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Third Sunday in Ordinary Time - Cycle A

En español

General Intercessions: [English PDF]
 

Celebrant: With the conviction that the light of Christ conquers every form of darkness, we can now pray with confidence about all our needs.

Deacon/Lector: 

That the Church may proclaim effectively the Good News of Christ to those who live in the darkness of oppression and division, we pray to the Lord... 

That government leaders may have the grace to rise above factions and place the common good as their top priority, we pray to the Lord...

That nations may heed the Gospel's call to reform their lives by eliminating abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment, we pray to the Lord… 

That all those who teach students may find wisdom in their work and joy in the call to shape the lives of the young, we pray to the Lord... 

That those who are ill may find in their weakness a new understanding of the redemptive power of Christ, we pray to the Lord... 

That those who have died may be led to the light of the resurrection, we pray to the Lord... 

Celebrant: 

Father, 
we have seen your salvation
in your Son Jesus Christ.
Fill us with his light
And transform the world with his grace.
We ask this through the same Christ our Lord. Amen. 

Bulletin Insert:
 

Finding Forgiveness

Linda is a woman who had an abortion. She writes, “My breaking point with …[my former] Church was when I was feeling truly guilty because of what I had done, I knew it was wrong, but people were trying to justify it to me. I didn’t need justification, I needed to know how to reconcile an already fragmented relationship with the Lord I desired... but I was too weighed down and no one seemed to see the need of forgiveness and reconciliation, at least until I came into contact with the Catholic Church. The funny thing is, so many people seem to see the Church as uncompassionate and uncaring, it was where I found love, acceptance, and forgiveness...” 

Homily Suggestions:
 

Is 8:23 - 9:3
1 Cor 1:10-13, 17
Mt 4:12-23 or 4:12-17 

Watch a video with homily hints

When Jesus begins to preach, he starts by saying “Repent” (today’s Gospel). When John the Baptist began to preach, he said, “Repent” (see Mt. 3:1-2). When Peter began to preach on the day of Pentecost, he said, “Repent” (see Acts 2:38). The readings talk today about light breaking into darkness. Repentance, whose Greek words means a change of the mind, is enlightenment that what one may have thought was right is actually wrong, and what one thought led to happiness and fulfillment actually does not. 

The imperative to repent, furthermore, comes about precisely because light has broken into darkness. Jesus says in today’s Gospel passage that the reason, motive, and basis for repentance is that “the Kingdom of heaven is at hand.” A kingdom has broken into the world; therefore, we see its light, are attracted by it, and begin to move in its direction. This means breaking from sin and from all that leads us away from the light.

The great darkness of our day is the myth that some human lives, particularly those in the womb, just don’t count. To so many, these lives are not worthy of constitutional protection, not worthy of our public witness, and not even worthy of discussion. 

Often, this is because of the very phenomenon Paul describes in the second reading. “I belong to this political party.” “I belong to that organization.” “I follow this particular philosophy or theology.” Based on many of these false divisions among us, some try to justify “the right to choose” abortion. 

Yet Christ breaks through these false divisions. If all are one in Christ Jesus, it is because he has united all human life to himself and given us all an equal call to salvation and eternal life. Raising human life to the heights of heaven, he has raised men and women, born and unborn. There is only one human nature, and by the Incarnation and the Paschal Mystery, everyone who shares that human nature now also shares access to the very life of God. Because of that, we uphold the dignity of every person. This indeed is the light that has broken into our darkness, the Kingdom of God that ushers us to repentance.


Priests for Life
PO Box 141172 • Staten Island, NY 10314
Tel. 888-735-3448, (718) 980-4400 • Fax 718-980-6515
mail@priestsforlife.org