Lent 1st Week, Tuesday, Mar 3

Jesus teaches about prayer:  “This is how you are to pray."

Two men were arguing about religion. As the argument heated up, the one man shouted at the other,
"1'll bet five bucks you don’t even know the Lord’s Prayer.” "I’ll take that bet," the other shouted.
Then he began praying, "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take.” The other man looked at him in amazement and said, "III be darned! You win! I didn't think you knew it.”
Sometimes we might just as well be praying “Now I lay me down to sleep” as praying the Lord's Prayer. For we pray it without really thinking about what we are saying.
How attentively do we pray the Lord’s Prayer! "In praying, do not babble like the pagans.” Mt 6:7
Very often, it seems to us that the forces of evil are victorious and even overwhelming. Men of violence assert their power and might over innocent people and even kill them. It seems that justice is slow in coming, if ever at all. The movie industry will take advantage of this fact by churning out all those kinds of "pay-back" movies. Justice is done only in reaching out for the gun. But it is only confined to the dream-world of the movies.

So where is justice? Is there any justice? Yet, we know that there is justice. At least, we will remember Jesus saying this: He who draws the sword will also die by the sword. Yet, Jesus also did say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who treat you badly.

Those are the profound of truth, profound words of life, words which, as the 1st reading puts it, does not return to the Lord empty without carrying out His will and succeeding in what it was sent to do.

We can only understand what justice is when we know what the truth is about. In the gospel, Jesus taught us a prayer. It is a prayer of truth. It is a prayer for justice. When we pray the Lord's prayer, we are also praying that the truth of God will bear fruits of love in our lives so that we will work for justice in the world.

Truth goes before justice. Because there can never be justice without truth.
Lent 1st wk: Tuesday - LITURGY

Penitential Rite: 

With the psalmist we pray:
-I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears, Lord, have mercy
-When the poor one called out, the Lord heard, and from all his distress he saved him, Christ, have mercy
-The Lord is close to the broken-hearted; and those who are crushed in spirit he saves, Lord, have mercy

Opening Prayer
Lord God, you speak your mighty word to us, but we cannot hear it unless it stirs our lives and is spoken in human terms. Keep speaking your word to us, Lord, and open our hearts to it, that it may bear fruit in us when we do your will and carry out what we are sent to do. We ask you this through your living Word, Jesus Christ our Lord.

General Intercessions
–   That God’s word may be echoed in us in our prayers and in the good we do to others, we pray:
–   That we may be always close to God’s living Word, Jesus Christ, and that he may be the center of our life, we pray:
–   That we may be prayerful people, who pray not only for our personal needs but also for those of the Church and of the world, we pray: 

Prayer over the Gifts
Our Father in heaven, you speak to us your living Word, your Son Jesus Christ, and you give him to us as bread to be eaten. With him, may we respond to you with words of prayer on our lips and in our hearts and with the living words of our loyal service and love. May this be our offering to you today through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Prayer after Communion
Our Father in heaven, we praise your holy name for speaking to us in the scriptures and in your Son Jesus Christ. May your word not return empty to you, but give us the strength of your Son to let our deeds speak to you, that what we have promised and offered in prayer may become real in our lives. We ask you this through Christ our Lord.

God’s word must take shape in our lives. What we have heard, we must live. God’s Son must become visible and speak in what we are and do. May God bless you!