As part of his Every Life Matters initiative, Archbishop Smith is asking us all to heed the invitation of our Holy Father and embrace the custom of praying at mealtime. “To the traditional meal prayers, I’m proposing that we add one line from the Sunday Gospel and one line of prayerful response to it,” says the Archbishop.
We have prepared cards for everyone to use (available at your parish). Before the words of grace, the card offers the Scripture verse at the heart of this Year of Mercy, “Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful,” and gives a prayer in response that we be merciful toward one another. That Scripture verse and prayer can be used throughout the year.
Before the meal, begin with a brief excerpt from Scripture:
Leader: “Lord, Jesus we thank you for your Word.
You call us to be merciful as our Heavenly Father is merciful” (cf. Luke 6:36).
All: “Help us, Jesus, to share your love and mercy with those in need.”
Together: “Bless us, O Lord, and these Thy gifts, which we are about to receive from Thy bounty.
Through Christ our Lord. Amen”
After the meal: “We give you thanks, Almighty God,
for all your gifts, who live and reign now and forever. Amen”
Grace with lines inspired by the Readings for September 13, Twenty-Fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. In your mercy, you free us and forgive us. (Matthew 18:27)
All: We thank you for your goodness, O Lord.
Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You ask us to be merciful, just as we have received mercy. (Matthew 18:33)
All: May we always seek to follow your loving example.
Grace with lines inspired by the Readings for September 20, Twenty-Fifth Sunday in Ordinary Time
Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You surprise and confuse the world with your generosity. (Matthew 20:13-15)
All: Lord, we are humbled by your grace.
Leader: Lord Jesus, we thank you for your Word. You cause the last to be first, and the first to be last. (Matthew 20:16)
All: Lift up the lowly, O Christ.