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  • Writer's picturePhil

Spiritual Mass on the 29th Sunday

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

“Teach us, good Lord, to serve you as you deserve; To give and not to count the cost; To labour and not to ask for any reward Save that of knowing that we do your will.”

Where our service has been lacking,

let us confess our sins in penitence and faith.

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: Let us pray.

Almighty ever-living God,

grant that we may always conform our will to yours

and serve your majesty in sincerity of heart.

Through our Lord Jesus Christ, your Son,

who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit,

God, for ever and ever. Amen.

THE FIRST READING Hebrews 4:14-16

Since in Jesus, the Son of God,

we have the supreme high priest

who has gone through to the highest heaven,

we must never let go of the faith that we have professed.

For it is not as if we had a high priest

who was incapable of feeling our weaknesses with us;

but we have one who has been tempted

in every way that we are, though he is without sin.

Let us be confident, then, in approaching the throne of grace,

that we shall have mercy from him

and find grace when we are in need of help.

The word of the Lord.

Thanks be to God.


May your love be upon us, O Lord

as we place all our hope in you.

The word of the Lord is faithful

and all his works to be trusted.

The Lord loves justice and right

and fills the earth with his love.

May your love be upon us, O Lord

as we place all our hope in you.

The Lord looks on those who revere him,

on those who hope in his love,

to rescue their souls from death,

to keep them alive in famine.

May your love be upon us, O Lord

as we place all our hope in you.

Our soul is waiting for the Lord.

The Lord is our help and our shield.

May your love be upon us, O Lord,

as we place all our hope in you.

May your love be upon us, O Lord

as we place all our hope in you.

GOSPEL ACCLAMATION Alleluia, alleluia!

I am the Way, the Truth and the Life, says the Lord;

No one can come to the Father except through me.


GOSPEL - Mark 10.35-45

James and John, the sons of Zebedee, approached Jesus. “Master,” they said to him, “we want you to do us a favour.”

He said to them, “What is it you want me to do for you?”

They said to him, “Allow us to sit one at your right hand

and the other at your left in your glory.”

“You do not know what you are asking” Jesus said to them.

“Can you drink the cup that I must drink,

or be baptised with the baptism with which I must be baptised?” They replied, “We can.” Jesus said to them,

“The cup that I must drink you shall drink,

and with the baptism with which I must be baptised

you shall be baptised, but as for seats at my right hand or my left,

these are not mine to grant;

they belong to those to whom they have been allotted.”

When the other ten heard this they began to feel indignant

with James and John, so Jesus called them to him and said to them,

“You know that among the pagans their so-called rulers

lord it over them, and their great men make their authority felt.

This is not to happen among you.

No; anyone who wants to become great among you

must be your servant,

and anyone who wants to be first among you must be slave to all. For the Son of Man himself did not come to be served

but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”



India - The country itself is vast, over-populated, chaotic,

and the air is full of pollution, smells – some good, some awful.

My very first day there in November 2001,

I arrived with a small group of people

from an organisation called “Christians Aware”.

A small minibus met us at the over-crowded airport,

the air so thick with pollution you could see it.

We were taken through the crowded streets of rush-hour Chennai

amidst manic, noisy traffic.

8am in the morning, the temperature was already in the 30s;

the air conditioning was open windows,

and whenever we stopped (which was many times)

begging hands were thrust at us, demanding rupees.

I wanted to go home.

That was until the second day,

when I found myself amongst people

who looked out for each other,

were over-generous in hospitality,

and who went out of their way to look after my welfare.

When I came back home to the UK I was nauseatingly-enthusiastic

about what I had seen and experienced.

In short – my experience of the relatively-small Christian community

in India was of service given without counting the cost.

People with not much themselves,

giving out of their limitations with a limitless generosity.

The Church in India is in good heart; 25 million out of 1.3 billion is small, but everywhere, on billboards on buses, on lorries,

the image of the Sacred Heart and of Saint Teresa of Calcutta,

was to be seen,

and that is the image of the Christian Church in today’s India.

In a culture where bribes are expected by many,

I was most-moved when a Christian railway employee

gave me generously of his time

to help sort-out a problem I had with rail tickets

for a party that accompanied me on the most-recent visit.

I went to “cross his palm” with rupees for his time and trouble,

and he replied “I am only doing my duty”, and refused the tip.

“Only doing his duty” this week, was Sir David Amess.

We recoil in shock that such an atrocity has taken place.

Sir David was “only doing his duty”….. a man who was guided,

not only with a deep sense of duty towards his constituents,

but that underpinned by a strongly-held faith and Catholic practice.

The contrast between his faith in a Servant-Saviour,

and the fundamentalist motivation of his killer, is vast.

Fundamentalism, whether Islamic or Christian,

has nothing to do with service.

Our Gospel reading today makes it perfectly clear

that the Christian faith centres on service as its only ambition.

….. and the disciples really hadn’t grasped that.

Peter had it in mind that he was the “top-dog” disciple,

now James and John were muscling-in

on the prime-ministerial places.

Jesus wanted them to be ambitious, but for true greatness,

which is not about big heads but big hearts.

And Jesus had begun to show them what God’s love was like,

but they just didn’t get it.

Their feet had not yet been washed

and the King had not been crowned with thorns.

They did not yet understood that love is self-emptying,

that true greatness lies in sacrifice,

that “prime minister” means “first servant,” the servant of all.

“There are more Christians being imprisoned or killed today

than in the early centuries of the Church.

Whilst these martyrs represent the greatest example

of giving one’s life to Christ, there are also ‘everyday martyrs’

who are not killed but who lose their lives for Jesus

by giving up their own egos and desires to serve others.”

Pope Francis

Pope Francis goes on: “Our goal is not to proselytise

but to listen to needs, desires and disappointments,

despair and hope. We must restore hope to young people,

comfort the elderly, be open to the future,

and spread the love of the Servant Christ.

Pursue goodness, fight evil;

This will be enough to make the world a better place.”

Jesus’s blueprint for true discipleship then,

is ours for now & the future.

Jesus calls us, calls our Church, calls the C of E, to servanthood.

Like Jesus himself, the Church is just a servant,

called “just to do its duty”

P.S. - St. James was the first of the apostles

to drink the cup of suffering, the first to “drink the cup of suffering”.

Teach us, good Lord to serve thee as thou deservest, to give and not to count the cost; to fight and not to heed the wounds; to toil and not to seek for rest; to labour and not to ask for any reward; except that of knowing that we do thy will. Amen.


I believe in God, the Father almighty, Creator of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord, (we bow). who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended into hell; on the third day he rose again from the dead; he ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there 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 life everlasting. Amen.


We give you thanks and praise, O God, for you alone know the secrets of the universe and you alone know who is to be honoured in glory. You set the earth on its foundations; Your creative power is beyond our comprehension and your purposes in the world can only be glimpsed. Yet you have come among us in your Son, Jesus Christ. He came as a servant of all and laboured and prayed with us for the release of all who are held hostage to sin and death. When tyrants rose against him, he drank the cup of suffering and was plunged into the baptism of death, but you raised him to new life, and designated him a high priest forever, making him the source of eternal salvation for us and all who respond to your gracious call.

Bring to mind your own reasons for thanksgiving

and people and situations in need of prayer.

We ask Mary to pray with us for our intentions:

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.

Lord Jesus Christ, you have taught us

that what we do for the least of our brothers and sisters

we do also for you: give us the will to be the servant of others

as you were the servant of all, and gave up your life and died for us,

This we ask in the name of the same Jesus Christ our Lord. 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.

PSALM 23 The Lord is my shepherd; therefore can I lack nothing.

He makes me lie down in green pastures

and leads me beside still waters.

He shall refresh my soul

and guide me in the paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.

Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,

I will fear no evil; for you are with me;

your rod and your staff, they comfort me.

You spread a table before me

in the presence of those who trouble me;

you have anointed my head with oil

and my cup shall be full.

Surely goodness and loving mercy

shall follow me all the days of my life,

and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.


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 presence.

Feed me with your body

and unite me in your blood,

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

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. Amen.


May Our Lord Jesus Christ,

who humbled Himself in taking the form of a servant,

and in obedience died on the cross for our salvation:

give you the courage to follow Him

and to proclaim Him as Lord and King;

and the blessing of almighty God,

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

come down upon you and remain with you 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.

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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