Sunday Service

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FIRST READING (click to expand)

Isaiah 25:1-9
Praise for Deliverance from Oppression

O Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you, I will praise your name;
for you have done wonderful things,
plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

For you have made the city a heap,
the fortified city a ruin;
the palace of aliens is a city no more,
it will never be rebuilt.

Therefore strong peoples will glorify you;
cities of ruthless nations will fear you.

For you have been a refuge to the poor,
a refuge to the needy in their distress,
a shelter from the rainstorm and a shade from the heat.
When the blast of the ruthless was like a winter rainstorm,

the noise of aliens like heat in a dry place,
you subdued the heat with the shade of clouds;
the song of the ruthless was stilled.

On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples
a feast of rich food, a feast of well-matured wines,
of rich food filled with marrow, of well-matured wines strained clear.

And he will destroy on this mountain
the shroud that is cast over all peoples,
the sheet that is spread over all nations;

he will swallow up death for ever.
Then the Lord God will wipe away the tears from all faces,
and the disgrace of his people he will take away from all the earth,
for the Lord has spoken.

It will be said on that day,
Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, so that he might save us.
This is the Lord for whom we have waited;
let us be glad and rejoice in his salvation.

PSALM (click to expand)

Psalm 23
The Divine Shepherd
A Psalm of David

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
he leads me beside still waters;
he restores my soul.
He leads me in right paths
for his name’s sake.

Even though I walk through the darkest valley,
I fear no evil;
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff—
they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.

SECOND READING (click to expand)

Philippians 4:1-9

Therefore, my brothers and sisters, whom I love and long for, my joy and crown, stand firm in the Lord in this way, my beloved.


I urge Euodia and I urge Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. Yes, and I ask you also, my loyal companion, help these women, for they have struggled beside me in the work of the gospel, together with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life.

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honourable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Keep on doing the things that you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and the God of peace will be with you.

GOSPEL (click to expand)

Matthew 22:1-14
The Parable of the Wedding Banquet

Once more Jesus spoke to them in parables, saying: ‘The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who gave a wedding banquet for his son. He sent his slaves to call those who had been invited to the wedding banquet, but they would not come. Again he sent other slaves, saying, “Tell those who have been invited: Look, I have prepared my dinner, my oxen and my fat calves have been slaughtered, and everything is ready; come to the wedding banquet.” But they made light of it and went away, one to his farm, another to his business, while the rest seized his slaves, maltreated them, and killed them. The king was enraged. He sent his troops, destroyed those murderers, and burned their city. Then he said to his slaves, “The wedding is ready, but those invited were not worthy. Go therefore into the main streets, and invite everyone you find to the wedding banquet.” Those slaves went out into the streets and gathered all whom they found, both good and bad; so the wedding hall was filled with guests.

‘But when the king came in to see the guests, he noticed a man there who was not wearing a wedding robe, and he said to him, “Friend, how did you get in here without a wedding robe?” And he was speechless. Then the king said to the attendants, “Bind him hand and foot, and throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” For many are called, but few are chosen.’



The Most Excellent Way

God of love,
unlimited vastness of love
you have created within our world
an immense reservoir for love.
You have poured into it abundantly
your own love
through the self-giving humility of Jesus.
You call us, through self-offering prayer
to contribute our love
to that resource,
through the power of the Spirit,
becoming a well-spring,
available to the whole world,
whenever we ask.
Nurturing, caring, strengthening,
making whole.
We recognise within ourselves
seeds of that love,
a gift from you
for us to tend and grow,
as we offer
that transforming power of love to others,
known and unknown,
friend and stranger.
Help us to experience
that most excellent way of love
and to remember that,
when faith, hope and love
are all that remain,
the greatest of these
is love

Ros Murphy


A reflection by Carlo Carretto

That God exists is no secret.
It is clear to see!
That God is good is no secret.
It is the experience of every ready heart.
That God is beautiful is no secret.
It is written on every flower, on the sea and on the mountains.
That God is immense is no secret.
All you have to do is look at the Universe.
That God is near is no secret.
You only need to look at a couple on their honeymoon,
or a hen with her chicks,
or two friends talking,
or an expectant mother.
But then, where is the secret?

Here it is:
God is a crucified God.
God is the God who allows himself to be defeated;
God is the God who has revealed himself in the poor.
God is the God who has washed my feet,
God is Jesus of Nazareth.
We were not accustomed to a God like this.

Reflections on Love

“Love is eager, sincere and kind; it is glad and lovely; it is strong, patient and faithful; wise, long-suffering and resolute; and it never seeks its own ends, for where a man seeks his own ends, he at once falls out of love.” Thomas a Kempis

“Existence will remain meaningless for you if you yourself do not penetrate into it with active love and if you do not in this way discover its meaning for yourself. Everything is waiting to be hallowed by you; it is waiting for this meaning to be disclosed and to be realised by you… Meet the world with the fullness of your being and you shall meet God. If you wish to believe, love!” Martin Buber

“Love all God’s creation, the whole of it and every grain of sand. Love every leaf, every ray of God’s light! Love the animals, love the plants, love everything. If you love everything, you will perceive the divine mystery in things. And once you have perceived it, you will begin to comprehend it ceaselessly more and more every day.” Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Godly Play

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