Those working for the poor and underprivileged


Merciful God,
you have compassion on all that you have made
and your whole creation is enfolded in your love:
help us to stand firm for your truth,
to struggle against poverty,
and to share your love with our neighbour,
that with your servant N.
we may be instruments of your peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Post Communion

God, the source of all holiness
   and giver of all good things:
may we who have shared at this table
   as strangers and pilgrims here on earth
be welcomed with all your saints
   to the heavenly feast on the day of your kingdom;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A reading from the prophecy of Isaiah.

Is not this the fast that I choose: to loose the bonds of injustice, to undo the thongs of the yoke, to let the oppressed go free, and to break every yoke? Is it not to share your bread with the hungry, and bring the homeless poor into your house; when you see the naked, to cover them, and not to hide yourself from your own kin? Then your light shall break forth like the dawn, and your healing shall spring up quickly; your vindicator shall go before you, the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard.

Then you shall call, and the Lord will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am. If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail.

This is the word of the Lord.         Isaiah 58. 6–11

Responsorial Psalm

RArise, O God, and rule the earth,
[for you shall take all nations for your own].

God takes his stand in the council of heaven;
he gives judgement in the midst of the gods:
he says, ‘How long will you judge unjustly,
and show favour to the wicked? R

‘Save the weak and the orphan;
defend the humble and needy;
rescue the weak and the poor;
deliver them from the power of the wicked. R

‘They do not know, neither do they understand;
they go about in darkness;
all the foundations of the earth are shaken. R

‘Now I say to you, “You are gods,
and all of you children of the Most High;
nevertheless, you shall die like mortals,
and fall like any prince.”’ R         Psalm 82

Responsorial Psalm

RThe Lord shall reign for ever,
[your God, O Zion, throughout all generations].

Happy are they who have the God of Jacob for their help!
whose hope is in the Lord their God;
who made heaven and earth, the seas and all that is in them;
who keeps his promise for ever; R

Who gives justice to those who are oppressed,
and food to those who hunger.
The Lord sets the prisoners free;
the Lord opens the eyes of the blind;
the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down; R

The Lord loves the righteous;
the Lord cares for the stranger;
he sustains the orphan and widow,
but frustrates the way of the wicked. R         From Psalm 146

A reading from the Letter to the Hebrews.

Let mutual love continue. Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by doing that some have entertained angels without knowing it. Remember those who are in prison, as though you were in prison with them; those who are being tortured, as though you yourselves were being tortured.

This is the word of the Lord.         Hebrews 13. 1–3

A reading from the First Letter of John.

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love one another. Whoever does not love abides in death. All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them. We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us — and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action.

This is the word of the Lord.         1 John 3. 14–18

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

When Jesus saw the crowds, he went up the mountain; and after he sat down, his disciples came to him. Then he began to speak, and taught them, saying: ‘Blessèd are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessèd are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Blessèd are the meek, for they will inherit the earth. Blessèd are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessèd are the merciful, for they will receive mercy. Blessèd are the pure in heart, for they will see God. Blessèd are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God. Blessèd are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessèd are you when people revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.         Matthew 5. 1–12

Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew.

Jesus said to his disciples, ‘When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, “Come, you that 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 something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me.”

‘Then the righteous will answer him, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food, or thirsty and gave you something to drink? And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?” And the king will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are members of my family, you did it to me.”

‘Then he will say to those at his left hand, “You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.”

‘Then they also will answer, “Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?” Then he will answer them, “Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.” And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.’

This is the gospel of the Lord.         Matthew 25. 31–46