It is not easy to be a Christian and Christ himself is very demanding in what he asks of his disciples. We make our prayers to the Lord that he will give to the Church all the graces she needs to make true disciples of all her followers.

We pray for the leaders of the Church: may they lead us by the example of their own lives, especially in their care for the poor and the sick: (pause) Lord hear us.

Let us pray for those who work for civil rights: may they seek to abolish slavery in all its forms and be given the grace and courage to speak out boldly against oppressive systems and governments: (pause) Lord hear us.

For those who reject God because of suffering in their lives and in the lives of their loved ones: may they learn that all suffering is an opportunity for growth in their lives, especially when they understand its place in the Christian life: (pause) Lord hear us.

We pray for a deeper personal commitment to the person of Jesus Christ: may all Christians respond to the grace by which they put Christ first and foremost in their lives. May they give consideration only to those things which lead them to follow Christ more closely: (pause) Lord hear us.

We pray with Mary who followed her Son wherever he went as we say together once more: Hail Mary … etc.

We pray in silence for our own needs to God, who gave us his only Son.

God our Father, no created thing can ever come between us and your love for us and it is in this knowledge that we make our prayers in faith, through Christ our Lord. Amen.

Twenty-third Sunday in Ordinary Time – Year C