Almighty and everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is governed and sanctified: hear our prayer which we offer for all your faithful people, that in their vocation and ministry they may serve you in holiness and truth to the glory of your name; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Readings for Mass
1st Reading. Isaiah 55:10-13. The prophet sees the rain that waters the earth and makes it fruitful as a symbol of God’s word, which nurtures and nourishes us, bringing growth and fruitfulness in our lives.
2nd Reading. Romans 8: 1-11. The Spirit of God dwells in us enabling us to grow in Christ-likeness and to bring forth the fruit of good works and compassion.
Gospel. St Matthew 13: 1-9; 18-23.Jesus compares the word of God to a seed falling into the ground. What helps the seed grow and what frustrates growth? The parable gives an answer.
Jesus used parables as an effective way of teaching. The early Church applied the parables to the situations in which they found themselves. The parable of the Sower (today’s Gospel reading) was used by the first Christians to reflect on the missionary experience of the early Church, its successes and failures: the shallow mind, the hard heart, worldly preoccupations, persecution-these are the things, mentioned in the parable, that have frustrated the growth of faith. But even though the seed scattered by the Sower and,therefore, the seed of faith scattered by Jesus and subsequently by his followers, sometimes falls on stony ground, we must still be generous in sharing our faith-scattering the seed-by word and deed. In the parable the Sower is profligate in the way he sows the seed, scattering it with abandon-such is God’s love for humanity. The Church-we- must reflect this. Seeds of faith and love must be scattered, generously and with abandon! –the growth, when it comes, comes from God.
What about us? How does the seed of God’s word take root and grow in us and produce good fruit? One way is through our reading and meditation on the scriptures. Spend a little time reading slowly through today’s Gospel-the parable of the Sower- notice which word or sentence is drawing you to it in some way or other. Return to this word/sentence and reflect on it: repeat it slowly over and over; let it sink in and take root in your heart. After a little while respond to the Lord in your own words and then rest in His presence. Be silent before the Word, simply rest awhile in the peace that passes all understanding.
‘A seed is a very old survivor. A seed is a survivor of being buried! Sometimes we may feel buried by our own experiences-perhaps our current experience of lockdown and isolation has made us feel like this at times-but the seed gives us hope that we will survive! and grow! (Lucy Winkett: Seeds of Hope)
Lord, you scatter seeds of hope in our heart: water them through prayer and worship, praise and adoration; and grow them through the gracious working of your Spirit, that the good fruits of compassion and love may come forth in us, to the glory of your name. Amen
Let’s continue to join together each day in a fellowship of prayer in union with Christ our Lord who unites us to Him and to one another wherever we are.
Every day at St Gabriel’s: 8am Morning Prayer; 6pm Evening Prayer.
Every Wednesday 8am Mass (Morning Prayer 7.30am ); every Sunday 9.30am Mass. Join with us at these times – or any time that’s convenient.
You might like to begin your Morning Prayer with:
The night has passed and the day lies open before us; as we rejoice in the gift of this new day, so may the light of Christ set our hearts on fire with love for you, O God, now and for ever. Amen
and your Evening Prayer with:
As our evening prayer rises before you, O God, so may your Christ banish all darkness from our hearts and minds and set us free to sing your praise, now and for ever. Amen
Pray for the Church: for John our Archbishop and all the leaders of the churches; for all Bishops, priests and deacons and for those newly ordained to the Sacred Ministry and the parishes and ministry areas in which they serve; for all Christ’s faithful people, that the word of God may take root in our hearts and bring forth good fruit in our lives.
Pray for the world: for all areas where the coronavirus continues to surge and for those areas emerging slowly from lockdown; for all in government and in positions of leadership and authority that wise and properly informed decisions may be taken and correct policies pursued; for the vulnerable across the world…the poor and the homeless, street children, asylum seekers and refugees, all whose lives are traumatised by war, violence, oppression and injustice…for the peoples of Libya, Yemen, Syria, Palestine and the Rohingya people…for all who live in countries where health care provision is poor or inadequate; for racial harmony and justice in the USA and throughout the world…for the overcoming of racism, prejudice and bigotry and for the promotion of Christian values of tolerance, compassion and inclusiveness. ‘All are one in Christ Jesus our Lord’.
Pray for the sick and all who suffer: for those in hospital and especially those in our local hospitals in the Swansea Bay Trust; for the sick at home or in Residential Care Homes; for those with mental health issues; for those in situations of domestic abuse; for those who are bereaved ; for those who have recently died, commending their souls to Christ’s care and keeping.
Give thanks for: our NHS and all its workers; for all front-line carers and key workers; for all involved in medical research; for Christ the Sower, who sows seeds of hope, faith and love, without reserve, in our hearts and in the hearts of all people.
Almighty God, your Holy Spirit equips the Church with a variety of gifts: grant that we may use them to bear witness to Christ by lives built on faith & love. Make us ready to live the gospel & eager to do his will, that we may share with all your Church the joys of eternal life ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen
Keep in touch…by phone or email or whatever social media you use. Remember those who live alone and get in touch with them. Visit St Gabriel’s Facebook Page and website. Fr Mark can be contacted at any time by phone 464011 or email, firstname.lastname@example.org. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
News…any news or items you would like included in our bulletin please send to Paul Reynolds, Fr Mark, Keith Rogers or Chris Jones. Many thanks.
Church open…remember St Gabriel’s will now be open every Saturday 10am-12noon for prayer, meditation, stillness and silence. There will be exposition of the Blessed Sacrament, so we can sit in the sacramental Presence of the Lord in adoration, communion and in supplication for a world in need … welcome back!