St Maxentius Worship at Home – Trinity 9 – 6th August 2023


Good morning everyone, I hope you are well, today’s Gospel reading is of the feeding of the five thousand, a story that has many meanings, which I will let Rev Hannah explain in her reflection, but it reminds us of the importance of working together and the power of faith and prayer.


Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful people, and kindle in us the fire of your love; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


The Holy Spirit fills the world and knows our every word and deed. Let us then open ourselves to the Lord and confess our sins in penitence and faith.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, we have sinned against you, through our own fault, in thought, and word, and deed, and in what we have left undone. We are heartily sorry and repent of all our sins. For your Son our Lord Jesus Christ’s sake, forgive us all that is past; and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. Amen.

Almighty God, our heavenly Father, who in his great mercy has promised forgiveness of sins to all those who with heartfelt repentance and true faith turn to him; have mercy on us and deliver us from our sins, confirm and strengthen us in all goodness and bring us to everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth. Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory. Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father, Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us. You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer. For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father.


Almighty God, who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light 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, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.


ROMANS 9. 1-5

 I am speaking the truth in Christ. I am not lying; my conscience confirms it by the Holy Spirit. I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my own people, my kindred according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises; to them belong the patriarchs, and from them, according to the flesh, comes the Messiah, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Amen

This is the word of the Lord. Thanks be to God.


Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew. Glory to you O Lord.

MATTHEW 14. 13-21.

When Jesus heard that Herod had beheaded John the Baptist, he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself. But when the crowds heard it, they followed him on foot from the towns. When he went ashore, he saw a great crowd; and he had compassion for them and cured their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to him and said, ‘This is a deserted place, and the hour is now late; send the crowds away so that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.’ Jesus said to them, ‘They need not go away; you give them something to eat.’ They replied, ‘We have nothing here but five loaves and two fish.’ And he said, ‘Bring them here to me.’ Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven, and blessed and broke the loaves, and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds. And all ate and were filled; and they took up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve baskets full. And those who ate were about five thousand men, besides women and children.

This is the Gospel of the Lord. Praise to you O Christ


Today’s Gospel passage recalls the ‘Feeding of the 5000’ and it is probably one of the more memorable tales in the bible. It appears in all four Gospels (Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-14). We know that each of the Gospel writers had their own particular focus and audience, and so Matthew’s version both recalls Israel’s exodus from Egypt and foreshadows the Last Supper.

The main thing I want to point out here today is how important it is to exercise caution when reading and reflecting on a passage we deem to be familiar to us. It is all too easy to become lazy and think “oh I know this one, I know how it ends, I don’t need to listen or reflect, there is nothing new for me to learn here”. Reader beware, there is always something new to hear. If we read the bible once then tick it off our ‘to do’ list then we only end up impoverished. Although stories may become familiar, our contexts and social situations inevitably change and we hear anew each time something we might not have come across previously. Using the lenses of our current experience, or even purposely putting ourselves into the position of those different to ourselves and reading through their lenses, we are able to gain new insights each time we approach the bible.

You might want to alter your perspective by asking questions such as: How many people were actually there? The text only refers to the numbers of men. It doesn’t include the women and the children who would have no doubt trekked alongside the men to meet and hear Jesus. Or you may interpret this act of feeding such a large group of people irrespective of their identity as an act which demonstrates Jesus’ commitment to radical inclusivity, a timely reminder whenever it comes about that the love of God is for all. A warning that becomes apparent here is that we remain open and hospitable, not allowing ourselves to fall into the trap of ending up as the ‘Pharisees of our time’ and only being hospitable to those who are just like us.

But, the key thing with any miracle story is to NOT get distracted by the special effects. The text does not explain how these things happen but it does explain why these things happen. Let’s not just accept this story as one we know and don’t need to dwell on, but instead let it invite us to be open to mystery and wonder, the strange, and the impossible.

Rev Hannah


I believe in God the Father Almighty, creator of heaven and earth.

I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son our Lord, who was conceived by the Virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; he descended to the dead. On the third day he rose again; he ascended into heaven, and is seated on the right hand of the Father; he will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy Catholic Church, the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins, the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. Amen.


During the intercessions, we pray for the church, our country, our government, people in difficulty and those who have died. You can use your own prayers or if you prefer here are some on today’s theme.

Heavenly Father your Son Jesus calls us to step out onto the water with him, and to leave the safety of our boats, and to walk toward Him in faith. He asks us to join with Him in the work He is already doing in our world.

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Gracious Lord, we thank you for the world you have created. We pray for greater wisdom and responsibility in our stewardship of this earth. We pray for fishermen and seafarers and all who brave the seas to bring us food and trade goods from the farthest reaches of our planet.

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Father, we thank you for the gift of your Son, our saviour, who walks with us on our life’s journey. We pray for all who travel with us in our family, among our friends and within this community. We pray for a deepening awareness of our need for one another and of your image in the hearts of everyone we meet.

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Loving God, we thank You for the gift of life and pray for those whose lives are troubled by illness, grief, poverty or injustice. We pray that in the darkness of their suffering and pain Your light will shine to bring them the assurance and hope they need. We remember at this time those known personally to us and those who have requested our prayers. Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Heavenly Father, we place in your loving keeping all those who have died. We remember before you those whose year’s mind fall at this time Lord, we pray that we too may show in our lives the promise of heaven’s love, joy and peace and we ask for your comfort and peace to be on all

Lord, in your mercy; hear our prayer

Merciful God, we thank you for your promise to hear our prayers. Strengthen our faith in that promise so that our lives might proclaim your love, mercy and goodness made visible in the life of your Son, Jesus Christ, and when the wind and waves get high and threaten to overwhelm us, help us remember Jesus’ words: “Take courage. It is I. Don’t be afraid. .”

Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as in Heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil. For the Kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever. Amen.


May God keep us in all our days. May Christ shield us in all our ways. May the Spirit bring us healing and peace. May the Holy Trinity drive all darkness from us and pour upon us blessing and light. And the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us now and those who we love today and foe ever. Amen.

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