Saint James The Greater

Church of God

A Service Of The Word And

Celebration of the Lord’s Table

(Condensed online version)

Sunday September 26, 2021


GREETING


Minister: The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you

Assembly: And also, with you

Minister: The risen Christ is with us

Assembly: Praise the Lord



OPENING PRAYER


Minister: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from you 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 the Lord.

Amen



PROCLAMATION AND RESPONSE


PRAYER FOR ILLUMINATION


Minister: Lord. open our hearts and minds by the power of the Holy Spirit, that, as the Scriptures are read and your word proclaimed, we may hear with joy what you say to us today'



LITURGY OF THE WORD


Reading I - Numbers 11:25-29


Reader: A reading from the book of Numbers


The LORD came down in the cloud and spoke to Moses. Taking some of the spirit that was on Moses, the LORD bestowed it on the seventy elders; and as the spirit came to rest on them, they prophesied. Now two men, one named Eldad and the other Medad, were not in the gathering but had been left in the camp. They too had been on the list, but had not gone out to the tent; yet the spirit came to rest on them also,

and they prophesied in the camp. 


So, when a young man quickly told Moses, "Eldad and Medad are prophesying in the camp, " Joshua, son of Nun, who from his youth had been Moses’ aide, said, "Moses, my lord, stop them." But Moses answered him, "Are you jealous for my sake?

Would that all the people of the LORD were prophets! Would that the LORD might bestow his spirit on them all!"


Reader: The Word of the Lord.

Assembly: Thanks be to God.


Reading II - James 5:1-6


Reader: A reading from the Book of James


Come now, you rich, weep and wail over your impending miseries. Your wealth has rotted away, your clothes have become moth-eaten, your gold and silver have corroded, and that corrosion will be a testimony against you; it will devour your flesh like a fire. You have stored up  reasure for the last days. Behold, the wages you withheld from the workers who harvested your fields are crying aloud; and the cries of the harvesters have reached the ears of the Lord of hosts.


You have lived on earth in luxury and pleasure; you have fattened your hearts for the day of slaughter.

You have condemned; you have murdered the righteous one; he offers you no resistance.


Reader: The Word of the Lord.

Assembly: Thanks be to God.


Gospel - Mark 9:38-43, 45. 47-48


Minister or Deacon: The Lord be with you.

Assembly: And with your spirit.

Minister or Deacon: A reading from the holy Gospel according to Mark

Assembly: Glory to you, O Lord.


At that time, John said to Jesus, "Teacher, we saw someone driving out demons in your name, and we tried to prevent him because he does not follow us." Jesus replied, "Do not prevent him. There is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us. Anyone who gives you a cup of water to drink because you belong to Christ, amen, I say to you, will surely not lose his reward.


"Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were put around his neck and he were thrown into the sea. If your hand causes you to sin, cut it off. It is better for you to enter into life maimed than with two hands to go into Gehenna, into the unquenchable fire. And if your foot causes you to sin, cut if off. It is better for you to enter into life crippled than with two feet to be thrown into Gehenna. And if your eye causes you to sin, pluck it out. Better for you to enter into the kingdom of God with one eye than with two eyes to be thrown into Gehenna, where 'their worm does not die, and the fire is not quenched.'"


Minister or Deacon: The Gospel of the Lord.

Assembly: Praise to you, Lord Jesus Christ



SERMON


Tolerance


This Sunday, Jesus teaches us about tolerance. Tolerance (or ‘pagpaparaya’ in Filipino) is often associated with being permissive. Being tolerant or permissive is suspect; it has to be checked if it could lead to abuse of freedom or to violent consequences. A mother, who is not able to correct her children’s bad behaviour early in life, is being tolerant in a wrong way. Tolerance could also be right in other cases. In fact, it would be a big mistake to view tolerance in its negative value only.


In the gospel, Jesus asks his disciples to be tolerant. If tolerance were not good, why would Jesus require such from his disciples? As narrated, it started when after the disciples ‘saw someone driving out demons’ in the name of Jesus, they prevented him from performing exorcism because he did not belong to the followers of Jesus.


We could only surmise what were in the minds of the disciples. Were they jealous because the man could also cast demons though he was not one of them? Were they angry because they have assumed that the power to exorcise demons was a privilege given only to the followers of Jesus and not to any other person? The disciples were confused. Suddenly, what they have thought to be their exclusive right was no longer their own alone.


Jesus had his reasons: ‘Do not prevent him,’ he said, ‘there is no one who performs a mighty deed in my name who can at the same time speak ill of me. For whoever is not against us is for us.’ With these words, Jesus has taught his disciples about tolerance more as an exercise of Christian humility and charity.


This teaching is so relevant for us today. We should not think that salvation is reserved only for us who were baptized and who believe in Christ. Membership to his Church, faith, and the sacraments are still considered the ordinary ways to receive salvation, but this does not exclude the possibility that God could offer other ways of bringing people to encounter the ‘paschal mystery of Christ’ in their lives. Like the outsider who performed exorcism in the name of Jesus, we have to understand that it is really Jesus who is the true source of salvation; the rest is just his medium.


Jesus calls us to religious tolerance, as long as it is not against him and his teachings. It is prudence perhaps that sometimes makes us doubt whether something or someone should be tolerated or not. However, Jesus challenges us towards religious tolerance so that individually we also learn to discern about the faith we have received: what is truly to follow Christ, how is it really to belong to him, what does it really mean to be a Catholic? In the answers our salvation is found.



RESPONSE TO THE WORD


OUR FATHER


Minister: At the Savior’s command and formed by divine teaching, we dare to say:

Assembly: Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us; and lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil.


Minister: Deliver us, Lord, we pray, from every evil, graciously grant peace in our days, that, by the help of your mercy, we may be always free from sin and safe from all distress, as we await the blessed hope and the coming of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

Assembly: For the kingdom, the power and the glory are yours now and forever.



LITURGY OF THE EUCHARIST


Minister: Behold the Lamb of God, behold him who takes away the sins of the world. Blessed are those who are called to the supper of the Lamb.

Assembly: Lord, I am not worthy that you should enter under my roof, but only say the word and my soul shall be healed.



ACT OF SPIRITUAL COMMUNION


Assembly: My Jesus, I believe that You are present in the Most Holy Sacrament. I love You above all things, and I desire to receive You into my soul. Since I cannot at this moment receive You sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. I embrace You as if You were already there and unite myself wholly to You. Never permit me to be separated from You. Amen.


-     St. Alphonsus Liguori



PRAYER AFTER COMMUNION


Minister: Eternal God, We give you thanks for this Holy mystery in which you have given yourself to us. Grant that we may go into the world in the strength of your spirit, to give ourselves for others, in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior.

Amen



CONCLUDING RITE


FINAL BLESSING AND DISMISSAL


Minister: The Lord be with you.

Assembly: And with your spirit.


Minister: The Lord bless thee, and keep thee; The Lord make His face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee The Lord lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Amen.


Minister: Go in peace.

Assembly: Thanks be to God.

0