Collect Almighty God, you have taught us through your Son that love fulfils the law. May we love you with all our heart, all our soul, all our mind, and all our strength, and may we love our neighbour as ourselves; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE SECOND BOOK OF KINGS Now when the Lord was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel. Then Elijah said to him, “Stay here; for the Lord has sent me to the Jordan.” But he said, “As the Lord lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So the two of them went on. Fifty men of the company of prophets also went, and stood at some distance from them, as they both were standing by the Jordan. Then Elijah took his mantle and rolled it up, and struck the water; the water was parted to the one side and to the other, until the two of them crossed on dry ground. When they had crossed, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double share of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet, if you see me as I am being taken from you, it will be granted you; if not, it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven. Elisha kept watching and crying out, “Father, father! The chariots of Israel and its horsemen!” But when he could no longer see him, he grasped his own clothes and tore them in two pieces. He picked up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood on the bank of the Jordan. He took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, saying, “Where is the Lord, the God of Elijah?” When he had struck the water, the water was parted to the one side and to the other, and Elisha went over. 2 KINGS 2:1-2, 6-14
Psalm REFRAIN I will remember the works of the Lord.
I will cry aloud to God; I will cry aloud, and he will hear me.
In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord; my hands were stretched out by night and did not tire; I refused to be comforted. R
I will remember the works of the Lord, and call to mind your wonders of old time.
I will meditate on all your acts and ponder your mighty deeds. R
Your way, O God, is holy; who is so great a god as our God?
You are the God who works wonders and have declared your power among the peoples. R
By your strength you have redeemed your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph.
The waters saw you, O God; the waters saw you and trembled; the very depths were shaken. R
The clouds poured out water; the skies thundered; your arrows flashed to and fro;
The sound of your thunder was in the whirlwind; your lightnings lit up the world; the earth trembled and shook. R
Your way was in the sea, and your paths in the great waters, yet your footsteps were not seen.
You led your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron. R PSALM 77:1-2, 11-20
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” If, however, you bite and devour one another, take care that you are not consumed by one another. Live by the Spirit, I say, and do not gratify the desires of the flesh. For what the flesh desires is opposed to the Spirit, and what the Spirit desires is opposed to the flesh; for these are opposed to each other, to prevent you from doing what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the law. Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness, idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions, envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God. By contrast, the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. There is no law against such things. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit. GALATIANS 5:1, 13-25
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE When the days drew near for Jesus to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem. And he sent messengers ahead of him. On their way they entered a village of the Samaritans to make ready for him; but they did not receive him, because his face was set toward Jerusalem. When his disciples James and John saw it, they said, “Lord, do you want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?” But he turned and rebuked them. Then they went on to another village. As they were going along the road, someone said to him, “I will follow you wherever you go.” And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes, and birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head.” To another he said, “Follow me.” But he said, “Lord, first let me go and bury my father.” But Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead; but as for you, go and proclaim the kingdom of God.” Another said, “I will follow you, Lord; but let me first say farewell to those at my home.” Jesus said to him, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for the kingdom of God.” LUKE 9:51-62
Prayer over the Gifts God of wisdom, receive all we offer you this day. Enrich our lives with the gifts of your Spirit, that we may follow the way of our Lord Jesus Christ, and serve one another in freedom. We ask this in his name.
Prayer After Communion God of power, we are nourished by the riches of your grace. Raise us to new life in your Son Jesus Christ and fit us for his eternal kingdom, that all the world may call him Lord. We ask this in his name.
Posted on: June 14th, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Readings 1 KINGS 19:1-4 (5-7), 8-15A; PSALM 42 AND 43; GALATIANS 3:23-29; LUKE 8:26-39
Collect O God our defender, storms rage about us and cause us to be afraid. Rescue your people from despair, deliver your sons and daughters from fear, and preserve us all from unbelief; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE FIRST BOOK OF KINGS Ahab told Jezebel all that Elijah had done, and how he had killed all the prophets with the sword. Then Jezebel sent a messenger to Elijah, saying, “So may the gods do to me, and more also, if I do not make your life like the life of one of them by this time tomorrow.” Then he was afraid; he got up and fled for his life, and came to Beer-sheba, which belongs to Judah; he left his servant there. But he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a solitary broom tree. He asked that he might die: “It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life, for I am no better than my ancestors.”
[Then he lay down under the broom tree and fell asleep. Suddenly an angel touched him and said to him, “Get up and eat.” He looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the Lord came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.”]
He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God. At that place he came to a cave, and spent the night there. Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” He said, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the Lord, for the Lord is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a sound of sheer silence. When Elijah heard it, he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood at the entrance of the cave. Then there came a voice to him that said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” He answered, “I have been very zealous for the Lord, the God of hosts; for the Israelites have forsaken your covenant, thrown down your altars, and killed your prophets with the sword. I alone am left, and they are seeking my life, to take it away.” Then the Lord said to him, “Go, return on your way to the wilderness of Damascus.” 1 KINGS 19:1-4 (5-7), 8-15A
Psalm REFRAIN When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
As the deer longs for the water-brooks, so longs my soul for you, O God.
My soul is athirst for God, athirst for the living God; when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while all day long they say to me, “Where now is your God!” R
I pour out my soul when I think on these things: how I went with the multitude and led them into the house of God,
With the voice of praise and thanksgiving, among those who keep holy-day. R
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God. R
My soul is heavy within me; therefore I will remember you from the land of Jordan, and from the peak of Mizar among the heights of Hermon.
One deep calls to another in the noise of your cataracts; all your rapids and floods have gone over me. R
The Lord grants his loving-kindness in the daytime; in the night season his song is with me, a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to the God of my strength, “Why have you forgotten me? and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me?” R
While my bones are being broken, my enemies mock me to my face;
All day long they mock me and say to me, “Where now is your God?” R
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? and why are you so disquieted within me?
Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God. R PSALM 42
REFRAIN When shall I come to appear before the presence of God?
Give judgement for me, O God, and defend my cause against an ungodly people; deliver me from the deceitful and the wicked.
For you are the God of my strength; why have you put me from you? and why do I go so heavily while the enemy oppresses me? R
Send out your light and your truth, that they may lead me, and bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling;
That I may go to the altar of God, to the God of my joy and gladness; and on the harp I will give thanks to you, O God my God.
Why are you so full of heaviness, O my soul? and why are you so disquieted within me? R
Put your trust in God; for I will yet give thanks to him, who is the help of my countenance, and my God. R PSALM 43
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE GALATIANS Now before faith came, we were imprisoned and guarded under the law until faith would be revealed. Therefore the law was our disciplinarian until Christ came, so that we might be justified by faith. But now that faith has come, we are no longer subject to a disciplinarian, for in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith. As many of you as were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus. And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise. GALATIANS 3:23-29
Gospel >THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As he stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes, and he did not live in a house but in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he fell down before him and shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, do not torment me” for Jesus had commanded the unclean spirit to come out of the man. (For many times it had seized him; he was kept under guard and bound with chains and shackles, but he would break the bonds and be driven by the demon into the wilds.) Jesus then asked him, “What is your name?” He said, “Legion”; for many demons had entered him. They begged him not to order them to go back into the abyss. Now there on the hillside a large herd of swine was feeding; and the demons begged Jesus to let them enter these. So he gave them permission. Then the demons came out of the man and entered the swine, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned. When the swineherds saw what had happened, they ran off and told it in the city and in the country. Then people came out to see what had happened, and when they came to Jesus, they found the man from whom the demons had gone sitting at the feet of Jesus, clothed and in his right mind. And they were afraid. Those who had seen it told them how the one who had been possessed by demons had been healed. Then all the people of the surrounding country of the Gerasenes asked Jesus to leave them; for they were seized with great fear. So he got into the boat and returned. The man from whom the demons had gone begged that he might be with him; but Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return to your home, and declare how much God has done for you.” So he went away, proclaiming throughout the city how much Jesus had done for him. LUKE 8:26-39
Prayer over the Gifts Eternal God, you have made our Saviour Jesus Christ the head of all creation. Receive all we offer you this day and renew us in his risen life, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Almighty God, guide and protect your people who share in this sacred mystery, and keep us always in your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Posted on: June 6th, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Readings PROVERBS 8:1-4, 22-31, PSALM 8; ROMANS 5:1-5; JOHN 16:12-15
Collect Father, we praise you: through your Word and Holy Spirit you created all things. You reveal your salvation in all the world by sending to us Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh. Through your Holy Spirit you give us a share in your life and love. Fill us with the vision of your glory, that we may always serve and praise you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF PROVERBS Does not wisdom call, and does not understanding raise her voice? On the heights, beside the way, at the crossroads she takes her stand; beside the gates in front of the town, at the entrance of the portals she cries out: “To you, O people, I call, and my cry is to all that live. The Lord created me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of long ago. Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth. When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water. Before the mountains had been shaped, before the hills, I was brought forth – when he had not yet made earth and fields, or the world’s first bits of soil. When he established the heavens, I was there, when he drew a circle on the face of the deep, when he made firm the skies above, when he established the fountains of the deep, when he assigned to the sea its limit, so that the waters might not transgress his command, when he marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was beside him, like a master worker; and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always, rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the human race.” PROVERBS 8:1-4, 22-31
Psalm REFRAIN O Lord our governor, how exalted is your name in all the world!
O Lord our governor, how exalted is your name in all the world!
Out of the mouths of infants and children your majesty is praised above the heavens. R
You have set up a stronghold against your adversaries, to quell the enemy and the avenger.
When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars you have set in their courses, R
What is man that you should be mindful of him? the son of man that you should seek him out?
You have made him but little lower than the angels; you adorn him with glory and honour; R
You give him mastery over the works of your hands; you put all things under his feet;
All sheep and oxen, even the wild beasts of the field, R
The birds of the air, the fish of the sea, and whatsoever walks in the paths of the sea.
O Lord our governor, how exalted is your name in all the world! R PSALM 8
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS Since we are justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have obtained access to this grace in which we stand; and we boast in our hope of sharing the glory of God. And not only that, but we also boast in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit that has been given to us. ROMANS 5:1-5
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN Jesus said, “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all the truth; for he will not speak on his own, but will speak whatever he hears, and he will declare to you the things that are to come. He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and declare it to you. All that the Father has is mine. For this reason I said that he will take what is mine and declare it to you.” JOHN 16:12-15
Prayer over the Gifts Living God, receive all we offer you this day. Grant that hearing your word and responding to your Spirit, we may share in your divine life. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Almighty and eternal God, may we who have received this eucharist worship you in all we do, and proclaim the glory of your majesty. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Posted on: May 31st, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Readings ACTS 2:1-21 OR GENESIS 11:1-9; PSALM 104:25-35, 37B; ROMANS 8:14-17 OR ACTS 2:1-21; JOHN 14:8-17 (25-27)
Collect Almighty and everliving God, who fulfilled the promises of Easter by sending us your Holy Spirit and opening to every race and nation the way of life eternal, keep us in the unity of your Spirit, that every tongue may tell of your glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs – in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean?” But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” ACTS 2:1-21
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF GENESIS Now the whole earth had one language and the same words. And as they migrated from the east, they came upon a plain in the land of Shinar and settled there. And they said to one another, “Come, let us make bricks, and burn them thoroughly.” And they had brick for stone, and bitumen for mortar. Then they said, “Come, let us build ourselves a city, and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves; otherwise we shall be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.” The Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which mortals had built. And the Lord said, “Look, they are one people, and they have all one language; and this is only the beginning of what they will do; nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down, and confuse their language there, so that they will not understand one another’s speech.” So the Lord scattered them abroad from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city. Therefore it was called Babel, because there the Lord confused the language of all the earth; and from there the Lord scattered them abroad over the face of all the earth. GENESIS 11:1-9
Psalm REFRAIN Send forth your Spirit, O Lord, and renew the face of the earth.
O Lord, how manifold are your works! in wisdom you have made them all; the earth is full of your creatures.
Yonder is the great and wide sea with its living things too many to number, creatures both small and great. R
There move the ships, and there is that Leviathan, which you have made for the sport of it.
All of them look to you to give them their food in due season.
You give it to them; they gather it; you open your hand, and they are filled with good things. R
You hide your face, and they are terrified; you take away their breath, and they die and return to their dust.
You send forth your Spirit, and they are created; and so you renew the face of the earth. R
May the glory of the Lord endure for ever; may the Lord rejoice in all his works. He looks at the earth and it trembles; he touches the mountains and they smoke. R
I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will praise my God while I have my being.
May these words of mine please him; I will rejoice in the Lord.
Hallelujah! R PSALM 104:25-35, 37B
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE ROMANS For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God. For you did not receive a spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received a spirit of adoption. When we cry, “Abba! Father!” it is that very Spirit bearing witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs, heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ if, in fact, we suffer with him so that we may also be glorified with him. ROMANS 8:14-17
A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. And suddenly from heaven there came a sound like the rush of a violent wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability. Now there were devout Jews from every nation under heaven living in Jerusalem. And at this sound the crowd gathered and was bewildered, because each one heard them speaking in the native language of each. Amazed and astonished, they asked, “Are not all these who are speaking Galileans? And how is it that we hear, each of us, in our own native language? Parthians, Medes, Elamites, and residents of Mesopotamia, Judea and Cappadocia, Pontus and Asia, Phrygia and Pamphylia, Egypt and the parts of Libya belonging to Cyrene, and visitors from Rome, both Jews and proselytes, Cretans and Arabs in our own languages we hear them speaking about God’s deeds of power.” All were amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “What does this mean? But others sneered and said, “They are filled with new wine.” But Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed them, “Men of Judea and all who live in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and listen to what I say. Indeed, these are not drunk, as you suppose, for it is only nine o’clock in the morning. No, this is what was spoken through the prophet Joel: ‘In the last days it will be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams. Even upon my slaves, both men and women, in those days I will pour out my Spirit; and they shall prophesy. And I will show portents in the heaven above and signs on the earth below, blood, and fire, and smoky mist. The sun shall be turned to darkness and the moon to blood, before the coming of the Lord’s great and glorious day. Then everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.'” ACTS 2:1-21
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN Philip said to Jesus, “Lord, show us the Father, and we will be satisfied.” Jesus said to him, “Have I been with you all this time, Philip, and you still do not know me? Whoever has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, ‘Show us the Father’? Do you not believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me? The words that I say to you I do not speak on my own; but the Father who dwells in me does his works. Believe me that I am in the Father and the Father is in me; but if you do not, then believe me because of the works themselves. Very truly, I tell you, the one who believes in me will also do the works that I do and, in fact, will do greater works than these, because I am going to the Father. I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If in my name you ask me for anything, I will do it. If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, to be with you forever. This is the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, because he abides with you, and he will be in you.
[I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid.”] JOHN 14:8-17 (25-27)
Prayer over the Gifts Giver of life, receive all we offer you this day. Let the Spirit you bestow on your Church continue to work in the world through the hearts of all who believe. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Father, may we who have received this eucharist live in the unity of your Holy Spirit, that we may show forth his gifts to all the world. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Posted on: May 25th, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Readings ACTS 1:1-11; PSALM 47 OR PSALM 93; EPHESIANS 1:15-23; LUKE 24:44-53
Collect Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ ascended to the throne of heaven that he might rule over all things as Lord. Keep the Church in the unity of the Spirit and in the bond of his peace, and bring the whole of creation to worship at his feet, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS In the first book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus did and taught from the beginning until the day when he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles whom he had chosen. After his suffering he presented himself alive to them by many convincing proofs, appearing to them during forty days and speaking about the kingdom of God. While staying with them, he ordered them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait there for the promise of the Father. “This,” he said, “is what you have heard from me; for John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, is this the time when you will restore the kingdom to Israel?” He replied, “It is not for you to know the times or periods that the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” When he had said this, as they were watching, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. While he was going and they were gazing up toward heaven, suddenly two men in white robes stood by them. They said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking up toward heaven? This Jesus, who has been taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” ACTS 1:1-11
Psalm REFRAIN God has gone up with a shout.
Clap your hands, all you peoples; shout to God with a cry of joy.
For the Lord Most High is to be feared; he is the great king over all the earth. R
He subdues the peoples under us, and the nations under our feet.
He chooses our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. R
God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of the ram’s-horn.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our king, sing praises. R
For God is king of all the earth; sing praises with all your skill.
God reigns over the nations; God sits upon his holy throne. R
The nobles of the peoples have gathered together with the people of the God of Abraham.
The rulers of the earth belong to God, and he is highly exalted. R PSALM 47
PSALM The Lord is king; he has put on splendid apparel; the Lord has put on his apparel and girded himself with strength.
He has made the whole world so sure that it cannot be moved;
Ever since the world began, your throne has been established; you are from everlasting.
The waters have lifted up, O Lord, the waters have lifted up their voice; the waters have lifted up their pounding waves.
Mightier than the sound of many waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea, mightier is the Lord who dwells on high.
Your testimonies are very sure, and holiness adorns your house, O Lord, for ever and for evermore. PSALM 93
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE EPHESIANS I have heard of your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love toward all the saints, and for this reason I do not cease to give thanks for you as I remember you in my prayers. I pray that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him, so that, with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you, what are the riches of his glorious inheritance among the saints, and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power for us who believe, according to the working of his great power. God put this power to work in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly places, far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and above every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the age to come. And he has put all things under his feet and has made him the head over all things for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills all in all. EPHESIANS 1:15-23
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO LUKE Jesus said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And see, I am sending upon you what my Father promised; so stay here in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up his hands, he blessed them. While he was blessing them, he withdrew from them and was carried up into heaven. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy; and they were continually in the temple blessing God. LUKE 24:44-53
Prayer over the Gifts Eternal God, our Saviour Jesus Christ has promised to be with us until the end of time. Accept all we offer you this day, and renew us in his transfigured life; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion Eternal Giver of love and power, your Son Jesus Christ has sent us into all the world to preach the gospel of his kingdom. Confirm us in this mission, and help us to live the good news we proclaim; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Readings ACTS 16:9-15; PSALM 67; REVELATION 21:10, 22-22:5; JOHN 14:23-29 OR JOHN 5:1-9
Collect Merciful God, you have prepared for those who love you riches beyond imagination. Pour into our hearts such love toward you, that we, loving you above all things, may obtain your promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS During the night Paul had a vision: there stood a man of Macedonia pleading with him and saying, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” When he had seen the vision, we immediately tried to cross over to Macedonia, being convinced that God had called us to proclaim the good news to them. We set sail from Troas and took a straight course to Samothrace, the following day to Neapolis, and from there to Philippi, which is a leading city of the district of Macedonia and a Roman colony. We remained in this city for some days. On the sabbath day we went outside the gate by the river, where we supposed there was a place of prayer; and we sat down and spoke to the women who had gathered there. A certain woman named Lydia, a worshipper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart to listen eagerly to what was said by Paul. When she and her household were baptized, she urged us, saying, “If you have judged me to be faithful to the Lord, come and stay at my home.” And she prevailed upon us. ACTS 16:9-15
Psalm REFRAIN Let all the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
May God be merciful to us and bless us, show us the light of his countenance and come to us.
Let your ways be known upon earth, your saving health among all nations. R
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide all the nations upon earth. R
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you.
The earth has brought forth her increase; may God, our own God, give us his blessing.
May God give us his blessing, and may all the ends of the earth stand in awe of him. R PSALM 67
Second Reading A READING FROM THE REVELATION TO JOHN And in the spirit, an angel carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God. I saw no temple in the city, for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb. And the city has no need of sun or moon to shine on it, for the glory of God is its light, and its lamp is the Lamb. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their glory into it. Its gates will never be shut by day – and there will be no night there. People will bring into it the glory and the honour of the nations. But nothing unclean will enter it, nor anyone who practises abomination or falsehood, but only those who are written in the Lamb’s book of life. Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city. On either side of the river is the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, producing its fruit each month; and the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. Nothing accursed will be found there any more. But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him; they will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And there will be no more night; they need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever. REVELATION 21:10, 22-22:5
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN Jesus answered, “Those who love me will keep my word, and my Father will love them, and we will come to them and make our home with them. Whoever does not love me does not keep my words; and the word that you hear is not mine, but is from the Father who sent me. I have said these things to you while I am still with you. But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything, and remind you of all that I have said to you. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled, and do not let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is greater than I. And now I have told you this before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe.” JOHN 14:23-29
THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN After this there was a festival of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate there is a pool, called in Hebrew Beth-zatha, which has five porticoes. In these lay many invalids -blind, lame, and paralyzed. One man was there who had been ill for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and knew that he had been there a long time, he said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered him, “Sir, I have no one to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; and while I am making my way, someone else steps down ahead of me.” Jesus said to him, “Stand up, take your mat and walk.” At once the man was made well, and he took up his mat and began to walk. Now that day was a sabbath. JOHN 5:1-9
Prayer over the Gifts God of glory, accept all we offer you this day, and bring us to that eternal city of love and light, where Christ is King. We ask this in his name.
Prayer After Communion Father, you restored us to life by raising your Son from death. May we who receive this sacrament always be strengthened to do your will, in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.
Posted on: May 12th, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Sunday, May 15th, 2022
Readings ACTS 11:1-18; PSALM 148; REVELATION 21:1-6; JOHN 13:31-35
Collect Almighty God, your Son Jesus Christ is the way, the truth, and the life. Give us grace to love one another and walk in the way of his commandments, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS Now the apostles and the believers who were in Judea heard that the Gentiles had also accepted the word of God. So when Peter went up to Jerusalem, the circumcised believers criticized him, saying, “Why did you go to uncircumcised men and eat with them?” Then Peter began to explain it to them, step by step, saying, “I was in the city of Joppa praying, and in a trance I saw a vision. There was something like a large sheet coming down from heaven, being lowered by its four corners; and it came close to me. As I looked at it closely I saw four-footed animals, beasts of prey, reptiles, and birds of the air. I also heard a voice saying to me, ‘Get up, Peter; kill and eat.’ But I replied, ‘By no means, Lord; for nothing profane or unclean has ever entered my mouth.’ But a second time the voice answered from heaven, ‘What God has made clean, you must not call profane.’ This happened three times; then everything was pulled up again to heaven. At that very moment three men, sent to me from Caesarea, arrived at the house where we were. The Spirit told me to go with them and not to make a distinction between them and us. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. He told us how he had seen the angel standing in his house and saying, ‘Send to Joppa and bring Simon, who is called Peter; he will give you a message by which you and your entire household will be saved.’ And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as it had upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ If then God gave them the same gift that he gave us when we believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could hinder God?” When they heard this, they were silenced. And they praised God, saying, “Then God has given even to the Gentiles the repentance that leads to life.” ACTS 11:1-18
Psalm REFRAIN Alleluia!
Hallelujah! Praise the Lord from the heavens; praise him in the heights.
Praise him, all you angels of his; praise him, all his host.
Praise him, sun and moon; praise him, all you shining stars. R
Praise him, heaven of heavens, and you waters above the heavens.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created.
He made them stand fast for ever and ever; he gave them a law which shall not pass away. R
Praise the Lord from the earth, you sea-monsters and all deeps;
Fire and hail, snow and fog, tempestuous wind, doing his will;
Mountains and all hills, fruit trees and all cedars;
Wild beasts and all cattle, creeping things and winged birds; R
Kings of the earth and all peoples, princes and all rulers of the world;
Young men and maidens, old and young together.
Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name only is exalted, his splendour is over earth and heaven. R
He has raised up strength for his people and praise for all his loyal servants, the children of Israel, a people who are near him. PSALM 148
Second Reading A READING FROM THE REVELATION TO JOHN Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more. And I saw the holy city, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more; mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” And the one who was seated on the throne said, “See, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this, for these words are trustworthy and true.” Then he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give water as a gift from the spring of the water of life.” REVELATION 21:1-6<
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once. Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” JOHN 13:31-35
Prayer over the Gifts Gracious God, you show us your way and give us your divine life. May everything we do be directed by the knowledge of your truth. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.
Prayer After Communion God of love, in this eucharist we have heard your truth and shared in your life. May we always walk in your way, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Readings ACTS 9:36-43; PSALM 23; REVELATION 7:9-17; JOHN 10:22-30
Collect O God of peace, who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus Christ, that great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, make us perfect in every good work to do your will, and work in us that which is well-pleasing in your sight; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS Now in Joppa there was a disciple whose name was Tabitha, which in Greek is Dorcas. She was devoted to good works and acts of charity. At that time she became ill and died. When they had washed her, they laid her in a room upstairs. Since Lydda was near Joppa, the disciples, who heard that Peter was there, sent two men to him with the request, “Please come to us without delay.” So Peter got up and went with them; and when he arrived, they took him to the room upstairs. All the widows stood beside him, weeping and showing tunics and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was with them. Peter put all of them outside, and then he knelt down and prayed. He turned to the body and said, “Tabitha, get up.” Then she opened her eyes, and seeing Peter, she sat up. He gave her his hand and helped her up. Then calling the saints and widows, he showed her to be alive. This became known throughout Joppa, and many believed in the Lord. Meanwhile he stayed in Joppa for some time with a certain Simon, a tanner. ACTS 9:36-43
Psalm REFRAIN The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not be in want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures and leads me beside still waters. R
He revives my soul and guides me along right pathways for his name’s sake.
Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I shall fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. R
You spread a table before me in the presence of those who trouble me; you have anointed my head with oil, and my cup is running over.
Surely your goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever. R PSALM 23
Second Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF REVELATION TO JOHN After this I looked, and there was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, robed in white, with palm branches in their hands. They cried out in a loud voice, saying, “Salvation belongs to our God who is seated on the throne, and to the Lamb!” And all the angels stood around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshipped God, singing, “Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honour and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen.” Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, “Who are these, robed in white, and where have they come from?” I said to him, “Sir, you are the one that knows.” Then he said to me, “These are they who have come out of the great ordeal; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. For this reason they are before the throne of God, and worship him day and night within his temple, and the one who is seated on the throne will shelter them. They will hunger no more, and thirst no more; the sun will not strike them, nor any scorching heat; for the Lamb at the centre of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of the water of life, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes.” REVELATION 7:9-17
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the portico of Solomon. So the Jews gathered around him and said to him, “How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Messiah, tell us plainly.” Jesus answered, “I have told you, and you do not believe. The works that I do in my Father’s name testify to me; but you do not believe, because you do not belong to my sheep. My sheep hear my voice. I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” JOHN 10:22-30
Prayer over the Gifts God of loving care, you spread before us the table of life, and give us the cup of salvation to drink. Keep us always in the fold of your Son Jesus Christ, our Saviour and our shepherd.
Prayer After Communion God of steadfast love, watch over the Church redeemed by the blood of your Son. May we who share in these holy mysteries come safely to your eternal kingdom, where there is one flock and one shepherd. We ask this in the name of Jesus Christ the risen Lord.
Posted on: April 21st, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Sunday, April 24th, 2022
Readings ACTS 5:27-32; PSALM 118:14-29 OR PSALM 150; REVELATION 1:4-8; JOHN 20:19-31
Collect Almighty and eternal God, the strength of those who believe and the hope of those who doubt, may we, who have not seen, have faith and receive the fullness of Christ’s blessing, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ACTS When they had brought the apostles, they had them stand before the council. The high priest questioned them, saying, “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and you are determined to bring this man’s blood on us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than any human authority. The God of our ancestors raised up Jesus, whom you had killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Saviour that he might give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey him.” ACTS 5:27-32
Psalm REFRAIN On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad.
The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.
There is a sound of exultation and victory in the tents of the righteous:
“The right hand of the Lord has triumphed! the right hand of the Lord is exalted! the right hand of the Lord has triumphed!” R
I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.
The Lord has punished me sorely, but he did not hand me over to death. R
Open for me the gates of righteousness; I will enter them; I will offer thanks to the Lord.
“This is the gate of the Lord; he who is righteous may enter.” R
I will give thanks to you, for you answered me and have become my salvation.
The same stone which the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone. R
This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes.
On this day the Lord has acted; we will rejoice and be glad in it. R
Hosannah, Lord, hosannah! Lord, send us now success.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord; we bless you from the house of the Lord.
God is the Lord; he has shined upon us; form a procession with branches up to the horns of the altar. R
“You are my God, and I will thank you; you are my God, and I will exalt you.” Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his mercy endures for ever. R PSALM 118:14-29
PSALM Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple; praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts; praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance; praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals; praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath praise the Lord. Hallelujah! PSALM 150
Second Reading A READING FROM THE REVELATION TO JOHN John to the seven churches that are in Asia: Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. To him who loves us and freed us from our sins by his blood, and made us to be a kingdom, priests serving his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen. Look! He is coming with the clouds; every eye will see him, even those who pierced him; and on his account all the tribes of the earth will wail. So it is to be. Amen. “I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty. REVELATION 1:4-8
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.” Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name. JOHN 20:19-31
Prayer over the Gifts God of grace, you have freed us from our sins and made us a kingdom in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Accept all we offer you this day, and strengthen us in the new life you have given us, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Prayer After Communion Father, we have seen with our eyes and touched with our hands the bread of life. Strengthen our faith that we may grow in love for you and for each other; through Jesus Christ the risen Lord.
Posted on: March 29th, 2022 by St. Stephens Downsview
Readings ISAIAH 43:16-21; PSALM 126; PHILIPPIANS 3:4B-14; JOHN 12:1-8
Collect Most merciful God, by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ, you created humanity anew. May the power of his victorious cross transform those who turn in faith to him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.
First Reading A READING FROM THE BOOK OF ISAIAH Thus says the Lord, who makes a way in the sea, a path in the mighty waters, who brings out chariot and horse, army and warrior; they lie down, they cannot rise, they are extinguished, quenched like a wick: Do not remember the former things, or consider the things of old. I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. The wild animals will honour me, the jackals and the ostriches; for I give water in the wilderness, rivers in the desert, to give drink to my chosen people, the people whom I formed for myself so that they might declare my praise. ISAIAH 43:16-21
Psalm REFRAIN The Lord has done great things for us.
When the Lord restored the fortunes of Zion, then were we like those who dream.
Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy. R
Then they said among the nations, “The Lord has done great things for them.”
The Lord has done great things for us, and we are glad indeed. R
Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the watercourses of the Negev. R
Those who sowed with tears will reap with songs of joy.
Those who go out weeping, carrying the seed, will come again with joy, shouldering their sheaves. R PSALM 126
Second Reading A READING FROM THE LETTER OF PAUL TO THE PHILIPPIANS If anyone else has reason to be confident in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, a member of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew born of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee, as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. Yet whatever gains I had, these I have come to regard as loss because of Christ. More than that, I regard everything as loss because of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things, and I regard them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but one that comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God based on faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the sharing of his sufferings by becoming like him in his death, if somehow I may attain the resurrection from the dead. Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead. I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus. PHILIPPIANS 3:4B-14
Gospel THE HOLY GOSPEL OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST ACCORDING TO JOHN Six days before the Passover Jesus came to Bethany, the home of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead. There they gave a dinner for him. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those at the table with him. Mary took a pound of costly perfume made of pure nard, anointed Jesus’ feet, and wiped them with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?” (He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it.) Jesus said, “Leave her alone. She bought it so that she might keep it for the day of my burial. You always have the poor with you, but you do not always have me.” JOHN 12:1-8
Prayer over the Gifts Eternal God, your only Son suffered death upon the cross to bring the world salvation. Accept the praise and thanksgiving we offer you this day, in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord.
Prayer After Communion Merciful God, you have called us to your table and fed us with the bread of life. Draw us and all people to your Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ.