Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life of your Church: open our hearts to the riches of your grace, that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen
Readings at Mass
1st Reading. 1 Kings 19:9-18 Fleeing for his life, the prophet Elijah takes refuge in a mountain cave, where he encounters God as a still, small voice, ‘a sound of sheer silence’, in the midst of the storms of life and of the world.
2nd Reading. Romans 10:5-15. Christ is the eternal Word of the Father who brings salvation to all who turn to him in faith and speak his name.
Gospel. St Matthew 14:22-33 When they are caught in high winds and rough seas, Jesus comes to the disciples; he speaks to them, calming their fears, stilling their anxiety and bringing them peace.
In the bible stormy waters are a symbol of the things in life and in the world that threaten to overwhelm us: persecution- a real threat for the first Christians-oppression, political upheaval, famine, disease, pandemic and so on. In today’s Gospel the boat represents the Church; the winds and the waves stand for the persecutions that had been let loose on the first Christians. But they do not face these storms alone, the Lord is with them. The story of Peter sinking and being saved by Jesus is one of encouragement for us all: faith doesn’t save us from the trials and tribulations of life but gives us the courage and strength to face them because we do not face them alone: the Lord is with us, holding us and raising us up, ‘a still, small voice’ speaking and conveying peace:
He did not say, you shall not be tempest-tossed, you shall not be work- weary, you shall not be discomforted.’ But he said, ‘You shall not be overcome.’ God wants us to heed these words so that we shall always be strong in trust, both in sorrow and in joy.
When we fall he holds us lovingly, and graciously and swiftly raises us. In all this work he takes the part of a kind nurse who has no other care but the welfare of her child. It is his responsibility to save us, it is his glory to do it and it is his will we should know it. Utterly at home, he lives in us for ever. (Revelations of Divine Love: Julian of Norwich).
Spend a little time reading this Gospel passage and then receive the words of Jesus as spoken to you: ‘Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.’ Spend some time gently repeating these words, allowing them to sink from mind to heart. Know that the Lord is with you … conveying His peace.
Holy Father, you gather us around the table of your Son: in that new world where you reveal the fullness of your peace, gather people of every race and language to share the eternal banquet of Jesus Christ our Lord. 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. Join with us at these times or any other 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, for all bishops, priests and deacons; for all hospital chaplains and lay pastoral workers; and for all Christ’s faithful people, seeking to live out their faith each day ; for all Christians who are persecuted for their faith; for all who are struggling to keep their faith; for a renewed awareness of the constant presence of the Lord with us at the still centre of our lives.
Pray for the world: for all in positions of leadership and authority, for wise and informed decision making; for the poor and vulnerable; for all whose lives are traumatised by violence, oppression, poverty and injustice; for all health care workers, charities and relief agencies; for all involved in medical research for vaccines and anti- viral drugs and for international co-operation and solidarity.
Pray for the sick: for those suffering from covid 19 at home or in hospital and for all who are sick in body, mind or spirit; for all frontline carers and key workers; for those who are recently bereaved and for those who have died. May the Lord enfold in his gentle love and compassion all who are in need.
Give thanks for: all lives of care and service ; for all acts of love and compassion; for God,’ who enfolds all and, in silence, is loving to all’.
To the King eternal, the immortal, the invisible, the only God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen ( 1 Timothy 1:17)
Keep in touch…by phone or email or whatever social media you use. Remember those who live alone and get in touch with them. Fr Mark can be contacted at any time by phone 464011 or email email@example.com. Don’t hesitate to get in touch.
News…any items or news you want included in our bulletin please send to Paul Reynolds, Fr Mark, Keith Rogers or Chris Jones. Many thanks.
Church re-opening for worship
St Gabriel’s will re-open for Mass at 9.30am every Sunday from 9th August. Due to social distancing requirements we have a limited seating capacity. Please let Keith Rogers know by phone – 578097 – or by email if you want to attend. Many thanks-and welcome back!