Sunday, April 29, 2007

In Time of Elections

As we celebrate the Fourth Sunday of Easter, also known as Good Shepherd Sunday and World Day of Prayer for Priestly Vocations, let us pray not only for good priests for the Church but also for good leaders for our nation in this time of national elections. Here is a suggested formula for the General Intercession/ Prayers of the Faithful, in English as well as in Filipino, that you can use. You may choose to use it as it is or simply to select some of the intercessions and insert it in your own list of intercessions.

Just some reflection here that I would like to share which I was so inspired to hear over the radio this afternoon. The Greek word used in the Gospel of John to refer to Jesus as "Good Shepherd" is not simply "agathos" (good, perfect) but "kalos" (goodly, lovely) Jesus is not just a "good" shepherd in the strict (read, professional) sense, that is, that he is knowledgable and competent in his field. More importantly, he is a "goodly" shepherd who is compassionate and who knows and is known by the sheep most lovingly and intimately. As the very brilliant preacher (I was not able to note his name) over Radio Veritas a while ago said, a doctor can be very "good," a true expert in his field, but he can also be very uncaring when he charges highly even his very poor patients for example. But a "goodly" doctor is one who is not only an expert but a caring healer who is willing to understand when the patient can only give a few vegetables in gratitude for his service. Jesus is our Good Shepherd but he is also our Lovely Shepherd who teaches us how to love and to serve.

Such are the kinds of leaders we need, in the Church as well as in our country. Send us, O Lord, Shepherds after your own heart!


PRAYERS OF THE FAITHFUL
In Time of Elections


Presider:

Dear brothers and sisters, let us pray to God, the Father and Lord of our nation, during this time of national elections. Full of trust in his fatherly guidance, let us call out to him:

Lord, hear your trusting people.

For our nation, that at this important turning point of our country’s history, we may move together with courage and hope toward the path that leads to integrity and justice. May we learn to put aside our selfish interests to attain solidarity with others, especially with those who are marginalized in our society and learn to believe once more in the possibility of authentic reform in politics and the conversion of sinful social structures. Let us pray to the Lord.

For a peaceful, credible and meaningful election, that our people may take this opportunity to choose good leaders for the nation and not waste their votes again on selfish, dishonest and useless candidates who squander the mandate and resources of the nation on their personal and partisan agenda. May all members of our society work together so that our voters, especially those who are more easily deceived and exploited, may be able to cast their ballots from an informed, mature and God-fearing conscience and actively participate in the building of our nation. Let us pray to the Lord.

For good governance, that our leaders incumbent and soon to be elected may work together sincerely for the welfare of our country and people towards the building of God’s Kingdom in our midst. May all public leaders be filled with a spirit of concern and compassion for all, especially for the poor and the neglected among us, that our nation may truly progress towards attaining the protection of human dignity for all and the promotion of integral and sustainable development. Let us pray to the Lord.

For all sincere and honest political candidates, and all who work with them under the cause of genuine political reform and moral conversion in public governance, that they may be firm and steadfast in their commitment to the authentically human and God-fearing values they promise to promote and uphold and so help in attaining the transformation of our present political and social situation. May our candidates always pursue the welfare of our nation and people and persevere in integrity and justice in public office. As they seek to introduce even now a new brand of politics, so may they be given the opportunity to pave a new way of governance, towards the renewal of public life and the wholistic progress of Philippine society. Let us pray to the Lord.

For all of us gathered here, thay we may truly be the leaven of Christ in the world, working for the continual conversion of our personal and public lives, that the will of the Father may truly be done, here on earth as it is in heaven. May all the chosen people of Christ, be true to their baptismal dignity and office: as priests, to sanctify the world and all peoples; as prophets, to proclaim the Reign of God and to champion its values; and as kings, to win the world over to Christ after his manner of humble service. Let us pray to the Lord.


To be recited by all, together:

Father, we are your children.
Lord, we are your people.

We are a people of faith.
We are tempted to cynicism when we see
the evil and injustice all around us,
yet more firmly still do we believe in God, truly alive and active in our midst,
calling us to be his cooperators
in achieving transformation in the world and in our society.

We are a people of hope.
We are tempted to despair by the difficulty of achieving change
due to the deeply-rooted evils and widespread corruption
rotting and destroying our beloved nation
yet more firmly still do we dream of a country and people
where the dignity of every person is recognized and fulfilled,
where people live in harmony with nature and with one another,
where people work together for peace and progress,
where justice, truth and integrity prevail,
where God truly reigns.

We are a people of love.
We are tempted to selfishness by our own desire to be above others
to possess more than others, and to be more powerful than others.
Yet more firmly still do we love because we are moved by your example of love,
which never gives up on us and remains faithful, beyond all our infidelity.
You are here among us, calling us to see the face of our brethren,
especially the poor and the suffering among us.
You move us to concern and compassion for our brothers and sisters.
You call us out of our selfishness to be one with one another,
to be one family in you, our one Father,
to be one nation in you, our one Lord.

And so we will cast our votes with faith, with hope and with love.
We will defeat our cynicism with our trust in your Fatherly care.
We will conquer our despair with the dreams you continue to inspire in us.
We will transcend our selfishness with your love
which moves us to love one another.

This is our faith. This is our hope.
This is our commitment of love. Amen.

Presider:

Merciful Father,
You are our true King and Lord.

Hear the prayers of your trusting people
who seek your guidance during this time of national elections.
Raise up for us now, as once you raised up for your chosen people,
Samuel, the just judge, and David, your faithful King,
leaders after your own very heart
who will serve us after the manner of Christ,
whom in the fullness of time you raised and anointed
to be our Eternal King and Lord,
our Good Shepherd who teaches us
the way of humble service.

We ask this of you through the same Christ our Lord.

All respond: Amen.


PANALANGIN NG BAYAN
Para sa Panahon ng Halalan

Paring Tagapamuno:

Mga minamahal na kapatid, manalangin tayo sa Diyos na Ama at Panginoon ng ating bayan sa panahong ito ng pambansang halalan. Puno ng pagtitiwala sa kanyang mapag-arugang pamamatnubay, tumawag tayo sa kanya at sabihin:

Panginoon, dinggin mo and iyong nananalig na bayan.

Para sa ating bayan, na sa mahalagang yugtong ito sa ating kasaysayan, ay umusad tayong nagkakaisa at may lakas at pananampalataya, sa daan tungo sa kaayusan at katarungan. Matutunan nawa nating isantabi ang ating mga pansariling interes upang makiisa sa ating kapwa, lalo na sa mga isinasantabi sa ating lipunan, at maniwalang muli sa ating kakayanang makamit ang tunay na pagbabago sa ating pulitika at pagpapalit sa mga istrukturang hindi-makatao at maka-Diyos sa ating lipunan. Manalangin tayo.

Para sa isang mapayapa, makatotohanan at makabuluhang halalan, upang pahalagahan ng ating mga mamamayan ang pagkakataong ito na makapili ng mga mabubuting pinuno para sa ating bansa at huwag nang lustayin muli ang kanilang boto sa mga makasarili, mandaraya at walang-silbing kandidatong lumulustay naman sa tiwala at yaman ng ating bayan para sa kanilang personal at pampartidong interes. Magtulungan nawa ang lahat ng panig ng ating lipunan upang ang ating mga mamboboto, lalo na iyong mga mas madaling mauto at malinlang, ay makaboto nang wasto ayon sa isang konsensyang maalam, matalino at may takot sa Diyos at sa gayon tunay na makibahagi sa pagpapatatag ng ating bayan. Manalangin tayo.

Para sa isang mabuting pamahalaan, upang ang ating mga pinuno, maging iyong mga nakaupo na at iyong mga iluluklok pa lang, ay magkaisa at maglingkod nang tapat para sa kapakanan ng ating bayan at mga mamamayan bilang ambag tungo sa pagtatatag ng Kaharian ng Diyos sa ating bansa. Mapuspos nawa ang lahat ng pinuno ng ating bayan ng pakikiramay at pagmamamalasakit para sa bawat mamamayan, lalo na para sa mga dukha at pinaka-napapabayaan sa ating lahat, upang ang ating bansa ay tunay na umusad tungo sa pagtataguyod ng dignidad ng bawat tao at sa pagkakamit ng tunay, patas at pang-matagalang pag-unlad. Manalangin tayo.

Para sa lahat ng mga kandidatong may tunay at tapat na pagnanais na mamuno at maglingkod, at sa lahat ng kaisa nila sa mithiin ng pagbabago sa ating pulitika at pamahalaan, upang maging tapat at masigasig sila sa kanilang pakikibaka para sa mga adhikaing tunay na makatao at maka-Diyos na pinangako nilang itataguyod at tutuparin, at makatulong sila sa pag-ahon natin mula sa ating kalagayan sa pulitika at lipunan. Palagi nawa nilang ipagtanggol ang kapakanan ng bayan at mga mamamayan at manatiling matapat at walang-bahid kapag nailuklok na sa pamahalaan. Samantalang ngayon pa lang ay sinisikap na nilang ipakilala ang isang bagong pulitika sa ating bansa, mabigyan nawa sila ng pagkakataong maipakita ang isang bagong paraan ng paglilingkod sa pamahalaan, tungo sa ikapagpapanibago ng ating buhay lipunan at sa lubos na ikauunlad ng ating bayan. Manalangin tayo.

Para sa ating lahat na natitipon dito ngayon, nang tunay tayong maging lebadura ni Kristo sa mundo, at magpunyagi para sa patuloy na pagbabago ng ating mga sarili at ng ating lipunan, upang ang kalooban ng Ama ay tunay na masunod dito sa lupa para nang sa langit. Maging tapat nawa ang buong sambayanang hinirang ng Diyos kay Hesus sa dignidad at tungkuling kanilang tinanggap sa binyag: bilang mga pari, pabanalin ang daigdig at ang lahat ng mga tao; bilang mga propeta, ipahayag ang paghahari ang Diyos at ang mga hamong kaakibat nito; at bilang mga hari, akayin ang lahat tungo kay Hesus sa pamamagitan ng ipinakita niyang paraan ng mapagkumbabang paglilingkod. Manalangin tayo.


Dadasalin ng lahat nang sabay-sabay:

Ama, kami ang iyong sambahayan.
Panginoon, kami ang iyong sambayanan.

Sambayanan kami ng pananampalataya.
Samantalang pinagdidiliman kami ng paningin habang pinagmamasdan
ang nagkalat at talamak na kasamaan at katiwalian sa aming paligid
patuloy kaming nanalig na buhay at kumikilos ang Panginoon sa aming piling
at tinatawag niya kami upang maging kaisa niya
sa gawain ng pagpapanibago sa aming daigdig at sa aming lipunan.

Sambayanan kami ng pag-asa.
Samantalang pinanghihinaan kami ng loob dahil sa
hirap ng pagkakamit ng pagbabago bunsod ng malalim at laganap na katiwalian na parang anay na ngumangatngat at gumigiba sa aming bayan,
patuloy kaming nangangarap ng isang bansa at sambayanan kung saan
ang dignidad ng bawat tao ay kinikilala at binibigyang kaganapan,
ang bawat isa ay nabubuhay nang maayos sa piling ng bawat isa at ng kalikasan,
at ang lahat ng tao ay nagkakaisa para sa kapayapaan at kaunlaran;
kung saan ang katarungan, katotohanan at katapatan ay nananaig.
kung saan tunay na naghahari ang Diyos.

Sambayanan kami ng pag-ibig.
Samantalang pinagsasarhan kami ng aming pagkamakasarili
at pagnanasang lamangan ang iba, higitan ang iba, at paghari-harian ang iba,
umiibig pa rin kami sapagkat naaantig kami ng ipinapakita mong pag-ibig
na hindi sumusuko, hindi tumtalikod at hindi nagsasawa sa amin.
Narito ka sa aming piling at pinalilingon mo kami upang tunghayan ang mukha ng aming mga kapatid, lalo na ng mga mahihirap at nahihirapan sa amin.
Tinutunaw mo ang aming pusong matigas upang dumamay sa aming kapwa.
Binubuksan mo ang piitan ng aming pagkamasarili upang makiisa kami sa iba,
upang maging isang sambahayan sa iyo na aming Ama,
upang maging isang sambayanan sa iyo na aming Panginoon.

Kung kaya’t boboto kami nang may pananampalataya, pag-asa at pag-ibig.
Gagapiin namin ang dilim sa liwanag ng iyong pananatili sa amin.
Tatalunin namin ang kawalang pag-asa sa rikit ng mga pangarap na patuloy mong ibinubulong sa amin. Bubuwagin namin ang pagkamakasarili sa tindi ng iyong pag-ibig na nagbubuklod sa aming lahat sa iyong isang yakap.

Ito ang aming pananampalataya. Ito ang aming pag-asa.
Ito ang pagtatayang ginagawa namin nang buong pag-ibig. Amen.


Paring Tagapamuno:

Mahabaging Ama,
Ikaw ang aming tunay na Hari at Panginoon.

Dinggin mo ang mga panalangin ng iyong sambayanang nanalig sa iyo
at humihingi ng iyong paggabay para sa nalalapit naming halalan.
Hirangin mo para sa amin ngayon,

gaya nang hinirang mo noon para sa iyong bayang pinili
si Samuel, ang mabuting hukom,
at si David, ang haring tapat sa iyo,
ang mga pinunong hinubog ayon sa iyong puso
na maglilingkod sa amin ayon sa paglilingkod ni Hesus
na hinirang mo at pinahiran sa kaganapan ng panahon
upang magi naming Hari at Panginoon magpakailanman,
ang aming Mabuting Pastol na nagbigay sa amin ng halimbawa
ng mapagkumbabang paglilingkod.

Hinihiling namin ito sa iyo
sa pamamagitan ni Kristong aming Panginoon.

Tutugon ang lahat: Amen.

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