Although things were a little quieter last week here at St. Maxentius, we are still asking you to let us know if you wish to attend our service. I am sure more and more of you will be wanting to return to church as we have our second Covid vaccine and things start to return to the new normal. So if you would like to attend please email on firstname.lastname@example.org or text or leave a voice message on 07872993104. We hope to juggle things around so that we can get everyone in safely even if it’s not every week, so please bear with us.
Rev Canon Peter and Rev Robin are doing our services at present and it is really lovely to see you all. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Royal Family at this sad time and also with anyone else suffering a loss in their family. The children’s services are growing and we looked at the “meal with Jesus” by the disciples on the road to Emmaus, which fits in well with today’s gospel reading. The reflection and Intercessions are by myself once again this week.
Take care, peace be with you.
Alleluia Christ is risen. He is risen indeed Alleluia.
PRAYER OF PREPARATION
Almighty God to whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hidden: cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you and worthily magnify your Holy name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.
PRAYER OF PENITENCE
Almighty God our heavenly Father we have sinned against you and against our neighbour in thought word and deed, through negligence, through weakness, through our own deliberate fault. We are truly sorry and repent of all our sins. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ who died for us, forgive us all that is past and grant that we may serve you in newness of life to the glory of your name. 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 sins of the world: have mercy upon 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. Amen.
Risen Christ, you filled your disciples with boldness and fresh hope: strengthen us to proclaim your risen life and fill us with your peace, to the glory of God the Father. Amen.
THE NEW TESTAMENT READING – Acts 3:12-19
When Peter saw it, he addressed the people, “You Israelites, why do you wonder at this, or why do you stare at us, as though by our own power or piety we had made him walk? The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of our ancestors has glorified his servant Jesus, whom you handed over and rejected in the presence of Pilate, though he had decided to release him. But you rejected the Holy and Righteous One and asked to have a murderer given to you, and you killed the Author of life, whom God raised from the dead. To this, we are witnesses. And by faith in his name, his name itself has made this man strong, whom you see and know; and the faith that is through Jesus has given him this perfect health in the presence of all of you. “And now, friends, I know that you acted in ignorance, as did also your rulers. In this way God fulfilled what he had foretold through all the prophets, that his Messiah would suffer. Repent therefore, and turn to God so that your sins may be wiped out.
This is the word of the Lord – Thanks be to God
THE GOSPEL – LUKE 24, 36-43
Alleluia, Alleluia I am the first and the last says the Lord and the living one; I was dead and behold I am alive for evermore. Alleluia, Alleluia.
Hear the Gospel of our lord Jesus Christ, according to Luke – Glory to you O, Lord
While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” They were startled and terrified, and thought that they were seeing a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you frightened, and why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet; see that it is I myself. Touch me and see; for a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.” And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
While in their joy they were disbelieving and still wondering, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence. Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you–that everything written about me in the law of Moses, the prophets, and the psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures, and he said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Messiah is to suffer and to rise from the dead on the third day,
and that repentance and forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things.
This is the Gospel of the Lord- Praise to you O Christ.
Today’s Gospel reading again recounts another sighting of Jesus which came from Cleopas and his companion going to Emmaus, after which they returned to Jerusalem to be with the eleven disciples who were gathered together, he says those magical words once again “ Peace be with You “.
There must have been much excitement but also confusion as they thought that they had seen a ghost, however Jesus insists that they look at his body and touch him so that they could truly believe that he had risen from the dead. He went further and actually ate fish with them, to prove that he wasn’t a ghost. He then reminded them of the scriptures and quoted the prophets, in this way it helped them to put all he had taught them into place. It actually says that he opened their minds to understand the scriptures and I suppose the penny dropped so to speak. It makes you wonder while Jesus was alive did they really not know what was to happen. In previous readings during Lent, it tells us of Jesus preparing the disciples and telling them what would become of him, did they not believe him or did they just not understand that it was so imminent?
They certainly from this event going forward, start to put the pieces together and find out their purpose in the future. Jesus tells them to proclaim his name and tell all the people they can, that God will forgive them their sins. He tells them that repentance and forgiveness should be proclaimed in his name and that it should go all over the world beginning there in Jerusalem despite their fears and apprehension.
They were to be his witnesses and as I said last week over 2000 years later we know that they managed to do it as we are still recounting that good news, that very special story and we too are asked to be witnesses to the story, not always by seeing it but with our faith, we break bread as he did in our Holy Communion, we retell the story of Easter and we show by example.
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 Holy Spirit, born of 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; ascended into heaven, he is seated at the right hand of the Father, and he will come 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.
We give thanks that you have called us to witness to your resurrection and to your presence. Help us, Lord Jesus, to turn away from sin and follow you. May your church reveal your glory to the world. We remember today all who are persecuted for their faith; all who are struggling to make your name known in difficult areas. We pray for all who are in doubt or fear.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer.
We bring before you the fearful and the anxious; all whose lives are in danger through violence or war. We remember all who are locked away, in prison or by painful memories, all who are striving for a new freedom and for hope, especially as we start to re-open our lives in this new normal.
Lord in your mercy– Hear our prayer
We give thanks for your presence in our homes; that you are always with us. May we know you as a friend and helper. Bless our family and loved ones with your abiding presence. Be known among our friends and our companions. We remember all who live alone and are worried about their lives in the future.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
We give thanks for the healing power of faith. We ask you to bless and guide all who heal. We remember our own doctors and surgeries. We ask that the ill and the weary may know you as their companion and helper. We pray to you for all who are hard pressed and struggling at this time.
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
Blessed are you Lord Jesus Christ, for you have triumphed over darkness and death, opening for us the way to eternal life. We pray for the Queen and the Royal family in their sorrow and ask you Lord to be close to all who mourn, we give thanks for the life of Prince Philip for his love of tour country and his devotion to duty and we entrust him to your love and mercy. We think also at this time those whose anniversaries fall at this time especially Thomas Tony Carruthers, Joyce Ramsbottom, Kenneth Joseph Fay and Ethel Berry. May they rejoice in the fullness of life eternal.
Merciful Father accept these prayers for the sake your Son our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
THE LORD’S PRAYER
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.
Now may the Lord of peace himself give us peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with us all and the blessing of God almighty, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit be with us all and those who we love for evermore. Amen.