Prayers at home for the Sixth Sunday after Trinity.

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

May the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all. Amen.

This is the day that the Lord has made.
Let us rejoice and be glad in it.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you,
you are my God I will extol you.
O give thanks to the Lord for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures for ever. (Ps. 118 : 24, 28-29)

Almighty God,
to whom all hearts are open,
all desires known
and from whom no secrets are hidden:
cleanse the thoughts of our hearts
by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit,
that we may perfectly love you,
and worthily magnify your holy name;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Prayer of Penitence
Our Lord Jesus Christ said: The first commandment is this “Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is the only Lord. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.” The second is this: “Love your neighbour as yourself.” There is no other commandment greater than these. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.
(Matthew 22 : 37-39)

We confess our sins in penitence and faith firmly resolved to keep God’s commandments……

Most merciful God, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we confess that we have sinned in thought, word and deed. We have not loved you with our whole heart. We have not loved our neighbour as ourselves. In your mercy forgive what we have been, help us to amend what we are, and direct what we shall be; that we may do justly, love mercy and walk humbly with you, our God. Amen

May almighty God have mercy on us forgive us our sins and bring us to everlasting life. Amen
Matthew 13 : 24-30
Jesus put a parable before the crowds, ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. While everyone was asleep his enemy came, sowed darnel all among the wheat, and made off. When the new wheat sprouted and ripened, the darnel appeared as well. The owner’s servants went to him and said, “ Sir, was it not good seed that you sowed in your field? If so where does the darnel come from?” “Some enemy has done this “, he answered. And the servants said, “Do you want us to go and weed it out?”. But he said “No, because when you weed out the darnel you might pull up the wheat with it. Let them both grow till the harvest; and at harvest time I shall say to the reapers: First collect the darnel and tie it into bundles to be burnt, then gather the wheat into my barn.” ‘

Father, we give thanks for the Church and for all we receive through its worship, teaching and fellowship. We pray for Bishop Gregory and for the church in our own diocese, for each other and for those who minister among us. Renew us in the Holy Spirit that we may bear witness to Christ’s love for each one of us.
We give thanks for all who serve the nations with integrity and dedication. We pray for our Queen and the government. Bring justice and harmony to all peoples and new opportunities to work together for the common good.
We give thanks for our local community and for all who serve us, and those who cherish us. Strengthen the bonds of trust and respect within families, communities and workplaces.
We give thanks for the health we have and for the skills of those who attend us when we are in need. Bring healing and encouragement to all who suffer from ill-health, pain or frailty
We give thanks for those who have died and whose memory we treasure, grant us with them and all the saints the joy of eternal life, in Christ our Lord. Amen
Our Father.

An Act of Spiritual Communion

My Jesus, I believe that you are in the Blessed Sacrament.
I love you above all things, and I long for you in my soul.
Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally,
come at least spiritually into my heart.
As though you have already come,
I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you;
never permit me to be separated from you. Amen

O God, you are the light of the minds that know you, the life of the souls that love you, and the strength of the wills that serve you: help us to know you that we may truly love you, and so to love you that we may truly serve you; whom to serve is perfect freedom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (St. Augustine)

The Lord bless us and preserve us from all evil and bring us to everlasting life. Amen
Reflection on Matthew 13 : 24-30 & 36-43.

“The kingdom of heaven may be compared to someone who sowed good seed in his field: but while everybody was asleep, an enemy came and sowed weeds among the wheat…”

In our society evil has become rather glamorous. In films, on television, in computer games. Evil has become a source of entertainment. If someone says something is “wicked” they mean it is really good, a desirable thing! Of course, it isn’t like that at all. Evil is all around us, eating away at individuals and communities. Jesus tells his followers that the weeds, like the wheat, grows quietly and unspectacularly. The weeds are difficult to recognise and so the landowner tells his servants to let the wheat and the weeds grow together until they are separated at harvest. Evil is not something “out there”, in another country or in a haunted house. Evil is present in a society which allows people to sleep on the streets or allows families to become so impoverished that they break down: in any society which neglects the care of the young, the sick, the elderly, the vulnerable. Like weeds growing in a wheat field evil grows quietly, choking and weakening all it surrounds. It is present everywhere, if we can only recognise it for what it is.

Now you may say, “Well this is all a bit doom and gloom!” But not at all. St Paul tells us in the Letter to the Romans that we are not powerless against these things. We are not trapped, living “according to the flesh”. We have choices to make every day about whether we choose the good or the bad. God’s grace helps us to choose the good. God will not make us be good….it is always our choice; but he can and does give us the resources and the strength to follow the right path, his path.

In the parable we are told that at the end of the world the virtuous person “will shine like the sun in the kingdom of their Father”. But what does it take to be a righteous person? The Book of Wisdom tells us, “The righteous person must be kind”. Our God is said to judge with mildness and govern with great forbearance. That is the model we should follow. It is a process which begins in our own families and communities and spreads out into the world. We are called to challenge the quiet damage that evil brings to society, to challenge laws and trends which strip our fellow human beings of dignity and of their fair share of resources. To be active and not indifferent.
Someone once said “All that is needed for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing”. What are we doing to pursue righteousness? We have to look at every aspect of our lives, the things we buy, the ways we travel, the jobs we do, how we communicate with each other. We need to consider the effects of all our words and actions. Pursuing righteousness in every way makes God’s Kingdom a reality in us and in the place where God has called us to be.
And where God’s Kingdom is, evil can not be!