Sunday 21st March ~ Passiontide
The Collect: Most merciful God, who by the death and resurrection of your Son Jesus Christ delivered and saved mankind: Grant that by faith in Him who suffered on the cross, we may triumph in the power of His victory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. All: Amen.
The Epistle is written in the 5th verse of the 5th Ch. of St. Paul’s Letter to the Hebrews:
Christ did not take upon Himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to Him, “You are my Son; today I have become your Father.” And He says in another place, “You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.” During the days of Jesus’ life on earth, He offered up prayers and petitions with loud cries and tears to the one who could save Him from death, and He was heard because of His reverent submission. Although He was a son, He learned obedience from what He suffered and, once made perfect, He became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey Him and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.
This is the Word of the Lord: All: Thanks be to God
Hear the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to St. John: All: Glory to You, O Lord
Jesus said, “The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honour the one who serves me. “Now my heart is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name!” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and will glorify it again.” The crowd that was there and heard it said it had thundered; others said an angel had spoken to Him. Jesus said, “This voice was for your benefit, not mine. Now is the time for judgement on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. But I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die.
This is the Gospel of the Lord: All: Praise to You, O Christ
In the power of the Spirit let us pray to the Father:
Loving God, as we recall that going up to Jerusalem cost Jesus His life, so we come before you, conscious of the way holy phrases can slip to easily from our lazy lips and our hardened hearts. Forgive us the shallowness of our faith and our ready excuses. Turn us around that we may live our lives bearing the seeds of your kingdom. Lord in your mercy:
Lord Jesus, today as we move into Passiontide we are reminded just how much we owe to you and just how much you suffered for our sake. We thank you for those who stood alongside you to the last, especially today the women disciples who did not flee in the face of danger but stood strong. Thank you for their example of love and thank you for loving us before we ever loved you. Lord in your mercy:
Lord Jesus today we recall how you stayed true to your calling, despite every attempt to deflect you from it. Help us to stand up as your witnesses in an unbelieving world. Help us to stand firm against injustice wherever we may encounter it. We pray that you will take the little love we have and nurture, deepen and expand it, until it flows through our hearts and reaches out to those around us. Lord in your mercy:
Lord Jesus Christ, you know what it is to give, for you gave your all. Help us to remember today that whatever we give, we shall receive far more. Help us always to be generous and gracious both in our giving and in our receiving. Lord in your mercy:
Loving Lord, bless all who are ministering in your name in these challenging times, especially as they prepare for Holy Week and Easter. Help each one of us to follow wherever you lead in our individual and collective discipleship. Lord in your mercy:
Lord Jesus Christ, as you touched those with leprosy, restored sight to the blind, brought peace to the disturbed and enabled the lame to walk, come now to all who are sick in body, mind or spirit, and in a moment of silence, remembering especially any body known to us specifically. May they feel your healing touch upon them and know your love in their suffering. Lord in your mercy:
Saving Lord, help us to enter into this Passiontide in humility, responding prayerfully to the suffering you endured for our sake, in the knowledge and gracious thankfulness that your love for us is greater than we can ever show, and your sacrifice more costly than we can ever offer.
Merciful Father: Accept these prayers for the sake of Your Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ.