FOCUS: The law of the Lord delights the human heart and guides the steps of our lives.
Today’s Gospel opens with the words and intentions of Luke the Evangelist. He has decided to write a Gospel – a narrative of the events regarding Jesus Christ that will draw from the memories of those who witnessed his life, death, and resurrection, and who have handed on his teachings to future generations. We cling to that Gospel message, which reminds us of God’s mercy and challenges us to live in Christ.
Almighty ever-living God,
direct our actions according to your good pleasure,
that in the name of your beloved Son
we may abound in good works.
Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,
who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
God, for ever and ever
Nehemiah, Ezra, and others instruct the people to rejoice and not be sad, for their God has made the day holy. Saint Paul instructs the Corinthians, using the image of the body to describe the Church and explaining that each person has a role in it. In the Gospel, Jesus reads from the book of the prophet Isaiah in the synagogue in Nazareth and proclaims, Today this Scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.
What's in Your Heart
Take a moment to check in with your body and the way you are feeling. Have any aches, pains, or illness that are interfering with your ability to concentrate or carry out your work? Are you getting the exercise you need, eating well, getting enough rest? Have you been neglecting your physical well-being of late, or taking good care of yourself? Remember that you are part of the Body, and when you are suffering, others suffer, too.
God’s love and mercy exceed the hopes of the human heart. With confidence, we bring our prayers before the Lord.
1) For Church leaders, may the Spirit continue to guide and inspire them and keep them faithful to Christ and his Gospel, let us pray to the Lord.
2) For civic leaders, may the Lord bless them with right knowledge and understanding as they carry out their duties, let us pray to the Lord.
3) For the sick, may God’s Holy Spirit restore them to the fullness of life and health and liberate them from all afflictions, let us pray to the Lord.
4) For all gathered here, may the Lord help us grow in our understanding of his merciful love for us and so be transformed, let us pray to the Lord.
5) For our beloved dead, may they receive the reward of a life well spent and come to share in the fullness of Christ’s glory, let us pray to the Lord.
Eternal Father, in your Son, Jesus Christ, you reveal your great mercy and love for us. He is your Anointed One and the source of our unity and hope. Hear our prayers which we offer in confidence, through your Son.
Know that joy is rarer, more difficult, and more beautiful than sadness. Once you make this all-important discovery, you must embrace joy as a moral obligation.
Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country.
As the builders say, the larger stones do not lie well without the lesser.
May the strength of God sustain us;
may the power of God preserve us;
may the hands of God protect us;
may the way of God direct us;
may the love of God go with us this day and forever.