Seventeenth Sunday in Ordinary Time - Year A

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General Intercessions

[English PDF]

Special note: On this day, the Alternative Opening Prayer of the Mass expresses the theme of the sanctity of human life in a particularly direct way.

Celebrant: God our Father calls us to the knowledge of truth and wills all people to be saved. Let us pray to him with all our hearts.


That the Lord Jesus may be with his Church and guide it always, we pray to the Lord...

For all who have been made ill by the coronavirus, for all who care for them, and for the governments and people of the world, that we may experience the healing mercy of the Lord, we pray to the Lord…

That the pope, bishops, and clergy everywhere will be enriched by the gifts of the spirit, we pray to the Lord…

That world leaders will have the wisdom to see that the greatest treasure is human life itself, and may work to protect and enhance that gift, we pray to the Lord…

That we may recognize the temporal and spiritual needs of our brothers and sisters and respond to them with generous hearts, we pray to the Lord…

That the Lord Jesus may rescue those deprived of freedom and liberty and give them courage and strength, we pray to the Lord…

That those who have gone before us in faith reach their reward in heaven, we pray to the Lord…


Hear the prayers of your Church,
And grant us the gifts and graces which we ask for with faith.
We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Bulletin Insert

The First Human Right

Cardinal Renato Martino, when serving as President of the Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace, said the following in an interview conducted for Priests for Life in May, 2004: "The Holy Father speaks of the protection of life as the fundamental realization and respect for human rights. Without that realization, without that respect for the right to life, no other discussion of human rights can continue; it must be based upon the foundation of human dignity and the right to life."

Homily Suggestions

1 Kgs 3:5, 7-12
Rom 8:28-30
Mt 13:44-52 or 13:44-46

Watch a video with homily hints

Solomon requests and receives the gift of “understanding.” Solomon understands his solemn duty as king of the people, and therefore asks for this gift “to distinguish right from wrong.”

The Psalmist picks up on this theme, praising the Lord’s word and his commands because they “shed light, giving understanding to the simple.” Jesus, furthermore, asks his disciples, “Do you understand all these things?” By his words to them, he seeks to impart that gift of understanding.

We are beneficiaries of this gift as well. If the Psalmist could praise God’s commands for giving understanding, how much more can we, who have the added benefit of the Gospels and the Church. Human reason itself can distinguish right from wrong. Enlightened and strengthened by revelation in Christ, we have no reason to be ignorant of moral truth.

Yet we see all around us Solomons without wisdom, public officials who have responsibility to govern the people but who claim that what is right or wrong for the human family cannot be known with certainty. This problem has been addressed frequently by the Magisterium. In the 2002 “Doctrinal Note on some questions regarding the participation of Catholics in political life,” issued by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the problem is described this way: “…[C]itizens claim complete autonomy with regard to their moral choices, and lawmakers maintain that they are respecting this freedom of choice by enacting laws which ignore the principles of natural ethics and yield to ephemeral cultural and moral trends, as if every possible outlook on life were of equal value.”

Today’s readings make it clear that no believer can make this claim. Part of the “good news” is that we can indeed know the difference between right and wrong, and have the strength to carry it out. Among the goods we need to preserve, the “pearl of great price” is life itself, the foundation and condition of every other right and good that we possess.

Priests for Life
PO Box 236695 • Cocoa, FL 32923
Tel. 321-500-1000, Toll Free 888-735-3448 • Email: