FOR THE SEVENTEENTH SUNDAY IN ORDINARY TIME
In the name of the Father, and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.
PRAYERS OF PENITENCE
Our Lord Jesus Christ said:
The first commandment is this:
‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord.
You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart,
with all your soul, with all your mind,
and with all your strength.’
The second is this: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.’
There is no other commandment greater than these.
On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
“I only want to ﬁnish the race and complete the task which the Lord Jesus assigned to me.” Conscious of our failure to proclaim the gospel, let us confess our sins in penitence and faith, firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments, and to live in love and peace with all.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father,
we have sinned against you and against our neighbour
in thought and word and deed,
through negligence, through weakness,
through our own deliberate fault.
We are truly sorry, and repent of all our sins.
For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, who died for us,
forgive us all that is past
and grant that we may serve you in newness of life
to the glory of your name.
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.
Glory to God in the highest,
and peace to his people on earth.
Lord God, heavenly King,
almighty God and Father,
we worship you, we give you thanks,
we praise you for your glory.
Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God,
you take away the sin of the world:
have mercy on us;
you are seated at the right hand of the Father:
receive our prayer.
For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the glory of God the Father. Amen.
THE COLLECT FOR TODAY
Almighty Lord and everlasting God,
we beseech you to direct, sanctify and govern
both our hearts and bodies in the ways of your laws
and the works of your commandments;
that through your most mighty protection, both here and ever,
we may be preserved in body and soul;
through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
I am the way, the truth, and the life, says the Lord.
No-one comes to the Father except through me. Alleluia!
THE GOSPEL READING : John 6.1–15 After this Jesus went to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, also called the Sea of Tiberias. A large crowd kept following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing for the sick. Jesus went up the mountain and sat down there with his disciples.
Now the Passover, the festival of the Jews, was near. When he looked up and saw a large crowd coming towards him, Jesus said to Philip, ‘Where are we to buy bread for these people to eat?’ He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, ‘Six months’ wages would not buy enough bread for each of them to get a little.’
One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, ‘There is a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish. But what are they among so many people?’ Jesus said, ‘Make the people sit down.’ Now there was a great deal of grass in the place; so they sat down, about five thousand in all.
Jesus took the loaves, and when he had given thanks, he distributed them to those who were seated; so also the fish, as much as they wanted. When they were satisfied, he told his disciples, ‘Gather up the fragments left over, so that nothing may be lost.’ So they gathered them up, and from the fragments of the five barley loaves, left by those who had eaten, they filled twelve baskets.
When the people saw the sign that he had done, they began to say, ‘This is indeed the prophet who is to come into the world.’When Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
THE SERMON Jesus was tired, physically and emotionally.
That day had been exhausting!
To find respite and to spend time with his closest friends,
he went to the other shore of Galilee and up a mountain.
That didn't work – the crowd followed him up the mountain!
But Jesus the compassionate, seeing their need,
began to make arrangements for the chaos that was about to ensue.
Jesus’s fame had spread like wildfire;
no one spoke with authority like Him;
and His teaching was radical and simple to understand.
These men, women, and children had been following Christ
for a long time, and now they had physical needs, food.
They were physically hungry, as well as suffering spiritual starvation.
Whenever we hear about the feeding of the five thousand,
we typically hear about Jesus, the crowd, or the disciples,
but we neglect a central character.
No one in the crowd would have thought
that this boy mattered so much.
One little boy in the crowd, with a bit of seafood and bread,
chosen by God to be a significant piece of Christ’s plan
not only for that day, but for the rest of time.
What if that young lad had said no to Andrew
when he asked him to come to Jesus with his picnic?
What if he had run as fast as he could into the crowd and disappeared?
What if his parents had said, "That's our food – leave us alone!"
It’s an amazing story! Christ did the impossible
through an unremarkable boy
in the middle of an excessively big crowd.
We just never know what God will ask of us.
We never know when he will ask it.
We never know ahead of time what will happen when He does.
We never know how the Lord will use what we have,
and use them to make a difference.
That's just the way our God works.
God can take the smallest gift
and when we give sincerely of that smallness
God grows our gift into something much more.
Jesus said to Andrew, “Bring the loaves and fishes to me.”
May Jesus assess my loaves and fishes:
how can my gifting be of use to others in Jesus’ hands?
I can look to the poor I can serve,
maybe with money, maybe by using my talents
to tutor or to counsel, or by giving of my time to listen,
or by helping to feed the hungry in a homeless centre,
or ensuring that we buy foodstuff for a local foodbank..
I can gently look out for the needs of others,
and do them a kindness in a quiet way, not with a fanfare!
I can contact a family member or a friend who I know is hurting.
If I am lonely, I can look around to see if others are the same,
and gently offer friendship without strings attached.
If I am married I can do something to show my partner how much they are valued.
I can look out for the needs of the weak in my own family,
When the disciples relied on their own resources in a storm,
their fear threatened to sink them,
but when they let Jesus into the problem
they found the way to land safely.
With Christ we can navigate storms, feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, protect the vulnerable,
speak out against injustice…
but this is not a God with a magic wand
who with a prayerful ABRACADABRA will make problems disappear; Christ works WITH us rather than takes over from us.
It is too easy to lament the condition of the world and,
like the Apostles, to feel overwhelmed.
Jesus said to them, and says to us,
“Just bring me what you have and let’s get started.”
THE APOSTLES' CREED
I believe in God, the Father Almighty,
Creator of heaven and earth,
and 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 into hell;
on the third day He rose again from the dead;
He ascended into heaven,
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father Almighty;
from there 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 life everlasting.
We are moulded, each one of us, in the image of God,
and within our souls there is a fingerprint none can erase.
We pray for those who have no regard for anyone but self,
who put no value on human life.
For nations and individuals who abuse and kill.
We are not called to be judge or jury,
but we are called to be agents of change.
Reach into the hearts and souls of those for whom we pray,
and reveal to them how precious are those for whom they have no love,
and how precious are they who now bring tears to the eyes of God.
We ask Mary to pray with us
to her Son
for peace in our lives,
for peace in our families,
for peace in our community,
for peace in our world:
Hail Mary full of Grace,
the Lord is with thee.
Blessed are thou amongst 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.
O God, the protector of all who trust in you,
without whom nothing is strong, nothing is holy:
increase and multiply upon us your mercy;
that with you as our ruler and guide
we may so pass through things temporal
that we lose not our hold on things eternal; Amen.
Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.
It is right to give thanks and praise.
Blessed are you, Lord God,
our light and our salvation;
to you be glory and praise for ever.
From the beginning you have created all things
and all your works echo the silent music of your praise.
In the fullness of time you made us in your image,
the crown of all creation.
You give us breath and speech, that with angels and archangels
and all the powers of heaven
we may find a voice to sing your praise:
Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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. For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
We do not presume
to come to you, merciful Lord,
trusting in our own righteousness,
but in your manifold and great mercies.
We are not worthy
so much as to gather up the crumbs under your table.
But you are the same Lord
whose nature is always to have mercy.
Grant us therefore, gracious Lord,
so to spiritually eat the flesh of your dear Son Jesus Christ
and to drink his blood,
that our sinful bodies may be made clean by his body
and our souls washed through his most precious blood,
and that we may evermore dwell in him, and he in us.
At Your feet, O my Jesus,
I prostrate myself .
I adore You
in the Sacrament of Your love.
I desire to receive You into the poor dwelling that my heart offers.
Come to me, Lord, since I, for my part, am coming to You.
I believe in You, I hope in You, I love You. Amen.
Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof,
but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.
Strengthen for service, Lord,
the hands that in spirit have taken holy things;
may the ears which have heard your word
be deaf to clamour and dispute;
may the tongues which proclaim your praise be free from deceit;
may the eyes which have seen the tokens of your love
shine with the light of hope;
and may the bodies which have been spiritually fed with your body
be refreshed with the fullness of your life;
glory to you for ever.
Keep us firm in the hope you have set before us,
so we and all your children shall be free,
and the whole earth live to praise your name;
through Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE BLESSING God give you the strength to run with perseverance
the race marked out for you, fixing your eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of our faith;
and the blessing of God almighty,
the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit,
be among you and remain with you always. Amen.
The angel of the Lord brought tidings unto Mary. And she conceived by the Holy Ghost.
Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou amongst 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. Amen.
Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.
Hail Mary. Holy Mary.
And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us.
Hail Mary. Holy Mary.
Pray for us, O holy Mother of God. That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.
Priest: Let us pray.
We beseech thee, O Lord, pour thy grace into our hearts,
that as we have known the Incarnation of thy Son Jesus Christ by the message of an angel, so by his Cross and Passion
we may be brought unto the glory of his Resurrection;
through the same Christ our Lord. Amen.
Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
In the Name of Christ. Amen.