August 21, 2022
Twenty-First Sunday in Ordinary Time
Prayers of the Faithful as Reflection
My God, I am not sure if I am in the line that leads to your grace. Not sure if my number is first or last. Yet, I know you are with me even in times of unrest and uncertainty. The door seems heavy to your love. Open your concern for me and for the world. So, I beg you to be here as I prop open the door with my foot and bruised heart.
My God, I know others who come first. So, I beg you, to fill the arms of hungry people with the bounty of your love and tenderness. The hungry need food, but most of all your grace to sustain them in times of spiritual starvation when their hearts and relationships are unruly.
My God, I am not sure how the door opens to you or on which side of the door we all stand. I reach for the doorknob today and ask you to settle our disputes as a nation. Erase the horrific boundaries that rip us apart, that keep us from the common good. I ask that a new door to people’s needs be open to us, especially our politicians, so that we may firmly plant our lives on this soil in hope for housing, food and healthcare. I just want you to open whatever separates us and let your grace flow upon our hearts.
My God, I beg you to put out the flames of hatred on our streets. We are restless because our lives feel unsafe. We don’t know where our future will take us. We feel powerless and unfulfilled. We are torn apart by the technology we thought would bring us together. We need you to encounter our hearts again. We need the open door to one another so we may see each other’s eyes. I know this is the doorway to peace. We need it today.
My God, again I don’t know if I am first or last. Yet, I know we all long for your mercy. We don’t need to prove ourselves. We get lost because we think we don’t deserve your presence. I can’t speak for everyone, but I can lift up to you those I encounter with mental anguish who can’t speak for themselves. I can lift up to you those in the darkness of depression, those who spend their days behind closed draperies in cramped rooms. Open doors that we least expect because so many of your people hurt in illness and disease. Help us all work for that day when love fills the church.
My God, there are great divisions among families. Some shoulders are weighed down with grief and loss. Other people lift clenched fists toward those they love because of past hurts and unfulfilled dreams. Some people go to work on the same assembly line as yesterday. Some of our children start college this year. We stand in the openness of your grace because you made us in order to believe in you. Help us push open the heavy door of loss so we may see you face to face.
My God, we long for a peaceful place to stand and a place of renewal for our lives upon the earth. The planet needs you. Floods wipe away our possessions. Fires destroy our dreams. Droughts keep us hungry. When will the door of reality open for us, Lord? When will we finally know we need you? For you have created all of life and the planet upon which we sleep.
My God, we know we shall be at home with you after this life. We know we shall be first in your care when we take our final breath. Open the door today to those who have journeyed to you, our ancestors in faith. Open the door and do not hesitate on the day we knock; on the day of our death.
So, Lord, we push and pull and rip off the hinges of the door that leads to you. Help us to seek you until our prayers complete. Lord, open the door for us. Amen