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LOVE ONE ANOTHER

SPIRITUAL COMMUNION FOR THE SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER




✠ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


SAYING SORRY


Lord Jesus, you bless the poor in spirit

and give them the Kingdom.

But we build our own little kingdoms of self.

Kyrie eleison — Lord, have mercy.

You bless those who mourn and you comfort them.

But we seek comfort in possessions, prestige and power.

Kyrie eleison — Lord, have mercy.


You bless the meek, and promise them the earth,

you bless the merciful, and promise them mercy.

But we try to make the world our own through pride and self-promotion;

and we hold grudges at the slightest offence.

Kyrie eleison — Lord, have mercy.


You bless those who hunger and thirst for righteousness—

you promise to satisfy their desires.

You bless the pure in heart, and promise that they shall see God.

But we hunger and thirst after everything else:

and we covet each other’s things, their looks, their successes,

Kyrie eleison — Lord, have mercy.

Almighty God, who forgives all who truly repent, have mercy upon us,

✠ pardon and deliver us from all our sins,

confirm and strengthen us in all goodness, and keep us in life eternal;

through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



TODAY'S COLLECT:

Grant, almighty God, that we may celebrate with heartfelt devotion

these days of joy, which we keep in honour of the risen Lord,

and that what we relive in remembrance

we may always hold to in what we do.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

one God, for ever and ever. Amen.



A READING FROM THE HOLY GOSPEL ACCORDING TO JOHN (John 15:9-17)


Alleluia, alleluia!

Jesus said: “If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

and my Father will love him, and we shall come to him.” Alleluia!



A reading from the holy Gospel according to John


Jesus said to his disciples:

“As the Father has loved me, so I have loved you. Remain in my love.

If you keep my commandments you will remain in my love,

just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and remain in his love.

I have told you this so that my own joy may be in you and your joy be complete.


This is my commandment: love one another, as I have loved you.

A man can have no greater love than to lay down his life for his friends.

You are my friends, if you do what I command you.

I shall not call you servants any more,

because a servant does not know his master’s business;

I call you friends, because I have made known to you

everything I have learnt from my Father.

You did not choose me, no, I chose you; and I commissioned you

to go out and to bear fruit, fruit that will last;

and then the Father will give you anything you ask him in my name.

What I command you is to love one another.



HOMILY - PURSUED


So it’s 10.30pm on a Saturday evening,

and still I am trying to put together some thoughts,

presently random,

to turn into what I hope will be an erudite reflection

upon the readings for this Sunday.

“Saturday Night Fever”, a common phenomenon in Clergy Houses.

I could have started this days ago,

but I find my better work is chased by a deadline;

a deadline that focuses my mind.


It's not just clergy writing sermons the night before delivery either….


“Time, like a running grave, tracks you down.”

wrote Dylan Thomas the poet,

as he pondered that even poets have publishers

who pursue them with deadlines.

The poetic muse cannot be forced to deliver inspired creativity

just when others demand.

Teachers with lessons to prepare,

or someone up the management chain

who has forgotten or who is careless as to what your pressures might be;

Customers demanding something yesterday,

friends and neighbours making unreasonable demands on your time

or your patience…..

family making excessive demands on your time……



The psalms can be a great comfort in such times….

it’s good to pray a psalm or two when life is getting fraught

and others are becoming demanding.

One of the best is the familiar Psalm 23 -


“The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

and leads me beside still waters……”

Beautiful words which, if prayed thoughtfully and gently,

can be such a comfort.


“Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me….”


Wherever you find yourself,

even in the darkest abyss – there is God…..


“Surely goodness and loving mercy shall follow me

all the days of my life……”


In the Hebrew (I am reliably informed), the word here, "follow",

implies something more active, persistent and determined

than just tagging along…..

In the Hebrew it seems to be more accurately translated

as “pursue,” “track down, rescue…….”


“Surely God’s goodness will PURSUE me all the days of my life.”

God follows us, pursues us, down the misguided byways of our lives,

all the dead ends, all the dark detours.

Jesus tracks us down, pursues us,

just like the Shepherd who lost that one sheep,

because he is driven to care for each one of us……

or the poor woman who lost that coin,

the Father whose prodigal son was pursued and found…..


Jesus in today’s Gospel reminds us

"You did not choose me - no, I chose you."

Just when you thought you had chosen to follow Christ,

he reminds you that he pursued you and tracked you down,

and that he has chosen you.


God shows us the lengths to which He will go to pursue us,

give us His blessing, and carry us home.

Let him find you - and CARRY you,

let him take care of you when those deadlines build-up,

let him find you when you feel under pressure,

or feel unable to cope....

he who has chosen you because he loves you, values you,

and wants the very best that life can offer,

he will pursue you and, if you let him, will care for you,

comfort you.... Thanks be to God.


Shepherd God, you call us each by name,

you restore our souls, you lead us in the way of righteousness,

and your goodness and love never stops pursuing us.


You provide everything we need.

You let us rest in green meadows

and lead us beside quiet streams.

You renew our strength,

and guide us in ways that bring honour to Your name.


Even when we walk through difficult valleys,

we will not fear, for you never are far away—

protecting and comforting,

guarding and guiding every step we take.


We know that your goodness and unfailing love

will continue to pursue us all the days of our lives,

and that after our lives here are over,

we will spend eternity in your presence. Amen.





I BELIEVE….


I believe in God, the Father almighty,

creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,

who was conceived by the Holy Spirit,

born of the Virgin Mary,

suffered under Pontius Pilate,

was crucified, died, and was buried;

he descended to the dead.

On the third day he rose again;

He ascended into heaven,

He is seated at the right hand of the Father,

And he will come to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,

the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,

the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


LET US PRAY


Passionate God, we are ever grateful for your love for us, for your patience and trust. This day we are thankful for the joys of community. We pray for the recovery of our community, as we come through this pandemic, that you continue to be with us in our happiness and weariness, celebrations and struggles.

O God, hear our prayer, and in your love answer.

Merciful God, we pray for our world that faces so much violence. We pray especially for the people of Myanmar suffering war conditions and the threat of war. May leaders at every level learn to speak in favour of humanity and justice. We pray that all people can walk the path of peace, the path of forgiveness, the path of equality.

O God, hear our prayer, and in your love answer.

Embracing God, we pray for those who suffer, praying especially for India in the face of this present pandemic wave. We remember all who face daily persecution and discrimination. Enfold them in your loving arms. Teach us the power of love and forgiveness, that our words may be of healing. O God, hear our prayer, and in your love answer.


Almighty God, we offer prayers for those voices that have been silenced. We ask for your spirit of reconciliation to be near. We pray that there may be an end to bullying in schools, harassment in homes and workplaces, discriminatory laws and practices. May we learn the call to be bearers of peace and spread this vision through love and solidarity. O God, hear our prayer, and in your love answer.


We offer the concerns and prayers of our hearts, knowing you are always there to listen even when we may not have the words.…


We remember those who have died: ✠ rest eternal grant to them, O Lord, and let light perpetual shine upon them, May they rest in peace, and rise in glory.


We ask Mary to pray with us, as we with her

bring to the Lord our world in need:


Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee,

blessed art thou among women,

and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus.

Holy Mary, Mother of God,

pray for us sinners now,

and at the hour of our death.


Father, whose Son Jesus Christ is the resurrection and the life:

raise us, who trust in him,

from the death of sin to the life of righteousness,

that we may seek those things which are above,

where he reigns with you

in the unity of the Holy Spirit;

Merciful Father, accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


At the Saviour’s command

and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Our Father, who art in heaven,

hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come,

thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread,

and forgive us our trespasses,

as we forgive those who trespass against us;

and lead us not into temptation,

but deliver us from evil.


Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil,

graciously grant peace in our days,

that, by the help of your mercy,

we may be always free from sin

and safe from all distress,

as we await the blessed hope

and the coming of our Saviour, Jesus Christ.


For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours

now and for ever.

Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

look not on our sins,

but on the faith of your Church,

and graciously grant her peace and unity

in accordance with your will.

Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.


Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sins of the world,

grant us peace.



SPIRITUAL COMMUNION


Revelation 3.20 "Behold I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me."


Psalm 62 "On God alone my soul in stillness waits; from him comes my salvation. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold, so that I shall never be shaken."


In union, O Lord with the faithful at every altar of your Church

where the Holy Eucharist is being offered this day,

and remembering the community of our parish church,

and those worshipping within it.

I long to give you praise and thanksgiving for creation

and all the blessings of this life, for the redemption won for us

by your life, death, and resurrection, for the means of grace and the hope of glory.



I present to you my body and soul as a living sacrifice,

with the earnest wish that I may always be united with you.

And since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I pray that you will come spiritually into my heart.

I unite myself to you, and embrace you

with all the strength of my soul and the life you have given me.

Let nothing ever separate me from you.

May I live and die in your love. Amen.


Jesus, as the hem of your garment, touched in faith,

healed the woman who could not touch your body,

so may the soul of your servant be healed,

for though I cannot receive you in the sacrament

I can, through this offering of my prayer,

receive you in my heart; grant this for Christ’s sake. Amen.



BLESSING

Alleluia! Christ is risen.

He is risen indeed. Alleluia!


May Christ, who out of defeat brings new hope and a new future,

fill us with his new life; and the blessing of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, ✠ and the Holy Spirit come down upon us

and remain with us for ever. Amen.

THE REGINA COELI


Joy to thee, O Queen of Heaven! Alleluia. He whom thou wast meet to bear, alleluia. As he promised, hath arisen,

alleluia. Pour for us to him thy prayer,

alleluia.


Rejoice and be glad, O Virgin Mary, alleluia.


For the Lord is risen indeed,

alleluia!


Let us pray.

O God, who through the resurrection of Thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ didst vouchsafe to give joy to the world: grant, we beseech thee, that through His Mother, the Virgin Mary, we may obtain the joys of everlasting life. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.



Let us bless the Lord. Thanks be to God.


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