Easter 4 | Year B

God, we thank you for revealing yourself to us in the Person of Christ
Before him, we were confused about your nature.
We thought you might be ruthless, unquenchably angry
We thought we had to get on your good side.

But Christ has cleared our confusion and showed us:
That all your sides are good;
That the good news is good for all;
That we can trust in your justice and in your mercy.

We thought you were a tyrant king
But you are really a Good Shepherd.
You care for us,
And we are your sheep.
You instruct us in your ways:
The way of mercy,
The way of generosity,
The way of compassion,
The way of friendship,
The way of peace.

And so, Good Shepherd, lead us
Toward green pastures
Alongside still waters
Lead us, and restore our souls.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

You hear us calling,
You hear us calling,
Abba Father.

O God, your Son remained with his disciples after his resurrection,
teaching them to love all people as neighbors.
As his disciples in this age,
we offer our prayers on behalf of the universe
in which we are privileged to live
and our neighbors with whom we share it.

O God, enlarge within us
the sense of fellowship with all living things,
our brothers the animals and all creatures
to whom You gave the earth as their home
In common with us.

We remember with shame that in the past
we have exercised the high dominion
of man with ruthless cruelty
so that the voice of the earth,
which should have gone up to You
in song, has been a groan of travail.

May we realize that they live not for
us alone but for themselves and for
You, and that they love
the sweetness of life.
Lord, in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

You hear us calling,
You hear us calling,
Abba Father.

O God, we thank you for all your goodness
and loving-kindness to us
and to all whom you have made.
We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;
but above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ.

And may we offer the same goodness to others:
To feed the hungry
To welcome the stranger
To clothe the naked

To care for the sick
To befriend the prisoner.
Then everyone will know that we are your people
The sheep of your pasture
That you are our ruler
And your law is love.

Open our hearts to your power moving
around us and between us and within us,
until your glory is revealed in our love of both friend and enemy,
in communities transformed by justice and compassion,
and in the healing of all that is broken.
We ask it through Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

Lord have mercy,
Christ have mercy.
Lord have mercy
Christ have mercy.