Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year B

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General Intercessions

[English PDF]

Celebrant: Trusting in the Lord, we bring Him our needs, the needs of our community, and the needs of the whole world.


That the Church may continue to spread the message of hope to every corner of the world, we pray to the Lord...

That those who minister in the Church may be blessed with the wisdom to lead God's people to the kingdom of heaven, we pray to the Lord...

That national and local leaders may seek the counsel of the Holy Spirit as they make their decisions for the common good, we pray to the Lord...

That our nation may become a Culture of Life that rejects abortion, and more effectively welcomes children for Jesus' sake, therefore welcoming Him, we pray to the Lord...

That Christians will work together to assist those who are poor and needy, we pray to the Lord...

That those who have fallen away from the practice of their faith may seek the help of the Holy Spirit to be renewed and to live their faith more fully, we pray to the Lord...

That those who have died may share fully in the joy of the saints in heaven, we pray to the Lord...

Celebrant: Almighty Father, enable us to be more responsive to your word and to lead our lives in ways which give you praise and glory.  We ask this through Christ our Lord.  Amen.

Bulletin Insert

Pope Benedict XVI on Life…

“We are well aware that all too often … life is exalted as long as it is pleasurable, but there is a tendency to no longer respect it as soon as it is sick or handicapped. Based on deep love for every person it is possible instead to put into practice effective forms of service to life:  to newborn life and to life marked by marginalization or suffering, especially in its terminal phase. The Virgin Mary received with perfect love the Word of life, Jesus Christ, who came into the world so that human beings might "have life... abundantly" (Jn 10: 10). Let us entrust to her expectant mothers, families, health-care workers and volunteers who are committed in so many ways to the service of life. Let us pray in particular for people in the most difficult situations” (Angelus, February 5, 2006).

Homily Suggestions

Wis 2:12, 17-20
Jas 3:16-4:3
Mk 9:30-37

Watch a video with homily hints

Receiving the child is tantamount to receiving God, the Gospel of this weekend tells us. This is why Pope St. John Paul II. could write in “The Gospel of Life,” “whoever attacks human life, in some way attacks God himself” (n. 9), and “rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ” (104). 

Jesus places this teaching in the context of humble service to others, and his lesson on service is, furthermore, in the wider context of his impending passion, death and resurrection. In other words, at the heart of the Christian life is the Paschal Mystery. That is what brings salvation and changes us. It changes us precisely into people who have the power to love by giving ourselves away. The dynamic of giving ourselves away in humble service is that “self-emptying” of which St. Paul speaks when he writes to the Philippians and says that the Lord Jesus “emptied himself” (Phil. 2:7). The link between these themes in today’s Gospel is that the same self-emptying is exactly what is needed in order to welcome one another, from the elderly to the unborn, from those who are like us to those who differ in a thousand ways. Self-emptying frees us from the prejudice that fails to see the one who is different as our neighbor, and frees us from the selfishness that welcomes only those whom we choose to welcome. The Christian faith demands that we accept responsibility for our neighbor based on God’s choice, not ours. The “pro-choice” Culture of Death, on the other hand, says we have responsibility only for those for whom we choose to have responsibility. 

This ties into the first reading. What is described in this passage from Wisdom is essentially an abdication of personal responsibility for one’s actions. Those who beset the just man say to themselves that if God is on the just man’s side, then it’s God’s responsibility to save him. We are off the hook. If we attack and God does not intervene, then it must be OK. We see a reflection of this mindset in the temptation to abortion. By claiming that “circumstances” leave no other choice than to abort a child, one is placing back on God the responsibility that we each have to take to empty ourselves in humble service, imitating the Master and welcoming the child. 

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
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