Prayers of the People | February 17


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eturn to me with all your heart… Father, on this first Sunday of Lent, where we are enjoying stronger sunshine, more daylight, warmer temperatures, and the earth re-awakening, guide on our 40-day desert walk.  Lent is a time to find our way again – whatever that way is.  It is a time to read and reflect, discipline and discern, pause and pray, listen and learn.  It is a time to remove the excesses and frills and get to the raw meaning of our faith.  It is a time to remove the stampede of interruptions, distractions, and excuses to listen to the one whose compassion transcends differences, rejects favortism, and loves us how and where we are.  Make us open to this wilderness walk. 

Return to me with all your heart.  Lord, In Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

During this season, may we consider our vocations, our family and friends, our parish community of saintbenedictstable and how that ongoing relationship with God includes being involved in His life and work beyond these walls.  In our efforts towards justice and mercy, give us words we are called to speak, actions we are called to take part in, and compassion we are called to offer.  May we find you in the darkness and imperfection and stay true to you no matter how uneasy, uncomfortable or emotive the process becomes. 

Return to me with all your heart.  Lord, in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer.

We  come to this place of worship each week for different reasons; we are thankful, we have needs, we like the music, it is our regular practice, we seek direction, we feel obligated, we yearn for the sacraments.  The reasons may change but what doesn’t change is God’s welcoming embrace, His unending capacity to forgive, and His offering of His body and blood to fill and fulfill us in the darkness, in our imperfections, in our humanness.  Give us patience during Lent – to welcome self-denial, to be mindful, to slow the pace, and to let you, O Lord, define the outcome.  This journey will take us to the Easter Font, to the promise of baptism, as we are refined and reborn to new light and authentic life; moving from wilderness to water. 

Return to me with all your heart, Lord, in Your Mercy, Hear Our Prayer. 

AMEN

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