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Spiritual Communion for The 33rd Sunday of Ordinary Time

Making a Spiritual Communion is particularly fitting for those who cannot receive the sacrament in this time of pandemic. In making our communion spiritually, we are joining with Christians everywhere, to be nourished by the one who tells us, ‘I am the Bread of Life’. In making a Spiritual Communion, you may wish to pray all or part of the following, as you are able.

You may wish to find a space for prayer in front of a cross, a candle, or in a special place. You might choose to make your Spiritual Communion at a particular time of day. Reflect on the day and on your relationships.

- What good things have come from God today?

- Where have I fallen short?

- What might I do tomorrow?

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

Pope Francis, General Audience in St Peter’s Square. April 24, 2013

“Have you thought about the talents that God has given you?

Have you thought of how you can put them at the service of others?

Do not bury your talents!

Set your stakes on great ideals,

the ideals that enlarge the heart,

the ideals of service that make your talents fruitful.

Life is not given to us to be jealously guarded for ourselves,

but is given to us so that we may give it in turn. …

Do not be afraid to dream of great things!”


When we have failed to use our God-given talents for God’s work or

for the benefit of others, let us confess our failure and shortcomings:

that I have greatly sinned,

in my thoughts and in my words,

in what I have done

and in what I have failed to do,

through my fault, through my fault,

through my most grievous fault;

therefore I ask blessed Mary ever-Virgin, all the Angels and Saints,

to pray for me to the Lord our God.

May almighty God have mercy on us, forgive us our sins,

and bring us to everlasting life. Amen.


Grant us, we pray, O Lord our God,

the constant gladness of being devoted to you,

for it is full and lasting happiness

to serve with constancy

the author of all that is good.

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.

FIRST READING - Proverbs 31:10-13,19-20,30-31

A perfect wife – who can find her?

She is far beyond the price of pearls.

Her husband’s heart has confidence in her,

from her he will derive no little profit.

Advantage and not hurt she brings him

all the days of her life.

She is always busy with wool and with flax,

she does her work with eager hands.

She sets her hands to the distaff,

her fingers grasp the spindle.

She holds out her hand to the poor,

she opens her arms to the needy.

Charm is deceitful, and beauty empty;

the woman who is wise is the one to praise.

Give her a share in what her hands have worked for,

and let her works tell her praises at the city gates.

RESPONSORIAL PSALM Psalm 127 (128):1-5

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord

and walk in his ways!

By the labour of your hands you shall eat.

You will be happy and prosper.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

in the heart of your house;

your children like shoots of the olive,

around your table.

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.

Indeed thus shall be blessed

the man who fears the Lord.

May the Lord bless you from Zion

all the days of your life!

Blessed are those who fear the Lord.


Alleluia, alleluia!

Make your home in me, as I make mine in you.

Whoever remains in me bears fruit in plenty.


GOSPEL - Matthew 25:14-30

Jesus spoke this parable to his disciples:

‘The kingdom of Heaven is like a man on his way abroad

who summoned his servants and entrusted his property to them.

To one he gave five talents, to another two, to a third one;

each in proportion to his ability. Then he set out.

‘The man who had received the five talents

promptly went and traded with them and made five more.

The man who had received two made two more in the same way.

But the man who had received one went off

and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money.

‘Now a long time after, the master of those servants came back

and went through his accounts with them.

The man who had received the five talents

came forward bringing five more.

“Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with five talents;

here are five more that I have made.”

‘His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant;

you have shown you can be faithful in small things,

I will trust you with greater;

come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Next the man with the two talents came forward.

“Sir,” he said “you entrusted me with two talents;

here are two more that I have made.”

His master said to him, “Well done, good and faithful servant;

you have shown you can be faithful in small things,

I will trust you with greater;

come and join in your master’s happiness.”

‘Last came forward the man who had the one talent.

“Sir,” said he “I had heard you were a hard man,

reaping where you have not sown

and gathering where you have not scattered;

so I was afraid, and I went off and hid your talent in the ground.

Here it is; it was yours, you have it back.”

But his master answered him, “You wicked and lazy servant!

So you knew that I reap where I have not sown

and gather where I have not scattered?

Well then, you should have deposited my money

with the bankers, and on my return

I would have recovered my capital with interest.

So now, take the talent from him

and give it to the man who has the five talents.

For to everyone who has will be given more,

and he will have more than enough;

but from the man who has not,

even what he has will be taken away.

As for this good-for-nothing servant,

throw him out into the dark,

where there will be weeping and grinding of teeth.”’

HUMILITY - “You are the light of the world.

A city set on a mountain cannot be hidden” (Mt 5:14).

In his inaugural address when he became President of South Africa,

Nelson Mandela suggested that false humility hurts us

just as much as false pride.

His words: "We are born to manifest the glory of God that is within us.

It’s not just in some of us. It’s in everyone, and, as we let our light shine, e consciously give other people permission to do the same.

As we are liberated from our own fear,

our presence automatically liberates others. There is nothing enlightened, or God-serving, in false humility.” That’s an important, gospel corrective

to our common misunderstanding about humility. We think of humility as self-effacement, self-depreciation,

as never blowing our own trumpet,

waiting to be asked before we step forward to offer our gifts.

We identify humility with non-assertiveness; but there’s nothing enlightened about putting ourselves down so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.

Our gifts and talents are meant to HELP others,

just as their gifts are meant to help us.

To "hide our light under a bushel-basket" serves no one –

not others, not God, nor ourselves.

That’s precisely what Jesus warns us about in the parable of the talents.

When God gives us a gift, God expects a certain return. To hide our talents, as the parable makes clear, is perilous to self and is insulting to the One who gave those gifts. We are in the image of God, special, unique, fabulous, gorgeous, talented.

It’s easy to misread this parable,

thinking that the king arbitrarily punishes the servant who hid his talent.

Real humility self-effaces, but does not self-deprecate.

it is not assertive, but neither does it slink away in unhealthy passivity;

We are humble when we live in the face of the fact that we are not God, but each of us is a child of God,

fabulous, unique, talented, asked to set forth our gifts on the table of life,

as a gracious host might put food on the dinner table.

Nelson Mandela is right, there is nothing enlightened, or God-serving, in false humility. Moreover, as Jesus’ parable of the talents suggests,

hiding one’s talents doesn’t exactly produce happiness either. The God-given talent which has been generously bestowed is to be displayed and shared for the good of all, not to bring glory to us, but to fulfil God's loving purpose for His Creation, His People.

Father, creator of all things,

we thank you for the individual talents and interests

you have chosen to distribute to each one of us.

We are grateful that we are able to think, reason and be thankful.

Help us to use our individual gifts in the service of others.

Encourage us to see the value in other people

and to convince them of their own worth.

Ignite a fire of love within us, for without love

we cannot accomplish any lasting good. Amen.


I believe in one God, the Father almighty,

maker of heaven and earth,

of all things visible and invisible.

I believe in one Lord Jesus Christ,

the Only Begotten Son of God,

born of the Father before all ages.

God from God, Light from Light,

true God from true God,

begotten, not made, consubstantial with the Father;

through him all things were made.

For us men and for our salvation he came down from heaven,

and by the Holy Spirit was incarnate of the Virgin Mary,

and became man.

For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate,

he suffered death and was buried,

and rose again on the third day

in accordance with the Scriptures.

He ascended into heaven

and is seated at the right hand of the Father.

He will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead

and his kingdom will have no end.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life,

who proceeds from the Father and the Son,

who with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified,

who has spoken through the prophets.

I believe in one, holy, catholic and apostolic Church.

I confess one Baptism for the forgiveness of sins

and I look forward to the resurrection of the dead

and the life of the world to come. Amen.


Heavenly Father all things come from You.

Help us to recognize the gifts of hand, head and heart,

and to use them in Your name.

May we, members of Your Church,

encourage and support one another in faith and in action,

confident that we are upheld by Your eternal love.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

As we fail in many ways to care for Your creation,

may You inspire in us a determination to honour

the rich gifts of our natural world.

Help us to share and care for the many resources

we depend upon, and may new skills and understandings

lead us to a sustainable future. Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

In these challenging times we pray for the leaders of the world

that they might act with wisdom and justice.

May they use their talents to seek co-operation and harmony,

both nationally and internationally,

so that Your peace and truth will prevail.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We thank You for the many charities which nurture

the talents of those who volunteer

and provide much needed relief and support

to those in difficulty,

and as the demands on their services increase

may support for their work grow.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We remember Father, the many and varied talents

used in the world of medicine. We thank you for all those

who have chosen to use them in caring for the sick.

Be with them Lord, especially in this time of pandemic.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We bring to you those for whom we have been asked to pray;

we ask that they know the comfort of Your presence

and may Your love fill their lives with hope and healing.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

Loving God, we pray for those who have recently died

and ask You to bring comfort to all those who mourn.

We also remember those whose anniversary falls at this time.

Grant us, with all who have known You in their hearts,

a share in Your eternal kingdom.

Lord in Your mercy, hear our prayer.

We ask Mary, Mother of Jesus and Mother of the Church,

to offer our prayers with her own, as we say

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.

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy

in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful,

and lift up all who are brought low;

that we may rejoice in your comfort

knowing that nothing can separate us from your love

in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.

It is right to give thanks and praise!

It is truly right and just, our duty and our salvation, always and everywhere to give you thanks, Lord, holy Father, almighty and eternal God. For you laid the foundations of the world and have arranged the changing of times and seasons; you formed man in your own image and set humanity over the whole world in all its wonder, to rule in your name over all you have made and for ever praise you in your mighty works, through Christ our Lord. And so, with all the Angels, we praise you, as in joyful celebration we acclaim:

Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of hosts.

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.

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.

Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life.

Whoever comes to me will never be hungry,

and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’ John 6.35

I adore You, Lord Jesus, in the Sacrament of Your love,

the ineffable Eucharist.

I desire to receive You into the poor dwelling that my heart offers You.

While waiting for the happiness of sacramental communion,

I wish to possess You in spirit.

Come to me, O my Jesus, since I, for my part, am coming to You!

May Your love embrace my whole being in life and in death.

I believe in You,

I hope in You,

I love You.

(Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val- The Vatican Website)

“Look, I stand at the door and knock.

If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,

I will come into him, and will dine with him,

and he with me.” Revelation 3:

Lord, you stand at the door of my heart and knock.

You wait for me, and only I can let you in.

I believe and trust in you,

and ask you now to fill me with your presence.

Feed me spiritually with your body,

and unite me in your blood,

that I may be your blessing to a world in need.

(Christchurch Cathedral, Oxford.)


May God sustain you, and all those you love,

with comfort and peace; and surround you with light and joy,

both in this world and the next:

and may the blessing of almighty God,

the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

come down upon us and remain with us 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.

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.

Let us go forth in peace.

Thanks be to God.

The Lord bless us, and preserve us from all evil,

and keep us in eternal life. Amen.

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