Thirty-first Sunday in Ordinary Time

First Scripture Reading
Mal 1:14b-2:2b, 8-10
Second Scripture Reading
1 Thes 2:7b-9, 13
Gospel Reading
Mt 23:1-12

Opening Prayer

God, You are our Just Father and Nursing Mother.  Do we, Your children, disappoint sometimes?  Do You get upset with us when we are not faithful and do not love and respect others.  You seem to get upset with religious people when we are ornery and angry, and not inclusive of all Your children.  While trying to define ourselves, we create religious laws which exclude and oppress others.  Help leaders in Your Church and empower each of us not to create burdens for others, but to free and uplift them in Your loving arms.  Save us from attitudes and righteous judgments which demean and distance others.  Teach us to reverence those we do not understand.  May our worship, prayers and rituals not be empty gestures, but reflections of the way we live Your values and create Your reign.

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