Prayers

Transforming the World

Leader
Holy Wisdom, we thank and praise you for the surprising challenges that can further the cause of justice and peace.

All
Open our hearts to accept the challenges you send us and pique our imagination and commitment to discover new paths of justice and peace for your world. We pray in Jesus' name. Amen

READING

Jesus gives us his peace accompanied by his justice. He is peace and justice. He becomes our peace and justice. We are bearers of the peace and justice and God! We are not builders of a justice and peace that are merely human, always wearing out, and always fragile. We are primarily the humble beneficiaries of the very life of God, who is justice and peace in the bond of charity. God's justice and peace cry out to bear fruit in human works of justice and peace, in all spheres of actual life. Do not be intimidated or discouraged by oversimplified explanations, which are more ideological than scientific and which try to account for a complex evil by some single cause. But do not recoil before the reforms—even profound ones—of attitudes and structures that are necessary to create over and over again the conditions needed by the disadvantaged if they are to have a fresh chance in the hard struggle of life. The poor of the United States and of the world are your brothers and sisters in Christ.

—Pope John Paul II, homily, New York City, October 1979

RESPONSE

O God, you are the inspiration of our every action on behalf of justice. As we go forth, we challenge one another to pattern our lives on the teachings of the Gospel and to bring forth the kingdom of justice as we sign on another with the sign of the cross.

RITUAL
In pairs, participants may come forward to participate.

Leader
Making sign of cross on forehead.
Receive the sign of the cross on your forehead, that you may always seek the truth of the Gospel and follow Jesus.

Making sign of cross on ears.
Receive the sign of the cross on your ears, that you may hear the cries for justice and respond.

Making sign of cross on eyes.
Receive the sign of the cross on your eyes, that you may look out upon our world and see the poor and needy and respond.

Making sign of cross on lips.
Receive the sign of the cross on your lips, that you may speak out against the injustices and poverty of our day.

Making sign of cross on heart.
Receive the sign of the cross on your heart, that you may open wide your arms to all those in need and Christ may dwell in you by faith.

Making sign of cross on shoulders.
Receive the sign of the cross on your shoulders, that you may bear the gentle yoke of Christ seen in the faces of the homeless and abused.

Making sign of cross on hands.
Receive the sign of the cross on your hands, that you may always work to overcome the obstacles that keep the world from healing and transformation.

Making sign of cross on feet
Receive the sign of the cross on your feet, that you may travel the path of righteousness and mercy and thus walk in the way of Christ.

All
Fill us with gratitude for the call and challenge to be a people you call your own.

Leader
Let us pray.

All
Good and gracious God, by the cross and resurrection of your Son Jesus, you have given life to your people. We, your servants, have received the sign of the cross. Make us living proof of its transforming power and help us to bring forth the kingdom of justice and peace in our world.

SONG
Bring Forth the Kingdom
Text: Marty Haugen. b. 1950. Tune: Marty Haugen. b. 1950. Copyright 1986. GIA Publications, Inc.

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