Lent, the Preface tells us, is a “gracious gift” of God – a season of joy, prayer and works of charity that lead us as sons and daughters of God to “the fullness of grace” at Easter time. In Australia this year Lent has a deeper dimension of lament. We as church lament the suffering of all who have been subjected to sexual abuse as children; in our sorrow, we turn to God and put our trust in God’s goodness, mercy and power to heal. Repentance and renewal will occupy us for years to come, but this Lent can lay a sure foundation for the rebuilding that lies ahead.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns.
Dear friends, in Christ’s name the apostle Paul, appealed to the Corinthians: “Be reconciled to God.” “Now is the favourable time,” he wrote, “this is the day of salvation.” On this day of grace and favour, let us turn to God in prayer.
- For the Catholic Church in Australia, that today’s observance of Ash Wednesday and the following national days of fasting and reparation will bear fruit in the complete change of heart called for by Jesus, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all whose lives are affected by the painful memory of sexual abuse and physical violence, that they may regain trust and find healing through the care of loving families, friends and supporters, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For religious leaders and parliamentarians considering the report of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, that they work together to establish policies and practices that ensure the safety and well-being of the nation’s children, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the success of this year’s Project Compassion campaign entitled “For a Just Future,” that our generous support will advance the cause of truth, justice and healing around the world, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the catechumens to be elected on Sunday for their journey to the Easter sacraments, that they will experience the purification and enlightenment they desire this Lent, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For school-leavers who have just begun tertiary studies or workplace training, that they will find fulfilment in their chosen path and be determined to put their gifts at the service of the community, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all who are burdened by the weight of sin in their lives, that they might be moved to seek sacramental reconciliation this Lent and be led into the freedom of the children of God, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For ourselves, that we may give more generously, pray more deeply, and fast more thoughtfully throughout this season of Lent, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
Father of mercy, your Son Jesus summoned us to turn away from sin and be faithful to the gospel. Open our ears to hear his call and give us the courage to follow him with all our hearts. We ask this through Christ our Lord.