O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
you search us and know us:
may we rely on you in strength
and rest on you in weakness,
now and in all our days;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Come, my children, and listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
Who is there who delights in life
and longs for days to enjoy good things?
Keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from lying words.
Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.
The eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous
and his ears are open to their cry.
The face of the Lord is against those who do evil,
to root out the remembrance of them from the earth.
The righteous cry and the Lord hears them
and delivers them out of all their troubles.
The Lord is near to the brokenhearted
and will save those who are crushed in spirit.
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.
After leaving the synagogue Jesus entered Simon’s house. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was suffering from a high fever, and they asked him about her. Then he stood over her and rebuked the fever, and it left her. Immediately she got up and began to serve them.
As the sun was setting, all those who had any who were sick with various kinds of diseases brought them to him; and he laid his hands on each of them and cured them. Demons also came out of many, shouting, ‘You are the Son of God!’ But he rebuked them and would not allow them to speak, because they knew that he was the Messiah.
At daybreak he departed and went into a deserted place. And the crowds were looking for him; and when they reached him, they wanted to prevent him from leaving them. But he said to them, ‘I must proclaim the good news of the kingdom of God to the other cities also; for I was sent for this purpose.’ So he continued proclaiming the message in the synagogues of Judea.
Jesus said: I must proclaim the good news of the Kingdom of God … for I was sent for this purpose.
What does the word ‘calling’, or ‘vocation’, mean to you? There are several professions that are commonly described as ‘callings’ or ‘vocations’. Doctors, nurses and teachers are often described as having a ‘vocation’. The whole language or selection for ordination into the priesthood is wrapped up in the language of ‘calling’ and ‘vocation’. Other professions have also come to be described in this way. It is as though these words give a dignity to a person’s role in society. Although, I did once hear it said that having one’s job described in this way was a justification for paying a lower salary!
The thing that the descriptive words ‘calling’ and ‘vocation’ have in common is their recognition that most who work in such fields are dedicated to the well-being and flourishing of others. Those who are ‘called’ are seen as being self-sacrificial in the way they work and behave. Those who declare themselves to be following a ‘vocation’ are afforded a level of respect that is not given to those who are viewed as ‘merely doing a job’.
Jesus had a certainty about his calling that was unshakeable. Jesus knew that God had called him to take God’s message into every corner of the world. We are called to do the same. At the end of Matthew’s gospel (Matthew 28:19) Jesus issues his great commission: Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. As Jesus left this world to take his rightful place in heaven, he passed on his mission to others … to us!
This calling is, of course, different from that of doctors, nurses, teachers, priests and all the others. There is no uniform and no career structure. There is not a course of compulsory training to be undertaken. This calling is about faith and truth. The calling into faithful discipleship is about entering into an intimate relationship of trust with Jesus Christ, our risen Saviour and Lord, and then sharing your experience of that relationship with others. We are not called to elaborate and distort Jesus’ message, but we are called to use our God-given talents to make our experiences exciting and engaging. We are called to be ambassadors for God … just as the human Jesus was all those years ago.
Let us pray that we might hear God’s call in our lives. Let us pray that we might enter into the joy of a close relationship with Jesus, who came to earth to save us all. Let us be so excited and inspired that we might never hesitate in sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ with others.
Prayers of intercession
Let us pray for the healing of all ills in the Church and in the world.
May the Church ever proclaim the message of salvation and bring to others the new life which is in Christ. May she receive in love all who come to her with their needs.
We pray for all who are worn down by the weight of responsibility, those who are under stress in their work and their relationships. Give them the wisdom to draw apart, the grace to be still and find new strength in the presence of God.
Bless us in our families, and with our friends and neighbours, to care for the sick and help the weak. May our homes be open and welcoming.
Have compassion on those who are suffering from illness or injury, bring them relief and give skill to all who work for healing. Comfort and uphold those who care for the sick in their own homes.
We give thanks for the departed who are free from pain and weakness and are made whole in the life of heaven. May we in our time be granted the same mercy.
We pray in the name of Christ, the divine Healer.
Prayer for the week
Grant, O Lord,
that your love may so fill our lives
that we may count
nothing too small to do for you,
nothing too much to give,
and nothing too hard to bear,
for Jesus Christ’s sake.
The Lord’s Prayer
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.
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.