O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
revive your Church in our day,
and make her holy, strong and faithful,
for your glory’s sake
in Jesus Christ our Lord.
They grieved him with their hill altars
and provoked him to displeasure with their idols.
God heard and was greatly angered,
and utterly rejected Israel.
He forsook the tabernacle at Shiloh,
the tent of his presence on earth.
He gave the ark of his strength into captivity,
his splendour into the adversary’s hand.
He delivered his people to the sword
and raged against his inheritance.
The fire consumed their young men;
there was no one to lament their maidens.
Their priests fell by the sword,
and their widows made no lamentation.
Glory to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Spirit;
as it was in the beginning, is now and shall be for ever. Amen.
Matthew 18.21 – 19.1
Peter came and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
‘For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow-slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, “Pay what you owe.” Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he should pay the debt. When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he should pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
When Jesus had finished saying these things, he left Galilee and went to the region of Judea beyond the Jordan.
This is the word of the Lord.
Let us pray to God, trusting in his mercy to all who call upon him in faith.
Guard the Church from too much concern for lesser things. Grant us grace to keep reverence and order but to seek first the salvation of souls.
May those who work in the world of finance be just and compassionate in their dealings. Give them wisdom, and the grace to use their skill not as an end but for the welfare of all.
Give us tolerance as we live and work with others. Since none can live to themselves alone, help us to care for our community.
Have mercy on all distressed by debt or financial worry. Turn by grace the hearts of those who oppress the poor and needy.
Have mercy, even at the last, on the greedy and unforgiving. Help us so to forgive that in the hour of death we may be forgiven.
In the spirit of forgiving, as we trust to be forgiven, we offer these our prayers.
in whose service lies perfect freedom:
teach us to obey you
with loving hearts and steadfast wills;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Let us pray with confidence as our Saviour has taught us
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 thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ,
and the love of God,
and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit,
be with us all evermore. Amen.