Twenty-first Week in Ordinary Time

First Scripture Reading
1 Thessalonians 1: 1-5, 8b-10
Gospel Reading
Matthew 23: 13-22

Opening Prayer

Lord Jesus, Your Spirit is powerful.. You have touched so many peoples’ lives. Your Word changes and transforms us, and expands and moves Your Church forward in Your inclusive love. We see your presence and action in mighty miracles and simple hidden ways. Like Paul, we pray with a grateful and remembering heart. Continue to pour forth Your Spirit within and among us. Increase our conviction to live by the Beatitudes and Your law of love. You were angry with the religious leaders of your time when they placed oppressive burdens on people, excluded people and were duplicitous in their service. We pray for our religious leaders that they may continue to lead us closer to You and help us establish Your reign of justice and peace. Let Your Word penetrate them so that they may inspire us and walk with us in sincerity, integrity and truth. Help us not to listen to false leaders who canonize their security needs, warp the journey of faith, and worship the past, rather than follow Your Spirit moving Your Church forward.

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