Thirteenth Sunday in Ordinary Time
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen.
Today we are challenged to look carefully at our commitment to Christ, trusting God who gives us the grace we need.
Sovereign God, ruler of our hearts, you call us to obedience and sustain us in freedom. Keep us true to the way of your Son, that we may leave behind all that hinders us and, with eyes fixed on him, walk surely in the path of the kingdom, where he lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever.
“Jesus Shall Reign Where’er the Sun”
A Reading from the Old Testament:1 Kings 19:16b, 19-21 (NLT)
Anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from the town of Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.
So Elijah went and found Elisha son of Shaphat plowing a field. There were twelve teams of oxen in the field, and Elisha was plowing with the twelfth team. Elijah went over to him and threw his cloak across his shoulders and then walked away. Elisha left the oxen standing there, ran after Elijah, and said to him, “First let me go and kiss my father and mother good-bye, and then I will go with you!”
Elijah replied, “Go on back, but think about what I have done to you.”
So Elisha returned to his oxen and slaughtered them. He used the wood from the plow to build a fire to roast their flesh. He passed around the meat to the townspeople, and they all ate. Then he went with Elijah as his assistant.
A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 16:1-2, 5, 7-11 (NLT)
Keep me safe, O God, for I have come to you for refuge. I said to the Lord, “You are my Master! Every good thing I have comes from you.”
Lord, you alone are my inheritance, my cup of blessing. You guard all that is mine.
I will bless the Lord who guides me; even at night my heart instructs me. I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety. For you will not leave my soul among the dead or allow your holy one to rot in the grave.
You will show me the way of life, granting me the joy of your presence and the pleasures of living with you forever.
“Psalm 16” (The Path of Life) – Diocese of St. Benedict
A Reading from the Letters: Galatians 5:1, 13-18 (NLT)
So Christ has truly set us free. Now make sure that you stay free, and don’t get tied up again in slavery to the law.
For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters. But don’t use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature. Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” But if you are always biting and devouring one another, watch out! Beware of destroying one another.
So I say, let the Holy Spirit guide your lives. Then you won’t be doing what your sinful nature craves. The sinful nature wants to do evil, which is just the opposite of what the Spirit wants. And the Spirit gives us desires that are the opposite of what the sinful nature desires. These two forces are constantly fighting each other, so you are not free to carry out your good intentions. But when you are directed by the Spirit, you are not under obligation to the law of Moses.
A Reading from the Gospels: Luke 9:51-62 (NLT)
As the time drew near for him to ascend to heaven, Jesus resolutely set out for Jerusalem. He sent messengers ahead to a Samaritan village to prepare for his arrival. But the people of the village did not welcome Jesus because he was on his way to Jerusalem. When James and John saw this, they said to Jesus, “Lord, should we call down fire from heaven to burn them up?” But Jesus turned and rebuked them. So they went on to another village.
As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.”
But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.”
He said to another person, “Come, follow me.”
The man agreed, but he said, “Lord, first let me return home and bury my father.”
But Jesus told him, “Let the spiritually dead bury their own dead! Your duty is to go and preach about the Kingdom of God.”
Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will follow you, but first let me say good-bye to my family.”
But Jesus told him, “Anyone who puts a hand to the plow and then looks back is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”
Hymn: “All To Jesus I Surrender” – Robin Mark
Sovereign God: you call us to obedience and sustain us in freedom. Hear the prayers of your pilgrim people.
+ That all church leaders may have the gift of courage…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those who follow Christ may be committed to him…. Lord, hear us.
+ That Christians may be spared from halfheartedness…. Lord, hear us.
+ That those on holidays may travel safely…. Lord, hear us.
+ That people who worry may have the support of good friends…. Lord, hear us.
+ That we may have your help in our times of need…. Lord, hear us.
+ That Christians may provide loving service to communities undergoing dramatic change…. Lord, hear us.
+ That all we have lost to death may find the fullness of joy in your presence…. Lord, hear us.
O God, our refuge and our strength: you are our ever-present help in times of trouble. Hear our prayers, through Christ our Lord. Amen.
“I Have Decided” – Selah
Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. – Philippians 3:13-14
+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen