Image: "Christo Negro," painting (1995). Martin Ruis Anglada, Saragossa, Spain, (detail).
Theme of the Day
Today we hear James warn against selfish ambition, while the disciples quarrel over which one of them is the greatest. Jesus tells them the way to be great is to serve. Then, to make it concrete, he puts in front of them a flesh-and-blood child. We are called to welcome the children God puts in front of us, to make room for them in daily interaction, and to give them a place of honour in the assembly.
The Collect for Sunday
O God, our teacher and guide, you draw us to yourself and welcome us as beloved children. Help us to lay aside all envy and selfish ambition, that we may walk in your ways of wisdom and understanding as servants of your Son, Jesus Christ, our Saviour and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever.
Sundays and Seasons, 2021 (alt.).
The prayers of the church are offered especially:
- for the needs of the world, especially at this time global pandemic;
- for all medical personnel and caregivers, especially for those who work with those who are most ill;
- for those who are sick;
- for research workers and scientists and medical personnel who are working to protect us, provide adequate testing, and to develop, deliver and administer vaccines;
- for the safety of front line workers;
- for those who are particularly vulnerable to this virus;
- for those who are isolated and anxious;
- for the healing of racial inequality, prejudice, bigotry, systemic racism, injustice, and hatred;
- for the First Peoples of this land and for the work of healing and reconcilation;
- for all who grieve for lost children, for the survivors of Indian Residential Schools, and for generational healing;
- for those who are hungry and homeless;
- for those who are unemployed or underemployed;
- for the nation of Canada and all citizens as they vote in tomorrow's federal election;
- for Elizabeth our Queen and all those set in authority under her, for Justin, the Prime Minister of Canada and all members of parliament; Doug, the Premier of Ontario and all members of the legislature; Fred, the mayor of Hamilton and those who serve city council; for the First Nations of this land, for elders, chiefs, and band councils; for all in civil authority and for all citizens that we might work together for the common good;
- for those soon to be ordained to Holy Orders: to the Holy Priesthood, The Reverend Michael Coren; to the Holy Order of Deacons: Rob Duncan, Rob Jones, Matt Gillard, and Randy Williams;
- for the whole church: for Susan, our Diocesan Bishop; for David and Brian, our priests; for Tom, our intern; for all bishops, priests and deacons; and for all the baptized: that God may accomplish God's work in and through us for the sake of the world;
- for all for whom we have been asked to pray, that God will bring them healing and wholeness;
- for those who are dying and all those who have departed from this life and are at rest.
In our cycles of prayer:
- In the Worldwide Anglican Communion: for The Church of the Province of Uganda, its clergy and people.
- In our neighbourhood: St Joseph Roman Catholic Parish, Fr. Jim Link, C.R., Pastor; and the people of that parish.
- For one another, especially in our parish cycle of prayer: Alex and Brianna Urquhart; Brent, Rosalee, Nora and Alida van Staalduinen; Adrienne Vraets and Craig Dart; James, Tamara, Rowan, Hazel, and Finnegan Watson; Sarah Wayland, John, David, and Miriam Loukidelis.
Prayer requests to be included on the following Sunday can be submitted here by the Thursday morning before.
The Readings for Sunday
First Reading: Jeremiah 11:18-20
Today’s reading tells of the suffering of the prophet Jeremiah, who announced God’s word to Judah but was met with intense opposition and persecution. Jeremiah continues to trust in God in the midst of his suffering.
18It was the Lord who made it known to me, and I knew;
then you showed me their evil deeds.
19But I was like a gentle lamb
led to the slaughter.
And I did not know it was against me
that they devised schemes, saying,
“Let us destroy the tree with its fruit,
let us cut him off from the land of the living,
so that his name will no longer be remembered!”
20But you, O Lord of hosts, who judge righteously,
who try the heart and the mind,
let me see your retribution upon them,
for to you I have committed my cause.
Psalm: Psalm 54
God is my helper; it is the Lord who sustains my life. (Ps. 54:4)
Second Reading: James 3:13--4:3, 7-8a
The wisdom God gives unites our hearts and minds. Instead of living to satisfy our own wants and desires, we manifest this wisdom in peace, gentleness, mercy, and impartiality toward others.
13Who is wise and understanding among you? Show by your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. 14But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth. 15Such wisdom does not come down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, devilish. 16For where there is envy and selfish ambition, there will also be disorder and wickedness of every kind. 17But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without a trace of partiality or hypocrisy. 18And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace for those who make peace.4:
1Those conflicts and disputes among you, where do they come from? Do they not come from your cravings that are at war within you? 2You want something and do not have it; so you commit murder. And you covet something and cannot obtain it; so you engage in disputes and conflicts. You do not have, because you do not ask. 3You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, in order to spend what you get on your pleasures. 7Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8aDraw near to God, and he will draw near to you.
Gospel: Mark 9:30-37
Jesus’ teaching and action in this text are directed to the church whenever it is seduced by the world’s definition of greatness: prestige, power, influence, and money. The antidote to such a concern for greatness is servanthood.
30[Jesus and the disciples went on] and passed through Galilee. He did not want anyone to know it;31for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and three days after being killed, he will rise again.” 32But they did not understand what he was saying and were afraid to ask him.
33Then they came to Capernaum; and when he was in the house he asked them, “What were you arguing about on the way?” 34But they were silent, for on the way they had argued with one another who was the greatest. 35He sat down, called the twelve, and said to them, “Whoever wants to be first must be last of all and servant of all.” 36Then he took a little child and put it among them; and taking it in his arms, he said to them, 37“Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me, and whoever welcomes me welcomes not me but the one who sent me.”
Prayers of Intercession
Made children and heirs of God’s promise, we pray for the church, the world, and all in need.
A brief silence.
God of community, we pray for the church around the world. Unite us in our love for you. Help us overcome our divisions, that we are encouraged to work together for your sake. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of creation, we pray for this hurting earth. Awaken in us a new desire to care for this world and empower us to support agencies, organizations, and individual efforts to heal our environment. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of cooperation, we pray for nations of the world embroiled in conflict (especially). Inspire leaders to listen to each other and work towards peaceful solutions to disagreements. Protect the vulnerable, especially children, who cannot find safety in their home or country. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of comfort, we pray for all who live with mental or physical illness. Help them find appropriate care. Bring healing and wholeness when the path forward seems bleak. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
God of compassion, we pray for the young people of this congregation. Renew in us your call to welcome the children in our midst. As they grow, strengthen their faith and our commitment to them. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Here other intercessions may be offered.
God of consolation, we give you thanks for our loved ones who have died and pray for all who grieve today (especially). Shine your grace on all your saints. Lord, in your mercy,
hear our prayer.
Receive these prayers, O God, and those in our hearts known only to you; through Jesus Christ our Lord.