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Spiritual Mass for 19th Sunday in Ordinary Time

✠ In the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit.


In our Epistle reading this morning, Saint Paul says to us;

“Be friends with one another, and kind,

forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.

As we come to celebrate these holy mysteries,

let us examine ourselves and confess our sins.

I confess to almighty God

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,

and 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.

THE COLLECT: Almighty ever-living God,

whom, taught by the Holy Spirit,

we dare to call our Father,

bring, we pray, to perfection in our hearts

the spirit of adoption as your sons and daughters,

that we may merit to enter into the inheritance

which you have promised.

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.

FIRST READING Ephesians 4:30-5:2

Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God

who has marked you with his seal

for you to be set free when the day comes.

Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper,

or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names,

or allow any sort of spitefulness.

Be friends with one another,

and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ. Try, then, to imitate God, as children of his that he loves,

and follow Christ by loving as he loved you,

giving himself up in our place as a fragrant offering

and a sacrifice to God.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


Taste and see that the Lord is good

I will bless the Lord at all times,

his praise always on my lips;

in the Lord my soul shall make its boast.

The humble shall hear and be glad.

Taste and see that the Lord is good

Glorify the Lord with me.

Together let us praise his name.

I sought the Lord and he answered me;

from all my terrors he set me free.

Taste and see that the Lord is good

Look towards him and be radiant;

let your faces not be abashed.

When the poor cry out the Lord hears them

and rescues them from all their distress.

Taste and see that the Lord is good

The angel of the Lord is encamped

around those who revere him, to rescue them.

Taste and see that the Lord is good.

He is happy who seeks refuge in him.

Taste and see that the Lord is good


Alleluia, alleluia!

If anyone loves me he will keep my word,

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


A reading from the holy Gospel according to John. (Jn 6:41-51)

The Jews were complaining to each other about Jesus,

because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”

“Surely this is Jesus son of Joseph” they said.

“We know his father and mother.

How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”

Jesus said in reply, “Stop complaining to each other.

No one can come to me unless he is drawn by the Father

who sent me, and I will raise him up at the last day.

It is written in the prophets: They will all be taught by God,

and to hear the teaching of the Father, and learn from it,

is to come to me. Not that anybody has seen the Father,

except the one who comes from God: he has seen the Father.

I tell you most solemnly, everybody who believes has eternal life.

I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the desert

and they are dead; but this is the bread that comes down from

heaven, so that a man may eat it and not die.

I am the living bread which has come down from heaven.

Anyone who eats this bread will live for ever;

and the bread that I shall give is my flesh,

for the life of the world.”

The Gospel of the Lord.

Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.


So was St Paul.

St Paul frequently drew on sporting analogies in his letters.

In those days there were the games at Olympia,

but also the Isthmian games in Corinth.

Time after time St Paul used sporting analogies

to underline the sheer dedication and team effort required

if we are to succeed, together,

in the race that is set before us as Christians.

He likened athletes’ quest for the perishable crown –

- at the ancient games victors were given a wreath of olive leaves –

with the Christian quest for the imperishable crown,

that of eternal life.

Olympian athletes of today compete for medals;

over the last fortnight in interview after interview

without exception those winners acknowledge

the years of work and sacrifice that have led to this moment,

and have all thanked their supporters who have made it possible. They know they couldn’t have done it alone.

Olympic athletes know too that in their pursuit

of the “perishable crown” as St Paul puts it, medals,

nothing must get in the way of their goal.

Their training regimes are punishing.

Sacrifices have to be made.

Those unwilling or unable to do this will be left behind.

Matty Lee, who won gold with Tom Daley

in the 10 metre synchronised diving

in the early days of this year’s Olympics,

said that he credited much of his success to his parents,

Tim and Helen, who ferried him around endlessly

from practice to practice, watching him for hours

in the swimming pool stands.

Who could fail to be inspired by the athletes we’ve seen

these past few days?

Their dedication, their hard work, their enthusiasm;

They are almost without exception radiant in victory

but gracious in defeat.

Those who win a medal embrace those who don’t,

tears are shared and joy is experienced collectively.

Everyone who takes part has been supported by teams of people

who believe in them and have themselves made enormous sacrifices.

All these are inspirational

because they know the cost of reaching their goal,

they take nothing for granted

and they are prepared to work hard to achieve it.

What might we Christians learn from their example?

Saint Paul felt that we who are Christians,

especially if we are “on the starting blocks of our faith,

with a race through life ahead of us” ……

are we prepared to set aside every weight

and the sin that clings so closely,

and run with perseverance the race that is set before us?

Are we ready to make the sacrifices needed to achieve our goal?

The key to this is that we can’t live our Christian faith vicariously.

We aren’t spectators here, we’re participants.

We’re all in training to become spiritual athletes.

I have to step out onto the track and run the race, as do you.

In order to do that, I must accept

that I can’t embark on this endeavour on my own.

We’re in this together.

So how do we Christians set about the pursuit

of the imperishable crown, the medal of eternal life?

If you’ve ever belonged to a gym

or gone to a fitness class of some kind,

you know that it can be awkward the very first time you go

because you don’t know the routine,

you don’t know the moves or positions

so you’re not always sure what to do.

You try to imitate what the instructor is doing in front of you.

You can know see what you’re supposed to do,

but don’t have the strength to do it.

The same thing is true when it comes to living the Christian life;

we can know what we’re supposed to do

but we don’t have the strength,

we haven’t cultivated the discipline and done the training to do it

or worse still, lack the motivation.

In our reading today from Ephesians,

Paul spells out how we as Christian athletes

can compete to the best of our ability

in the race that is set before us:

Never have grudges against others, or lose your temper,

or raise your voice to anybody, or call each other names,

or allow any sort of spitefulness.

Be friends with one another,

and kind, forgiving each other as readily as God forgave you in Christ.

Try, then, to imitate God, as children of his that he loves.

It’s as easy as that!

We are not fated to “always” act or speak certain ways.

We can become more Christ-like, if we train ourselves to be.

Christ is our target, our goal, our finishing line.

The prize awaits – all golden!


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.


For the ability to imitate Christ:

that we may put on the mind and heart of Christ

and be empowered to show compassion and forgiveness to others

For the grace to encounter Christ:

that we may recognise Christ in each person that we meet

and show them dignity and respect

For the grace to forgive: that, having experienced God’s generous

forgiveness to us, we may be free to forgive all who have wronged us

For a new vision of our life journey:

that we may be open to the vision God holds for us

and that we may be free to rely upon God

as we encounter trials, struggles, and doubts

For all who have been wounded by the anger and malice of others:

that God will heal their hearts, renew their spirits,

and free them to live life fully

For relief from the Covid virus: that God will guide researchers to a

better understanding of the virus so that the human family may be

protected and that the sick may be restored to wholeness

For relief from wildfires and drought: that God will help all who are

fighting the wildfires, give strength to those who have evacuated,

and send rain to relieve the areas suffering from drought

For all who have died: that they may share in the fullness of eternal

life to which the Bread of Life introduced them

Rest eternal grant unto them, O Lord,

and let light perpetual shine upon them.

Pray with us, Mary, Mother of God, to the

Father, through your Son, in the power of the Holy Spirit:

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 of heaven and earth,

as Jesus taught his disciples to be persistent in prayer,

give us patience and courage never to lose hope,

but always to bring our prayers before you;

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.

Time to sit quietly to receive the Lord’s Presence spiritually.

“My Jesus, I believe that You are present

in the Most Holy Sacrament of the altar.

I love You above all things,

and I desire to receive You into my soul.

Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally,

come at least spiritually into my heart …

I embrace You as if You were already there

and unite myself wholly to You.

Never permit me to be separated from You,”

Grant, we pray, almighty God,

that we, who glory in the Heart of your beloved Son

and recall the wonders of his love for us,

may be made worthy to receive

an overflowing measure of compassionate grace

from that fount of heavenly gifts.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Silent Prayer

Thanks be to you, Lord Jesus Christ,

for all the benefits you have given me,

for all the pains and insults you have borne for me.

Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I ask you to come spiritually into my heart.

O most merciful redeemer, friend and brother,

may I know you more clearly, love you more dearly,

and follow you more nearly, day by day.

after the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester

Christ, who has nourished us with himself the living bread,

make us one in praise and love,

and raise us up at the last day;

and may 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 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 bless the Lord.

Thanks be to God.

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