21^st^ August: Trinity 10
Let your merciful ears, O Lord, be open to the prayers of your humble servants; and that they may obtain their petitions make them to ask such things as shall please you; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
FIRST READING Isaiah 58.9b-14
If you remove the yoke from among you, the pointing of the finger, the speaking of evil, if you offer your food to the hungry and satisfy the needs of the afflicted, then your light shall rise in the darkness and your gloom be like the noonday. The Lord will guide you continually, and satisfy your needs in parched places, and make your bones strong; and you shall be like a watered garden, like a spring of water, whose waters never fail. Your ancient ruins shall be rebuilt; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in. If you refrain from trampling the sabbath, from pursuing your own interests on my holy day; if you call the sabbath a delight and the holy day of the Lord honourable; if you honour it, not going your own ways, serving your own interests, or pursuing your own affairs; then you shall take delight in the Lord, and I will make you ride upon the heights of the earth; I will feed you with the heritage of your ancestor Jacob, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.
RESPONSORIAL PSALM 116
Response: Go out to the whole world; proclaim the good news.
1. O praise the Lord, all you nations; acclaim him all you peoples. R.
2. Strong is his love for us; he is faithful for ever. R.
SECOND READING Hebrews 12.18-29
You have not come to something that can be touched, a blazing fire, and darkness, and gloom, and a tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and a voice whose words made the hearers beg that not another word be spoken to them. (For they could not endure the order that was given, ‘If even an animal touches the mountain, it shall be stoned to death.’ Indeed, so terrifying was the sight that Moses said, ‘I tremble with fear.’) But you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, and to the assembly of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven, and to God the judge of all, and to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, and to Jesus, the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel. See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven! At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, ‘Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.’ This phrase ‘Yet once more’ indicates the removal of what is shaken— that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain. Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe; for indeed our God is a consuming fire.
GOSPEL Luke 13.10-17
Now he was teaching in one of the synagogues on the sabbath. And just then there appeared a woman with a spirit that had crippled her for eighteen years. She was bent over and was quite unable to stand up straight. When Jesus saw her, he called her over and said, ‘Woman, you are set free from your ailment.’ When he laid his hands on her, immediately she stood up straight and began praising God. But the leader of the synagogue, indignant because Jesus had cured on the sabbath, kept saying to the crowd, ‘There are six days on which work ought to be done; come on those days and be cured, and not on the sabbath day.’ But the Lord answered him and said, ‘You hypocrites! Does not each of you on the sabbath untie his ox or his donkey from the manger, and lead it away to give it water? And ought not this woman, a daughter of Abraham whom Satan bound for eighteen long years, be set free from this bondage on the sabbath day?’ When he said this, all his opponents were put to shame; and the entire crowd was rejoicing at all the wonderful things that he was doing.
POST COMMUNION God of our pilgrimage, you have willed that the gate of mercy should stand open for those who trust in you: look upon us with your favour that we who follow the path of your will may never wander from the way of life; through Jesus Christ our Lord.
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News From St Michael's, 21^st^ August, 2022.
We welcome Fr Paul as our celebrant this morning. He will also be celebrating Mass for us on Thursday 25^th^ August and Sunday 28^th^ August. Thank you, Fr Paul, for your kindness and support to St Michael's.
Irene Horton's Funeral Mass will take place tomorrow, 22^nd^ August, at 11 am. Let us come together to thank God for the life of a dedicated, generous and much loved member of the St Michael's family.
Please pray for the PCC, who hold a meeting on Thursday 25^th^ August at which Archdeacon Andrew will be discussing our interregnum.
Fr Neil and Elizabeth are now settling into their new home in Norfolk. Please pray for them as they begin the next chapter of their life and ministry.
A small but enthusiastic party from St Michael's travelled to St Albans for the Richborough Family Day. Despite the rail strike there was a large congregation in the Cathedral, and beforehand we met a generous and welcoming guide who demonstrated how some of the medieval wall paintings in the Abbey – among them one of St Thomas of Canterbury – could, with the help of projections incorporating painstaking research, now be seen almost as they originally were. Wonderful!
In his sermon at this memorable Mass of the Holy Name of Jesus, Bishop Norman used the story of Rumpelstiltskin to remind us that supposed magic formulas for re-packaging and marketing the Christian message were a kind of modern gnosticism, were no substitute for simply pointing to the life and person of Jesus, and might well be doomed, like Rumpelstiltskin, to tear themselves to pieces in the end.
In his garden later in the day, when we had enjoyed our picnics and the Bishop's wine, the Bishop led us in a Bible Study based on 1Peter 1:13-16, pointing out that readiness for action, discipline, reliance on grace, and obedience were marks of the holy life to which Catholic Christians are called. He implied delicately (without actually saying so) that we might find this brief session more to the point than some of the Bible studies on the same Epistle that he had lately attended in the course of the Lambeth Conference.
It was good to be able to greet members of other SSC parishes and hear snippets of their news – for example, that a new priest was about to be appointed to our neighbour parishes of Deal and Ramsgate (STOP PRESS: his name is Fr Angus Beattie). Many thanks to Bishop Norman for organising a wonderful day.
More Richborough news: Bishop Norman reminds us of the Holy Land Pilgrimage planned for November 2023. Visit the Richborough website, or speak to Eleanor.
The 2023 Richborough Family Day will be held at St Albans in the first week of August next year, but a separate event is also planned for Canterbury. Watch this space! - and please, St Michael's family, make a special effort to support this when it happens. Bishop Norman will be retiring before long, and joining him at Canterbury would be a good way to show our appreciation of his pastoral concern for our parish. In addition, a Richborough weekend pilgrimage to Walsingham is planned for September 2023. People whose commitments made last week's five-day pilgrimage to Walsingham unfeasible, do watch out for next year's details. Walsingham is a treasure offered to all of us – a treasure well worth unpacking if you haven't yet experienced it. We thank fellow-pilgrims from other parishes who last week assured us of their prayers for St Michael's.
Mothers' Union members - and others who are aware of the “Away From It All” seaside holidays arranged by the MU for families in difficult circumstances – will like to know that among the pilgrims at Walsingham last week was someone who had accompanied this year's AFIA holiday as a volunteer, and was able to report at first hand how well it went, and how much it meant, for the 9 families who took part (the ice cream money, in particular, was well spent!). She also reports that there is real concern about whether a holiday of this kind will be financially possible next summer. If you would like to know more, and perhaps contribute for next year, please contact Daphne Tester.