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Leader 1: We hear these words from the leaders of our Church.
Leader 2: From Pope Benedict XVI's encyclical on Love:
The mission of the lay faithful is therefore to configure social life correctly, respecting its legitimate autonomy and cooperating with other citizens according to their respective competences and fulfilling their own responsibility (Deus Caritas Est, #29).
Leader 3: From the Second Vatican Council:
But the laity, by their very vocation, seek the kingdom of God by engaging in temporal affairs and by ordering them according to the plan of God.
They live in the world, that is, in each and in all of the secular professions and occupations.
They live in the ordinary circumstances of family and social life, from which the very web of their existence is woven.
They are called there by God that by exercising their proper function and led by the spirit of the Gospel they may work for the sanctification of the world from within, in the manner of leaven (Lumen Gentium, # 31).
Leader 2: From the Catechism of the Catholic Church:
It is necessary that all participate, each according to his position and role, in promoting the common good. This obligation is inherent in the dignity of the human person (#1913).
Leader 3: From the words of Christ himself when he proclaims:
"You are the salt of the earth. . . You are the light of the world. . . your light must shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your heavenly Father" (Matthew 5: 13, 14, 16).
And when he tells the story of the king who says to those who have cared for their brothers and sisters in need: "'Come, you who are blessed by my Father. Inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, a stranger and you welcomed me,naked and you clothed me, ill and you cared for me, in prison and you visited me.'" (Matthew 25:34-36)
Leader 1: We pray, O God, that you would inspire us and equip us to respond to your call to live out our faith in your world by defending human life and caring for the poor and vulnerable among us. We now ask you to hear the following intercessions.
Leader 2: That we might take seriously our call "to configure social life correctly," working to remake those flawed systems and structures in which injustice is found. We pray:
All: Father of all, inspire us to act according to your will.
Leader 3: That we might be leaven, healing what is broken and sanctifying the world. We pray:
All: Christ our brother, make us leaven in the world.
Leader 2: That we might respond to our own human dignity and the dignity found in all other persons by participating in public life in order to protect all life and promote the common good. We pray:
All: Spirit of life, move us to participate in promoting the common good.
Leader 3: That we might work to feed the hungry, welcome the stranger and clothe the naked in our local, national and global communities. We pray:
All: Triune God, make us salt and light in the world.
Leader 1: We now enter a moment of silence, asking to enter into our hearts the loving God who feels and knows the cries of the poor and vulnerable of the world, who longs for a world of good, where human life and dignity can be respected.
Pause for a minute of silence.
Leader 1: We ask this through our Lord Jesus Christ who live and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God for ever and ever.
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