lord, make our faith grow!” People consider us practicing Christians, but the heart of the matter is whether we are believers, people of faith, close to our Lord, who live as we believe. Let us also ask: Lord, make our faith grow!

2. Faithful Servants

Who are we before God? This is the question asked of us today. We are just ordinary servants, who do what they have to do and do so in a spirit of faith, which is God’s greatest gift to us. But if we have faith, God can do much with us. Even our stammering prayers, our clumsy attempts to love people and God, our efforts to make this world a bit more human and a bit more the way God wants it, are no more than things we are supposed to do and which the Lord expects us to do. We ask Jesus in this eucharist that we may be good servants of God and people, and that with his help we may do better what we have to do.

Penitential Act

Our faith is often weak.
We ask now the Lord to forgive us.
(PAUSE)
Lord Jesus, the disciples saw you pray
and they asked; “Lord, teach us to pray.”
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Jesus Christ, your disciples saw you
as a man in deep union with the Father
and they asked you, “Show us the Father.”
Christ, have mercy. R/ Christ, have mercy.
Lord Jesus, your disciples then and now
see you seeking the will of the Father in everything,
and we ask you, “Increase our faith, Lord.”
Lord, have mercy. R/ Lord, have mercy.
Forgive us our weak faith, Lord,
and give us a faith that moves mountains,
strong and deep and loving.
Lead us to everlasting life. R/ Amen.

Opening Prayer

1. Faith the Size of a Mustard Seed

Let us ask the Lord
for a faith that keeps growing
(PAUSE)
God our Father,
we thank you for our faith,
which we have received from you
as a gift to be developed with your help.
Make our faith grow day after day,
let it give meaning to our life
and express itself in love and justice.
Let it bring us joy and understanding,
and make us very close to you and to people.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

2. Faith of the Servant

Let us pray
that our faith may be strong and bold
(PAUSE)
Lord our God,
you dreamed a beautiful dream
for people and the world,
a vision of truth and life and love.
You entrusted it to us as a task
to be brought to a good end in partnership with you.
God, we are impatient for results
and yet afraid of the risks
of committing ourselves to your plans.
Give us, your servants, a trusting faith,
firm, loyal, enduring and bold.
Make us grow in the conviction
that you can overcome might and evil
with what is weak and little,
and that your kingdom will come
by the power and love
of Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

First Reading: The Believer Will Live

God’s people have to keep trusting in their trials, for their faith will save them.

Reading 1: Hab 1:2-3; 2:2-4

How long, O LORD? I cry for help
but you do not listen!
I cry out to you, "Violence!"
but you do not intervene.
Why do you let me see ruin;
why must I look at misery?
Destruction and violence are before me;
there is strife, and clamorous discord.
Then the LORD answered me and said:
Write down the vision clearly upon the tablets,
so that one can read it readily.
For the vision still has its time,
presses on to fulfillment, and will not disappoint;
if it delays, wait for it,
it will surely come, it will not be late.
The rash one has no integrity;
but the just one, because of his faith, shall live.

Responsorial Psalm: Ps 95:1-2, 6-7, 8-9

R. (8) If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us sing joyfully to the LORD;
let us acclaim the Rock of our salvation.
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving;
let us joyfully sing psalms to him.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Come, let us bow down in worship;
let us kneel before the LORD who made us.
For he is our God,
and we are the people he shepherds, the flock he guides.
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.
Oh, that today you would hear his voice:
"Harden not your hearts as at Meribah,
as in the day of Massah in the desert,
Where your fathers tempted me;
they tested me though they had seen my works."
R. If today you hear his voice, harden not your hearts.

Second Reading: Bear Witness to Your Faith

We must keep the faith God has given us, witness to it, and let it grow.

Reading 2: 2 Tm 1:6-8, 13-14

Beloved:
I remind you, to stir into flame
the gift of God that you have through the imposition of my hands.
For God did not give us a spirit of cowardice
but rather of power and love and self-control.
So do not be ashamed of your testimony to our Lord,
nor of me, a prisoner for his sake;
but bear your share of hardship for the gospel
with the strength that comes from God.

Take as your norm the sound words that you heard from me,
in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.
Guard this rich trust with the help of the Holy Spirit
that dwells within us.

Alleluia: 1 Pt 1:25

R. Alleluia, alleluia.
The word of the Lord remains forever.
This is the word that has been proclaimed to you.
R. Alleluia, alleluia.

Gospel: If Only You Had Faith!

Jesus wants his disciples to have absolute faith in God. And yet, even a life full of faith does not entitle us to privileges, for faith is a gift from God.

Gospel: Lk 17:5-10

The apostles said to the Lord, "Increase our faith."
The Lord replied,
"If you have faith the size of a mustard seed,
you would say to this mulberry tree,
'Be uprooted and planted in the sea,' and it would obey you.

"Who among you would say to your servant
who has just come in from plowing or tending sheep in the field,
'Come here immediately and take your place at table'?
Would he not rather say to him,
'Prepare something for me to eat.
Put on your apron and wait on me while I eat and drink.
You may eat and drink when I am finished'?
Is he grateful to that servant because he did what was commanded?
So should it be with you.
When you have done all you have been commanded,
say, 'We are unprofitable servants;
we have done what we were obliged to do.'"

Intercessions

Let us pray with a trusting faith in God for the hungers and needs of our world and of the People of God. Let us say: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For a fresh and deep faith that makes us, God’s People, look at all we do in the light of the message and life of Jesus, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For a courageous faith that is not afraid of contradicting the evils of injustice and discrimination in our world, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For a loving and merciful faith that makes us attentive to the pains and needs of those who go hungry, of those who are underprivileged, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For an unswerving faith that helps us overcome all doubts and hesitations and keeps us seeking God’s will and plans even when the cost is high, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For a humble faith which recognizes that faith itself is a gift from God and is grateful for the good that people do to us, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
– For a serving faith that seeks the good of the community and tries to bring people together in strong bonds of mutual help and sharing, let us pray: R/ Lord, give us a strong faith.
Loving God, in you we believe, in you we trust, on you we rely, through Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Prayer over the Gifts

God our Father,
we firmly believe that Jesus your Son
will change into himself
these simple gifts of bread and wine,
so that he might be with us
with all his strength and love.
Help us to believe with all that is in us
that he is also with us in everyday life,
as the Lord of our lives and our friend,
giving meaning to all we do.
Let him make our faith a way of life
that gives you all honor and praise
now and for ever. R/ Amen.

Introduction to the Eucharistic Prayer

God is near to us with all his love and grace in the life of every day. He has saved us through Jesus. Let us give him our wholehearted thanks and praise.

Invitation to the Lord’s Prayer

Let us pray with trusting faith
to God, our Father in heaven,
and ask him to strengthen this faith
when it is tested by evil: R/ Our Father...

Deliver Us

Deliver us, Lord, from every evil
and grant us in our day the peace
of knowing that you are always with us.
Keep us from blaming you
when we suffer from the evil
we inflict on one another.
Do not allow our sins
to weaken the faith of those around us.
Help us to encourage one another
and to prepare together in hope
for the full coming among us
of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. R/ For the kingdom...

Invitation to Communion

This is Jesus, the Lamb of God,
who died to give us life.
We believe he is our saving Lord
and our only hope. R/ Lord, I am not worthy...

Prayer after Communion

Lord our God,
accept our thanks for giving us Jesus
to revive and strengthen our faith.
Reassure us that he stays with us
in the cares and the heat of the day,
and that, with him walking by our side,
everything becomes possible.
Keep this faith and hope alive in us,
and help us to bear witness to it
through him who is with us always,
Jesus Christ our Lord. R/ Amen.

Blessing

The eucharist has been an occasion
to strengthen our faith in the Lord’s presence.
It is perhaps good that at times
our faith is tried and tested
through difficulties and questions,
so as not to become complacent.
May such occasions be for us
opportunities to place all our trust
in the love and concern of God.
May almighty God bless you,
the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. R/ Amen.
Go in peace and take the Lord with you
in all you do. R/ Thanks be to God.

Commentary

One day a group of elderly Jewish women were talking about the catastrophes and evils of the world and, after a long litany of problems and conflicts, one of them exclaimed: “It makes you wonder who is in charge.” Facing evil and sorrow in the world always raises such questions. It is the same question that the prophet poses in the first reading and a question we often ask ourselves: “Why does God allow such things to happen in the world? Is so much pain God’s will?
On the other hand, and particularly in this individualistic society, we consider things are acquired through our own merit and actions. Sometimes people think they can even avoid death forever by taking the necessary precautions, exercising, and eating healthy.
In both cases—whether we give God full responsibility for everything that happens or consider that we are in complete control—we are denying true faith. Faith asks for great trust, without fears or anxiety.
Faith demands that we allow God to be God, while working to turn this world into what He desires. That is, we are asked to have attitudes and actions in accordance with the call we received. It means working as if everything depended on us and praying although we know perfectly well that everything depends on God. We cannot blame God for things that are the fault of people’s actions or their lack of action, nor can we think that by our own efforts we will turn things around. We need to work and trust, often not seeing the final result, but grounding ourselves firmly in God’s promises.
The words of Jesus, which state that once we have done everything in our power, we must say “we are but worthless servants,” are not trying to say Christians should have low self-esteem, but to recognize that all control and grace come from God. We act in faith according to the promise and we know that faith can move mountains.

Points to Ponder

When have I doubted God or have asked why He allows certain things to happen in the world?
Have I felt frustrated thinking that all my efforts should be producing greater results?
Where was God during this moment.