When the community gathers for the first Lord’s Day of Lent, it hears the story of Jesus’ forty days in the wilderness from one of the synoptic gospels. Mark’s account, heard this year, is uniquely concise, as is his description of Jesus’ baptism. But in common with his fellow evangelists, he insists that Jesus’ time of trial is the work of the Spirit. In all that happens to Jesus – and to us – there is a larger divine purpose in play. This may be hard to discern in testing times. The task at hand is to stay steadfast in faith, even on the way of the cross.
The week's prayer focus
For a new sense of God’s presence in our lives, that when tempted to lose faith we shall find the power of God’s Spirit at work in our weakness.
These intercessions are offered for selected use at Sunday Mass in the parish alongside those that express local needs and concerns
Dear friends, Jesus’ call is clear. The time has come to turn our lives around and welcome the good news of God’s reign. In faith let us place ourselves and our world in God’s merciful hands.
- For the whole church, that this season of Lent will yield a harvest of heartfelt repentance and renewal in all who have been baptised in Christ, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the catechumens elected today for Christian initiation at Easter, that they will continue their journey of faith with great confidence and joy, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For all who dedicate themselves to work for a better world, that this week’s International Day of Social Justice will renew their determination and give them fresh heart, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For Caritas Australia’s partners in Nepal, that their Children and Youth Empowerment Program will be sustained by our generous support for Project Compassion, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the peoples of South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, that the day of prayer and fasting called for by Pope Francis will give them courage and bring them relief, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the nations of the Pacific threatened by rising sea levels, that the rainbow sign of God’s covenant with Noah will call world leaders to take urgent action on global warming, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the whole human family, that the Winter Olympics being held in South Korea will be a demonstration of both international friendship and inspiring achievement, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For ourselves, that we take full advantage of the opportunity Lent gives us to listen carefully to God’s word and to follow Jesus ever more closely, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
- For the recently deceased... and for those whose anniversary of death occurs around this time, that having died in Christ in the waters of baptism they will be raised to eternal life with him, (pause for silent prayer) let us pray to the Lord.
God of boundless mercy, your Son Jesus taught us to pray for your help in times of trial and temptation. Come to our aid and give us the Spirit which kept Jesus true through his forty days in the wilderness. We ask this through Christ our Lord.