Prayer for the care of the poor

This brief liturgy may be duplicated for free distribution. Prepared by Catholic Charities, USA.

Generous God, we lift up to your mercy that poverty which is a moral and social wound upon our country’s soul. In your goodness, help us to heal this wound by working to alleviate the suffering and pain of the poor. Amen.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM: Psalm 10: 12-14, 16-18
R. Rise up, LORD! Do not forget the poor.
Rise up, LORD! God, lift up your hand! Do not forget the poor! Why should the wicked scorn God, say in their hearts, “God does not care”? R.
But you do see; you take note of misery and sorrow; you take the matter in hand. R.
To you the helpless can entrust their cause; you are the defender of orphans. R.
The LORD is king forever; the nations have vanished from his land. R.
You listen, LORD, to the needs of the poor; you strengthen their heart and incline your ear. R.
You win justice for the orphaned and oppressed; no one on earth will cause terror again. R.

(Jesus) came to Nazareth, where he had grown up, and went according to his custom into the synagogue on the sabbath day. He stood up to read and was handed a scroll of the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the passage where it was written:
“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to bring glad tidings to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to let the oppressed go free, and to proclaim a year acceptable to the Lord.”
Rolling up the scroll, he handed it back to the attendant and sat down, and the eyes of all in the synagogue looked intently at him. He said to them, “Today this scripture passage is fulfilled in your hearing.”
REFLECTION: An individual or group reflection on the Scripture readings or the theme of poverty may be offered here.
• Confident that God always hears the cry of the poor, we lift up the following needs, saying: “Generous God, hear our prayer.”
• Give the church the grace to be a “poor church for the poor,” and so become an even greater sign to the world of Christ’s charity for the least and those in need, we pray:
• Give the people of our nation the collective will to make the economic, social, and political choices to reverse the human-made disaster of poverty, and so offer a new vision of life and society, we pray:
• Give those in elected office the conviction and courage to promote social policies and economic structures which reduce poverty and promote a just distribution of the world’s goods, we pray:
• Give those who struggle with poverty renewed hope, economic and educational opportunity, and dignified work in safe conditions for just wages, that they might live in economic security, we pray:
• Give us open hearts that we might willingly share our gifts with others, follow Jesus in his own poverty, and seek his face in the most vulnerable of our brothers and sisters, we pray:
• Give to Catholic Charities and other organizations of good will the leadership and resources needed to reduce poverty in the communities they serve, we pray:
• Other intercessions may be offered here. Our Father…

CLOSING PRAYER: God of bounty, your son Jesus embraced poverty and taught that the poor are blessed, for “theirs is the kingdom of God.” Help us to step out of our certainties and comforts and keep our eyes fixed on him, so we can both see and serve him in the faces of the poor. Amen.

All present may share an appropriate sign of peace.

Excerpts from the Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States of America, second typical edition © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC. Used with permission. All rights reserved. No portion of this text may be reproduced by any means without permission in writing from the copyright owner.
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