Sunday Eucharist prayers, readings and reflections are available below.
TRINITY XI SUNDAY 23 AUGUST
"'Thou art the Christ, O Lord,
The Son of God most high!'
For ever be adored
That name in earth and sky,
In which, though mortal strength may fail,
The saints of God at last prevail."
O God you declare your almighty power most chiefly in shewing mercy and pity;mercifully grant to us such a measure of your grace, that we, running the way of your commandments, may receive your gracious promises, and be made partakers of your heavenly treasure;through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord.
Romans 12:1-8, Matthew 16:13-20.
- Lord strengthen your church that she may be firm in faith from generation to generation.
- Give grace to our leaders so that they fulfil their duty on the firm foundation of justice and truth.
- May the sick and afflicted, the lonely, the homeless and refugees and those who are near to death receive comfort and hope.
We pray especially for Paul Evans and Gerald Lewis.
- We give thanks for those to whom the gates of the Kingdom of Heaven have been opened and who rejoice with Our Lady St Mary, St Peter
and all God's faithful people.
"You are Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church." Matthew 16:18.
Nicknames serve all kinds of purposes. Some are teasing, like all those people who are called "Tiny" because they are not. Some are descriptive - often unkindly so. Some just come from mispronunciations which stick.
, he could always be relied upon to put his foot in it.Indeed almost as soon as Jesus has given Peter his new name he is in trouble. He tries to teach Jesus his job. Proud of himself for being brave enough to name Jesus as the Messiah, Peter must have been immensely relieved when Jesus accepted the title and commended him for his insight. But that moment of triumph seems to have gone to his head, seems to have given him the idea that he knew best about Jesus' vocation. Jesus kept going on about suffering. Peter takes him aside to explain what the Messiah does and does not do.
Suddenly Peter is another kind of rock, the sort you might trip over!
Peter's nickname lasted a long time. St Paul calls him Cephas, the Rock, with about exactly the same mixture of admiration and exasperation that we sense Jesus felt. With regard to the mission of the church Paul saw Peter as both bedrock and stumbling block.
But in the long run this nickname was utterly appropriate. Jesus was both teasing and prophetic when he said that Peter was the rock on whom the church was to be built. Peter has the humility to come back to Jesus after he has betrayed him. He has the courage to face the risen Jesus, relying on his love and forgiveness. Peter followed Jesus for the rest of his life and to the sort of death that he had tried to persude Jesus to avoid. He earned his nickname.
Perhaps the church has all the same characteristics as Peter, the rock on whom she was founded. We are a strange mixture of the kind of rock you can rely on and the kind of rock that will trip you up. We need to own up to our failures and seek forgiveness from Christ, who always forgives us and goes on trusting us and building on us. Perfection is not a necessary prerequisite for being a disciple of Jesus.
Peter is not the rock because he always got the right answer, or made the right choice, or understood what God was doing. He is the rock because that is what Jesus called him to be. To be worthy successors of Peter that is all we have to sign up for: to be prepared to let Jesus call us by name. We are unlikely to be perfect disciples, but if Jesus calls us by name and we respond we are being true to our vocation and can indeed be rocks on whom the church can be built.