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SPIRITUAL MASS O25b




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


As we rest in this stillness, in the pausing, in the quiet,

we cannot avoid what we are not:

Our faults, our lack of faith,

our lack of vision and of action,

our lack of trust – all these bubble to the surface.

You, Loving God, see who we are, and still stand by us,

offering hope and forgiveness. Silence is kept.


Let us bring to mind our failings,

and pray for help as we try to be

better followers of Our Blessed Lord.



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.


THE GLORIA


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.




THE COLLECT FOR THE DAY


O God, who founded all the commands of your sacred Law

upon love of you and of our neighbour,

grant that, by keeping your precepts,

we may merit to attain eternal life.

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 - Wisdom 2:12. 17-20


The godless say to themselves, “Let us lie in wait for the virtuous man,

since he annoys us and opposes our way of life,

reproaches us for our breaches of the law

and accuses us of playing false to our upbringing.

Let us see if what he says is true,

let us observe what kind of end he himself will have.

If the virtuous man is God’s son, God will take his part

and rescue him from the clutches of his enemies.

Let us test him with cruelty and with torture,

and thus explore this gentleness of his

and put his endurance to the proof.

Let us condemn him to a shameful death

since he will be looked after – we have his word for it.”

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.



RESPONSORIAL PSALM Ps. 53 (54) verses 3-6 + v.8


The Lord upholds my life


O God, save me by your name;

by your power, uphold my cause.

O God, hear my prayer;

listen to the words of my mouth.

The Lord upholds my life


For proud men have risen against me,

ruthless men seek my life.

They have no regard for God.

The Lord upholds my life


But I have God for my help.

The Lord upholds my life.

I will sacrifice to you with willing heart

and praise your name for it is good.

The Lord upholds my life


SECOND READING - A reading from the letter of St James. (James 3:16-4:3)


Wherever you find jealousy and ambition, you find disharmony,

and wicked things of every kind being done;

whereas the wisdom that comes down from above

is essentially something pure; it also makes for peace,

and is kindly and considerate; it is full of compassion and shows itself

by doing good; nor is there any trace of partiality or hypocrisy in it.


Peacemakers, when they work for peace,

sow the seeds which will bear fruit in holiness.

Where do these wars and battles between yourselves first start?

Isn’t it precisely in the desires fighting inside your own selves?

You want something and you haven’t got it; so you are prepared to kill.

You have an ambition that you cannot satisfy;

so you fight to get your way by force.

Why you don’t have what you want is because you don’t pray for it;

when you do pray and don’t get it, it is because you have not prayed properly,

you have prayed for something to indulge your own desires.

The word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


GOSPEL ACCLAMATION cf.Jn 6:68


Alleluia, alleluia! I am the light of the world, says the Lord,

anyone who follows me will have the light of life Alleluia!




GOSPEL - Mark 9:30-37. After leaving the mountain Jesus and his disciples

made their way through Galilee; and he did not want anyone to know,

because he was instructing his disciples; he was telling them,

“The Son of Man will be delivered into the hands of men;

they will put him to death; and three days after he has been put to death

he will rise again.” But they did not understand what he said

and were afraid to ask him.


They came to Capernaum, and when he was in the house

he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the road?”

They said nothing because they had been arguing which of them

was the greatest. So he sat down, called the Twelve to him and said,

“If anyone wants to be first, he must make himself last of all

and servant of all.”


He then took a little child, set him in front of them, put his arms round him,

and said to them, “Anyone who welcomes one of these little children

in my name, welcomes me; and anyone who welcomes me welcomes not me

but the one who sent me.”


The Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ.



HOMILY


A funeral at which I was officiating a couple of months ago,

one of the chief mourners and I engaged in conversation,

who turned out to be someone with a leadership role

at “Hope Church”, in, of course. Middle Brook Street.

“We’re faith-neighbours!” I said to him.

“I’m retired, but privileged to assist at Holy Trinity

in Upper Brook Street, along with others”.


His next question was “How many do you get on a Sunday morning?”, after which he proudly volunteered the information

that “Hope Church” membership is something in four figures.


There are those who would say that numbers,

a church membership that runs into hundreds and thousands,

souls saved daily for Jesus,

that these are signs of high status in the Kingdom of God.

I don’t recall Jesus saying this.

At the foot of the Cross, when the chips were down,

Church membership had plummeted

down to His Mother, Mary Magdalen, and John the Beloved.


How do you measure greatness?

How did the Disciples measure greatness?


The Gospel reading today is one of those revealing moments

where we see the disciples struggle to understand who Jesus is

and what following Him means.

Even those who walked with Jesus while He was living

didn't get it right all the time.


“What were you arguing about on the road?” Jesus asked.

The disciples reacted like children caught whispering in a classroom by the teacher. Mark reports,

“They said nothing”, Mark reports,

“because they had been arguing which of them was the greatest.”

Clearly they hadn’t understood the serious news Jesus shared,

how He would be betrayed, killed, and rise again….

but the disciples had no idea what Jesus was talking about (vv31-32).


Jesus takes another approach.

He shares His vision of the Kingdom of God:

whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all (v35).

The word for Servant that Jesus used

was similar to the word for “little child”.


He then took a little child, set him in front of them,

put his arms round him, and said to them,

“Anyone who welcomes one of these little children in my name,

welcomes me;


Children and servants were low in status,

so by welcoming and embracing a child or a servant,

Jesus made a clear statement to the disciples

about true greatness.


The greatest in the Kingdom

are those who display childlike qualities;

the least in the Kingdom are those who display childish qualities.


Childlike qualities – Children are naturally receptive and open,

with a natural desire to learn and to discover –

that is to be child-like.

To see the world with fresh and innocent eyes,

to discover the good in any and every situation,

to greet the sights and sounds of this God-given creation

with joy and wonder; –

that is childlike, Kingdom of God behaviour


Today is Battle of Britain Sunday,

when we remember the bravery of those

who were prepared to stand against

the dangerous childishness of the Third Reich.

To this day, we still fight against the forces of childishness….

Taliban, China, Russia…….such childishness is dangerous.


Greatness is childlike, making room for the least,

embracing those who are smallest, those on the margins,

and by so doing, embracing God Himself.


This is the paradox of God's wisdom:

the last will be first; the least will be the greatest,

and that those whom society does not value

are deeply valued by God.


May this church, Holy Trinity, be a gateway to the Kingdom;


Make, we pray, the door of this Church

wide enough to welcome all who need human love and fellowship and a Father’s care;

but narrow enough to shut out all

envy, pride, and lack of love.

Here may the temped find help,

the sorrowing receive comfort,

the careless be awakened to repentance,

and the penitent be assured of your mercy;

and here may all your children renew their strength

and go on their way in hope and joy;

through Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen




NICENE CREED


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.


THE PRAYER OF THE FAITHFUL (Bidding Prayers)


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

through Christ the Saviour of the world.

For all who have lost hope or who are isolated from family and friends:

that they may experience God’s presence with them today

and recognize someone’s love for them

Lord, hear us.


For all who are working to aid those in need,

particularly firefighters and rescue workers:

that God will give them strength, wisdom, and protection from harm

Lord, hear us.


For all who are unemployed or underemployed:

that God will open opportunities for them to use their gifts and talents

for the good of society, and not allow their time and energy to be idled away

Lord, hear us.


For all who are suffering persecution for their faith:

that God will protect them from harm and help them

to give faithful witness to the Gospel

Lord, hear us.


For all who are approaching death, those with terminal illness,

and those who care for them:

Lord, hear us.


For greater stewardship of creation: that God will impel our hearts

to oppose the misuse of earth's resources and empower us to work tirelessly

to protect the magnificence of nature for future generations.

Lord, hear us.


For those for whom joy seems far away; the lonely, for bereaved people

hurting from the death of someone they have loved;

…for wives, husbands and children, whose lives have been broken

by family break-up, divorce and the dismantling of their hopes.

…for older people now living on their own;

Lord, hear us.




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.


Be with us all, Lord:

in all our daily struggles as we seek to follow you.

Be with us all, Lord:

in our periods of doubt and despair;

and in our times of happiness, health and loving.

Be with us all, Lord:

until that time when in your in your Kingdom of Love

our joy will know no end:


Merciful Father,

accept these prayers for the sake of your Son,

our Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION




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.


Lord Jesus Christ, who said to your Apostles:

Peace I leave you, my peace I give you,

look not on our sins, but on the faith of your Church,

and graciously grant her peace and unity

in accordance with your will.

Who live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.


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.


SPIRITUAL COMMUNION





Lord Jesus Christ, eternal Son of God;

I believe that You are truly present in the most Blessed Sacrament of the altar.

I worship Your unseen sacramental presence with all the powers of my soul.

I love You above all things, and I earnestly desire

to receive Your life-giving, healing grace.


Since I am not now about to receive You sacramentally in Holy Communion,

I ask You to come spiritually into my soul,

and to bestow on me all the graces which flow from Your Sacred Heart.


I unite myself to You, as fully as I am able,

and I ask that with the help of Your grace I may remain united to You,

my greatest good, my final end.


I ask You to sustain me in this life with Your presence,

and then, when this life is over, to receive me into the joys of Your Kingdom,

where with the Father and the Holy Spirit,

You live and reign for ever and ever. Amen.



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


Soul of Christ, sanctify me;

Body of Christ, save me;

Blood of Christ, inebriate me;

Water from the side of Christ, wash me;

Passion of Christ, strengthen me;

O good Jesus hear me;

Within your wounds hide me;

separated from you, let me never be;

From the evil one protect me;

At the hour of my death, call me;

And close to you bid me;

That with your saints,

I may praise you for ever and ever.





THE BLESSING


Eternal light shine in our hearts.

Eternal goodness deliver us from evil.

Eternal power be our support.

Eternal wisdom scatter the darkness of our ignorance.

Eternal pity have mercy on us

that with all our heart and mind and soul and strength

we may seek Your face

and be brought by Your infinite mercy

into Your holy presence;

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 ANGELUS


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.