Prayers for ‘An extraordinary missionary month’

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24 Sep 2019

Hymns, readings and reflections for October which has been designated ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ by Pope Francis.

Hymns: Gather Us In (Marty Haugen); The Cry of the Poor (John Foley); Come To Set Us Free (Bernadette Farrell); Who Did You See? (Christopher Willcock).

Readings: Acts 2:36-41; Psalm 113; Philippians 2:1-11; Luke 4:16-21 or Luke 10:25-37

Reflection:

In this ‘Extraordinary Missionary Month’ called by Pope Francis, we take time to contemplate its theme: ‘Baptised and Sent: The Church of Christ on Mission in the World.’ As church, we are invited to receive and respond to the invitation present from baptism, to ‘go out into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation’ (Mark 16:15). We are Christ’s disciples on mission in the everyday. Our lives may be the only Gospel people ever know.

Let’s take time to consider how our way of living commends faith and brings about the inbreaking kingdom of God. Do we call upon the Lord’s name for help in our life? Do we ask for guidance from the Spirit of freedom and peace? Do we build up our neighbours and friends, family members and co-workers? Do we seek to be a source of nourishment for others?

We could do well to reflect on our own personal missions in life: to work and friendship, to family and community, to church and world. What animates each of these fields of endeavour? What message are we announcing by our presence and service among the people and places of our time?

When Jesus went up to the synagogue in his hometown (Luke 4:16-21), he announced the beginning of his public ministry. Placing first those often considered last, Jesus labours to reconcile the human family to God. He gives us the example of the Good Samaritan (Luke 10:25-37) to imitate when answering unexpected calls on our time and energy. Jesus calls us to care for the person we find wounded and discarded. May we become the church of the ‘field hospital’, healing the wounds and warming the hearts.

Prayers of petition:

Creator God, create in us a new sense of solidarity with the poor. Give us the courage to reach out to the excluded, the energy to walk with the lost and the words to encourage the lonely. May we pour out our lives in service. Lord, hear us.

Father of all, you sent your son to bring life to the world and encouragement to its people. Be the animator of all church communities, the source of our common generosity and the sustainer of every disciple. Lord, hear us.

Spirit of life, you pour love into our hearts. Help us attend to your movements within us, to discern your presence in our decisions, and to follow in your way of joy. Lord, hear us.

Spirit of freedom, you seek to liberate us from prisons of body, mind and heart. Be the key to our safety, the basis for our belonging, and the source of all that leads us to abundance. Lord, hear us.

Christ our brother, send us out to our families, friends, communities and workplaces as ambassadors of your peace. Make us aware of your presence in the depths of our hearts and in the spaces between us. Lord, hear us.

Jesus, friend of the poor, you call us to imitate the Good Samaritan. Give us the spontaneous responses required to care for the one in need. Lord, hear us.

James O'Brien is an Editorial Assistant with Jesuit Communications.
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