Priestly Intercessions: The intercessions at Mass represent a significant moment for the faithful. Through the general instruction of the faithful they “exercise their priestly function. That all of God’s people –ordained priests, religious and laity are given a priestly role is well attested in Scripture. We are “a chosen race, a royal priesthood” (1Pt2:9), for Christ has made us “a kingdom of priests” (see Rv1:5-6) One way the priestly office is exercised in the Mass is in the prayers of the faithful, whereby we participate in Christ priestly prayer for the entire human family. Jesus poured out his heart in loving intercession for the whole world (Jn17). He is able to save others “who draw near to God through him, since he always live to make intercessions for them “(Heb7:25). We participate in Christ’s intercession in a particular way at this moment of the liturgy.
The catholic Catechism notes that intercessory prayer is “characteristic of a heart attuned to God’s mercy. “If we are truly in tune with God’s heart, we will naturally want to pray for others. The culmination of the Liturgy of the word is a fitting time to offer up these intercessions. Up to this point in the Mass, the faithful have heard the word of the Lord proclaimed in Scripture, expounded upon in the homily and summed up in the Creed. Now, having been formed in God’s Word, the faithful respond with the heart and mind of Jesus by praying for the needs of the Church and the World. Since the prayers are meant to be universal in scope for those in authority, for those experiencing various needs and sufferings, and for the salvation of all, the intercessions train us to look not only after our own interests, “but also to the interests of others” (Phil 2:4).