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Spiritual Communion for The Twenty-Fourth Sunday of Ordinary Time

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

Lord Jesus, I come to you in sorrow for my failings,

and confess to you my weakness and unbelief.

I confess to almighty God

and to you, my brothers and sisters,

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,

and you, my brothers and sisters,

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.


Glory to God in the highest,

and on earth peace to people of good will.

We praise you, we bless you,

we adore you, we glorify you,

we give you thanks for your great glory,

Lord God, heavenly King,

O God, almighty Father.

Lord Jesus Christ, Only Begotten Son,

Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father,

you take away the sins of the world,

have mercy on us;

you take away the sins of the world,

receive our prayer;

you are seated at the right hand of the Father,

have mercy on us.

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.


Look upon us, O God, Creator and ruler of all things, and, that we may feel the working of your mercy, grant that we may serve you with all our heart.

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 - James chapter 2, verses 14-18

Take the case, my brothers, of someone who has never done a single good act

but claims that he has faith. Will that faith save him?

If one of the brothers or one of the sisters is in need of clothes

and has not enough food to live on, and one of you says to them,

“I wish you well; keep yourself warm and eat plenty,”

without giving them these bare necessities of life,

then what good is that?

Faith is like that: if good works do not go with it, it is quite dead.

This is the way to talk to people of that kind:

“You say you have faith and I have good deeds;

I will prove to you that I have faith by showing you my good deeds;

now you prove to me that you have faith without any good deeds to show.”

The word of the Lord.


I will walk in the presence of the Lord,

in the land of the living

I love the Lord for he has heard

the cry of my appeal;

for he turned his ear to me

in the day when I called him.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord,

in the land of the living

They surrounded me, the snares of death,

with the anguish of the tomb; they caught me, sorrow and distress.

I called on the Lord’s name.

O Lord my God, deliver me!

I will walk in the presence of the Lord,

in the land of the living

How gracious is the Lord, and just;

our God has compassion.

The Lord protects the simple hearts;

I was helpless so he saved me.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord,

in the land of the living

He has kept my soul from death,

my eyes from tears and my feet from stumbling.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord

in the land of the living.

I will walk in the presence of the Lord,

in the land of the living

GOSPEL - Mark 8:27-35

Jesus and his disciples left for the villages round Caesarea Philippi.

On the way he put this question to his disciples, “Who do people say I am?”

And they told him. “John the Baptist,” they said, “others Elijah; others again,

one of the prophets.” “But you,” he asked “who do you say I am?”

Peter spoke up and said to him, “You are the Christ.”

And he gave them strict orders not to tell anyone about him.

And he began to teach them that the Son of Man was destined to suffer

grievously, to be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes,

and to be put to death, and after three days to rise again;

and he said all this quite openly. Then, taking him aside,

Peter started to remonstrate with him.

But, turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said to him,

“Get behind me, Satan! Because the way you think is not God’s way

but man’s.” He called the people and his disciples to him and said,

“If anyone wants to be a follower of mine, let him renounce himself

and take up his cross and follow me. For anyone who wants to save his life

will lose it; but anyone who loses his life for my sake,

and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.

HOMILY "Who do they say that I am?" Fr. Charles Irvin

In many situations asking the right question is critically important, but coming up with the right question at the right time is an art. If a scientist doesn’t ask the right question he or she will follow paths that do not lead to solving a problem. If the president of a corporation doesn’t ask the right questions at the right time he will not successfully provide for his company’s future. If you are an employee, think of the importance of questions you put to your bosses. Asking the right question can lead to your promotion.

Think of how important it is for a police detective to ask the right question, or a doctor, or a psychiatrist. Asking the right question is a skill, an art, one that allows you to avoid going down a lot of blind alleys.

Take, for example, the question: “What is the meaning of life?” “What is the meaning of your life?” Using the Scientific Method will not lead you to answers to those questions.

Jesus Christ is God’s self-expression of Himself to us. We find Him in today’s Gospel account asking his disciples a terribly important question. He was asking them to tell Him who they think He really is. St. Mark reports:

Jesus and his disciples set out for the villages of Caesarea Philippi. Along the way he asked his disciples,” Who do people say that I am?” They said in reply, “John the Baptist, others Elijah, still others one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter said to him in reply, “You are the Christ.”

It seems to me that Jesus had two reasons for asking His question. One was in order to have His disciples give some serious thought to just who they thought He was. The other was to take the opportunity to teach them about what was going to happen to Him – to teach them about just what kind of a Messiah He was going to be, and what He had to endure in order to fulfil the mission His Father in heaven had given Him.

In considering today’s Gospel passage we ought to pay attention to just why it was Jesus put the question to them. We might easily conclude the only reason was that He wanted to take the opportunity to teach them about just who He was and what it was He had to do. If we think that was the reason we would, of course, be correct. But there was another reason, a reason that I think was the most important of all, and that was to cause them to realize for themselves just who and what He was. It was what they knew in their hearts and minds to be true that was uppermost, I think, in His mind. He wanted them to articulate what was already deep within their hearts and souls.

St. Mark reports this whole episode to confront you and me, two thousand years later, with the same question that confronted our Blessed Lord’s disciples back then.

Just who do you think Jesus is for you now? Is He just an interesting historical figure? A nice guy among a lot of other nice guys who throughout history have started religions? Is He, as the Muslims say, a great prophet? Is He one among many in a long line of Jewish rabbis?

Or is Christ Jesus God’s self-expression made human so that we can see Him, know Him, and love Him as one of us? And by “self-expression” I mean that Christ Jesus is God among us making Himself available to us. Christ Jesus is God the Son, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, made incarnate, made human flesh and blood for us so we can encounter Him in His Mystical Body, the Church.

As Christians we believe that God has made Himself available to us His children not just to our minds but available to in our humanity, in our whole persons, available to our minds, our hearts, our souls, and our bodies.

As Catholics we believe God has made Himself available to us in His Christ who comes to us following His resurrection in special ways in the seven sacraments of our Church. As Catholics we believe that God is especially present to us and within us in Holy Communion. The sixth chapter of St. John’s Gospel is especially dear and important to us. Quite simply I am a Catholic and a priest because of that chapter in St. John’s Gospel.

But all of this would not have happened were it not for what Jesus went on to tell Peter and the other disciples in today’s Gospel passage. All of this would not have happened unless Jesus had told them what He was going to do, and then did, namely to suffer terribly, to be rejected by the chief priests and elders, to be put to death, and after three days to rise again.

Is Jesus Christ simply an interesting historical figure? Is Jesus Christ just one religious leader among others? Just who is Jesus Christ for you? Just who do YOU think He is?

Peter and the other disciples gave their answers. What is your answer to His question?


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,

(All bow)

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.


In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father

through Christ the saviour of the world.

Let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For forgiveness for the many times we have denied Jesus,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For grace to seek out those habits of sin which mean spiritual death,

and by prayer and self-discipline to overcome them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For Christian people, that through the suffering of disunity

there may grow a rich union in Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who make laws, interpret them and administer them,

that our common life may be ordered in justice and mercy,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who still make Jerusalem a battleground,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who have the courage and honesty

to work openly for justice and peace,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those in the darkness and agony of isolation,

that they may find support and encouragement,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who, weighed down with hardship,

failure, or sorrow,

feel that God is far from them,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

For those who are tempted to give up the way of the cross,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

That we, with those who have died in faith,

may find mercy in the day of Christ,

let us pray to the Lord.

Lord, have mercy.

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

bring our care and concern for the situation

in which we find ourselves

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.

Lord God, you hold both heaven and earth in a single peace.

Let the design of your great love

shine on the waste of our anger and sorrow,

and give peace to your Church,

peace among nations, peace in our homes,

and peace in our hearts, in Jesus Christ our Lord.

Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Let us give thanks to the Lord our God.

It is right to give him thanks and praise.

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.

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.


My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Blessed Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if you were already there, and I unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. (Saint Alphonsus Liguori)

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. Amen. (Cardinal Rafael Merry del Val)

A Time of quiet reflection, in which to receive the Lord’s Presence spiritually.


May Christ, who makes saints of sinners,

who has transformed those we remember today,

raise and strengthen us

that God through us may transform the world;

and the blessing of almighty God,

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

come down on us and remain with us for ever. 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.

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