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  • Writer's picturePhil


In the name of the Father, and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

In our Epistle reading, Jesus says to Saint Paul

"My grace is sufficient for you,

for power is made perfect in weakness.”

May the Lord forgive us the times

when we depend upon our own strength,

to do things our way, rather than put our trust in Him.

Let us examine ourselves and confess our sins..

A brief pause for silence follows

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

O God, who in the abasement of your Son

have raised up a fallen world,

fill your faithful with holy joy,

for on those you have rescued from slavery to sin

you bestow eternal gladness.

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: 2 Corinthians chapter 12, verses 7-10

In view of the extraordinary nature of these revelations,

to stop me from getting too proud I was given a thorn in the flesh,

an angel of Satan to beat me and stop me from getting too proud!

About this thing, I have pleaded with the Lord three times

for it to leave me, but he has said,

“My grace is enough for you: my power is at its best in weakness.”

So I shall be very happy to make my weaknesses my special boast

so that the power of Christ may stay over me,

and that is why I am quite content with my weaknesses,

and with insults, hardships, persecutions,

and the agonies I go through for Christ’s sake.

For it is when I am weak that I am strong.

Responsorial Psalm 122

Our eyes are on the Lord till he show us his mercy.

To you have I lifted up my eyes,

you who dwell in the heavens:

my eyes, like the eyes of slaves

on the hand of their lords.

Our eyes are on the Lord till he show us his mercy.

Like the eyes of a servant

on the hand of his mistress,

so our eyes are on the Lord our God

till he show us his mercy.

Our eyes are on the Lord till he show us his mercy.

Have mercy on us, Lord, have mercy.

We are filled with contempt.

Indeed all too full is our soul with the scorn of the rich,

with the proud man’s disdain.

Our eyes are on the Lord till he show us his mercy.


Alleluia, alleluia!

The Word was made flesh and lived among us;

to all who did accept him he gave power

to become children of God. Alleluia!

A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark.

Jesus went to his home town and his disciples accompanied him.

With the coming of the sabbath he began teaching in the synagogue

and most of them were astonished when they heard him.

They said, “Where did the man get all this?

What is this wisdom that has been granted him, and these miracles that are worked through him?

This is the carpenter, surely, the son of Mary,

the brother of James and Joset and Jude and Simon?

His sisters, too, are they not here with us?”

And they would not accept him.

And Jesus said to them,

“A prophet is only despised in his own country

among his own relations and in his own house”;

and he could work no miracle there,

though he cured a few sick people by laying his hands on them.

He was amazed at their lack of faith.

The Gospel of the Lord.

HOMILY The people of Nazareth thought they knew Jesus.

They remembered him as one of their own,

an ordinary person in an ordinary job.

He’d been away to prepare for the next stage,

not at university or at a skills-based training establishment,

but in the Wilderness,

were he literally “faced his demons”.

Tis morning, we hear graphically from Saint Paul,

how he too had to face his demons….

he describes the experience in terms

of a struggle with a thorn in the flesh, which he attributes to Satan;

Paul had no choice but to face his demons.

There is speculation as to what this “thorn in the flesh” might be.

an eye condition is a likely one.

At the end of his letter to the Galatians he says:

Paul intended when toward the end of his letter to the Galatians

he remarks, “observe with what large letters I write to you with my

own hand” - Cataracts, for instance, then untreatable, would have

been well-referred to as a “thorn in the flesh” to the avid writer Paul.

“A bald-headed, hunch-backed bow-legged short man,

a big nose, and an unbroken eyebrow that lay across his forehead

like a dead caterpillar.” – a paraphrase of his contemporary

Saint Clement of Rome. His physical looks and disablements

in themselves would have been “a thorn in the flesh”

to the proud St Paul.

Perhaps even St Clement of Rome could have qualified as

“thorn-in-flesh material”

Whatever it was, Paul prayed earnestly to the Lord to be rid

of this “thorn”, and the answer –

“I’ll give you the strength to live with it”

So the challenge of Paul to us today –

to identify and name our own thorn in the flesh.

Is it a disability, a short-coming which you find debilitating;

clinical depression, anxiety, OCD;

obsessive or addictive behaviour?

Anger management? Envy / jealousy problems?

We could well do with praying about them;

but the answer would most-likely be the same as Paul received –

“I won’t remove it, I can't remove it - it's a part of you,

but I’ll give you the strength to live with it.”

Creating and eternal God, whose grace is sufficient for us,

and whose power is made perfect in vulnerability.

In our weakness and insufficiency,

we offer our lives, our strengths and weaknesses,

and ask you to help us work through that which holds us back,

that we may go forward with resolve,

to assist in the work for which you have prepared us,



Lord of all compassion

We pray for all of those caught up in the midst of tragedy or disaster.

For those who have lost life and those working to save life

For those who are worried for people they love

For those who will see their loved ones no longer

For those in need of the peace that passes all understanding

For all who turn to you in the midst of turmoil

For those who cry out to you in fear and in love

For those in confusion and those in despair

For those whose tears are yet to dry

For those in need of your unending love

I offer you my thoughts, words, deeds and all that I am.

I ask that Mary might add her prayers to my intentions, and for all for whom I pray:

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.

Creator God, you made us all in your image: may we discern you in all that we see, and serve you in all that we do;

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

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


Sit for a moment in silence

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 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,”

“To find oneself confronted by a piece of bread,

and then to be told that this is the presence of Jesus,

involves an act of faith: reason is inadequate.

This sign of bread both conceals and points to the presence of Jesus; it is Jesus himself, Son of God and Son of Mary,

Jesus of Bethlehem, of Nazareth, of the Last Supper,

Jesus of Calvary, Jesus of the Resurrection;

Jesus – the same yesterday, today and the same for ever.

Jesus, the Bread – the Window that opens on to the invisible.”

Carlo Carretto – “In Search of the Beyond”

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

where the Holy Eucharist is now being celebrated,

I desire to offer you praise and thanksgiving.

I present to you my soul and body with the earnest wish

that I may always be united to you,

and, since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,

I beseech you to come spiritually into my heart.

I unite myself with you, and embrace you with all the love of my soul.

Let nothing ever separate you from me.

May I live in you, and may you live in me,

both in this life and in the life to come. Amen


God the Holy Trinity make us strong in faith and love,

defend us on every side,

and guide us in truth and peace;

and may the blessing ✠ of Almighty God,

the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,

be upon us, and remain with us always.


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.

Behold the handmaid of the Lord. Be it unto me according to thy word.

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.

And the Word was made flesh. And dwelt amongst us.

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.

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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