Following new guidance by the Diocese, live-streaming from the Church is at the moment not allowed. Today's prayers, readings and reflections are available below.
TRINITY I SUNDAY 14th JUNE
PSALM 100 Jubilate Deo
O be joyful in the Lord, all ye lands:serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.
Be ye sure that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.
O go your way into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and speak good of his Name.
For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is everlasting: and his truth endureth from generation to generation.
O God, the strength of those who put their trust in you, mercifully accept our prayers and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without you, grant us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
Exodus 19:2-8a, Romans 5:1-8, Matthew 9:35-10:23.
Christ our Great Shepherd, look with compassion on the peoples of the world. Have mercy on those who have been wounded and scattered by war or who face persecution because of their race or religion. Lead them into the secure fold of your love.
We pray for our leaders and especially for Elizabeth our Queen.
We pray for the sick and for all,,who like the first disciples, have a mission to bring healing. We pray for Charlie Chesser, Otto Lein and Bill Scott.
We pray for those who have died and especially for Samir Germanos the anniversary of whose death falls at this time.Grant them peaceful rest and resurrection in glory.
"You received without payment, give without payment." Matthew 10:8
This week, after three months or so, many shops will reopen. We shall once again get the chance to spend and no doubt bargains will appear to be had. "Buy one get one free!". We may not need two bags of apples or two bottles of shampoo, but who can resist a free gift? We all like to think that we are getting something for nothing, even when we know that it is all a ploy on the part of the shops to make us spend more than we intended.
But what about giving something for nothing? That is a different matter. We live in a world in which we expect to get what we pay for and to be rewarded for what we do.
The message of the Gospel is an outrageous one. It goes against what we take to be human nature. It is hard to believe, hard to act upon. In Christ God bestows on us love and forgiveness which is entirely free and unearned. And the response God seeks from us is love and forgiveness towards others which is also entirely free and unearned.
As Jesus sends out his disciples on their mission he says to them, "You received without payment; give without payment". They are to tell their own people that the long-awaited Messiah had come, the Kingdom of Heaven is here. And they are to demonstrate the presence of the Kingdom by their actions. They are to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. These things are not just about individual well-being, but about the wholeness of the community. The sick, the dead, the mad - all are people set apart from the community to which they belong, being contagious or ritually unclean or frightening. Restoring them restores the health of the whole community.
Healing, raising the dead, wrestling with and expelling evil. Quite a tall order. But perhaps hardest of all, because it goes against our nature, is this giving without payment. They are not setting off to do a job that will earn a good salary. They are not to expect fame or even gratitude for what they are to do. They are to heal people only because they know that they themselves have been healed, motivated by gratitude and love.
There is no reward for doing the work of the Kingdom. There may be hardship and danger. Matthew's first readers would have known all about the cost of discipleship. Disciples are not to expect payment, recognition, fame or fortune. What is done is done out of gratitude. Having been given so much the only possible response is to give in return. "You received without payment;give without payment". Grace is not cheap, it is free.
When we receive the sacrament, which, please God, we shall again do together as a community before many more weeks, we recall the broken body and spilt blood of Christ, broken and poured out for us.At the end of mass we are told to go, to go in peace and to go with a purpose. Having experienced a demonstration of God's love it is for us to live out the Gospel as best we can in the particular circumstances in which we find ourselves. But remember, we do not have to earn God's love. It is ours whatever we do.