O Lord, open our lips
and our mouth shall proclaim your praise.
you made us all in your image:
may we discern you in all that we see,
and serve you in all that we do;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
They crush your people, O Lord,
and afflict your heritage.
They murder the widow and the stranger;
the orphans they put to death.
And yet they say, ‘The Lord will not see,
neither shall the God of Jacob regard it.’
Consider, most stupid of people;
you fools, when will you understand?
He that planted the ear, shall he not hear?
He that formed the eye, shall he not see?
He who corrects the nations, shall he not punish?
He who teaches the peoples, does he lack knowledge?
The Lord knows every human thought,
that they are but a breath.
Jesus said, ‘I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and the intelligent and have revealed them to infants; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. All things have been handed over to me by my Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.’
There are many moments in the life of a priest when you have to pinch yourself and ask God why you have been chosen out of so many who would have been so much better than you.
One of those moments, that recurs time and time again, is when you are travelling with a family that is both mourning the loss of a loved one and preparing a suitable celebration of that dear and precious life. During that journey you find yourself sharing in moments of profound intimacy. People speak with a knowledge and authority that no one else could possibly possess. A surviving spouse, children, siblings, close friends, sometimes parents, each bring their own pieces to construct an elaborate and detailed jigsaw that is absolutely unique.
To be a part of the ‘team’ that constructs such a jigsaw is an incredible and humbling privilege.
In today’s reading we encounter Jesus issuing an invitation that should make our spines tingle. As the human Jesus has grown into the man we know from the gospel narrative, so has developed and matured Jesus’ own certainty of his unique knowledge of and relationship with God. And Jesus invites us to share in the intimacy of the relationship he has with his heavenly Father simply by drawing closer to him. If we become a friend, follower and disciple of Jesus Christ, then we will also become one of those who can truly call God ‘Abba’ (Daddy).
The good thing is that we do not have to watch the post for a special envelope to arrive.
Jesus issued his invitation two thousand years ago.
We just have to RSVP, listen to his words and live the life he has given us to enjoy and to use in his name.
I wonder who we will see at the party?
Prayers of Intercession
Let us pray through the Son to the Father, Lord of heaven and earth.
Keep the Church strong in the law of Christ, resisting the temptation to accept false values. May your people in their generation be truly the children of wisdom.
Have pity on a world full of discontent, restless and finding no lasting satisfaction. Guide into the right way all who desire the good but give way to evil.
Help us to discern and follow the right way in all our relationships. May the knowledge of your truth be known to this community. Give wisdom to those who hold responsibility in it and make them agents of your law of love.
Have mercy on those whose lives are weary and whose burdens are heavy. May they come to know the freedom of trust in Jesus Christ.
We remember those who have been delivered from their mortal bodies. Now that the struggle with sin is over, receive them into your presence.
Secure in the rest that Christ has given, we pray in his name.
Prayer for the week
O Saviour of the world,
lifted up on the cross to draw people
of all races and nations to yourself:
bless the witness of your Church
in this and every place,
and help us to finish the work
you have given us to do
in the world for which you died.
We ask it in your name,
our living and victorious Lord.
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. 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.