Staying Safe and Staying Connected
Good Morning Saint Stephen’s Church,
We continue our life of daily prayer. The Lord be with you!
Today is the twenty- fourth Sunday in Ordinary Time
The Collect for the Day
O God, because without you we are not able to please you, mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things direct and rule our hearts; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Matthew: 18:21-35
Peter came and said to Jesus, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
“For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; and, as he could not pay, his lord ordered him to be sold, together with his wife and children and all his possessions, and payment to be made. So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.’ And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. But that same slave, as he went out, came upon one of his fellow slaves who owed him a hundred denarii; and seizing him by the throat, he said, ‘Pay what you owe.’ Then his fellow slave fell down and pleaded with him, ‘Have patience with me, and I will pay you.’ But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. When his fellow slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. Then his lord summoned him and said to him, ‘You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. Should you not have had mercy on your fellow slave, as I had mercy on you?’ And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.”
The Gospel of the Lord
From Our Prayers of the People
Today, let us pray:
For the just and proper use of your creation: for the victims of hunger, fear, injustice, and oppression.
For comfort and healing for all who are affected by the Coronavirus: for physicians, nurses, and all others who minister to the sick and the suffering, may God grant them wisdom and skill, sympathy and patience, and may God keep them healthy and safe.
For all essential workers: for police, firefighters, EMTs, postal workers, sanitation workers, grocery personnel, delivery and transport workers, and all who must report to work because what they do is essential for our well-being, health, and safety.
For those on the Parish Prayer Chain Charles, Joe, Doug, Debbie, Cindi, Doug, Hugh, Debby, Joan, Hank, Joan and Craig.
For those who are homebound: Stephen, Pauline, Joan, Janet and Marilyn.
Our Government Leaders: Donald Trump, President of the United States; Andrew Cuomo, Governor of New York State; Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady
Our Church Leaders: Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, Michael Curry, Presiding Bishop, William Love, and Daniel Herzog our bishops; James and Dennie our priests; Pat our deacon and Allison our Lay Reader
Those who are imprisoned: those particularly vulnerable at this time, especially the women in the Schenectady County Jail.
For those in need of healing: Sid, Jean, Cindi, Mary Frances, Debbie and Joe.
For Allison – today is her baptismal anniversary!
For all the blessings of this life.
For our dioceses in the Anglican Communion: Osun North East (Nigeria), Cashel & Ossory (Ireland).
For all who have died: especially Reginald and Mildred.
For one another.
Something to share
It is impossible to compass life without suffering harm
from loved ones.
Wrongs that take the ground from under the feet.
Wrongs that hurt heart through and through.
Wrongs that make us distraught victim.
Does forgiveness immunize us for further injustices?
Does forgiveness soothe suffering?
One thing is certain, everyone has been hurt in life
and everyone once inflicted wound:
Love that bears all things, and endures all things
shows the principle of overcoming evil with good.
We live in times where love is seen as pleasure.
When there is lack of fulfillment the connection ends
instead of support in moments of weakness,
jointly bearing burden,
willingness to give up the ego.
In relations underflow of virtues is worthless.
Every love at some point hurts.
The more we love the greater the suffering.
Remember, that you are also sometimes hard to bear.
One of the most important lessons in life
is non acceptance of evil.
Always we are entitled to protest and defense.
There is a difference between sagacious enduring of injustice
and permition for hard time and humiliation.
Defense against evil should be free from desire
for revenge, hate, wrath, punishment and anger.
Leave vengeance to God.
The point is love. It is she who shows the right path.
The cure for the human pain of injustice is forgiveness.
Man needs time to forgive,
therefore necessary at times of touch of hurt is compassion.
Does forgiveness mean to forget?
No, forgiveness is an act of will not of forgetting.
Great injury can not be erased from memory.
Forgiveness is duty that gives hope and strength for the future.
Forgiveness is the transition from helplessness to peace of heart.
Forgiveness is overcoming anger and grief towards acceptance of reality.
Is forgiveness reconciliation?
No, although it is a quantum leap in the direction of reconciliation.
There is no way to force act of reconciliation.
Forgiveness is one thing,
and to be mature for reconciliation is another thing.
Most important in forgiveness is not to rely
on gesture of compensation.
Some believe that only weak people forgive.Liliana Jaworska
Forgiveness requires tremendous effort and courage.
It is easier to sail away in anger
than creative dialogue which leads to remedy of the situation.
Without forgiveness you can not win
with guilt, abyss of past and human frailties.
Forgiveness is above all priceless gift for yourself.
Forgiveness frees you from inner poisons,
and also opens up new lands.
If we are able to injure,
we are also able to say the sorry and make amends.
Act of contrition allows for a true change of heart.
Act of forgiveness is the bud of heart at peace.
A Prayer in this time of our Eucharistic Fast
My Jesus, I believe that you are truly present in the Blessed Sacrament of the Altar. I love you above all things, and long for you in my soul. Since I cannot now receive you sacramentally, come at least spiritually into my heart. As though you have already come, I embrace you and unite myself entirely to you; never permit me to be separated from you. Amen.St. Alphonsus de Liguori, 1696-1787
News & Updates
Worship for Sunday, September 13th 2020
Click on this post to view the instructions on returning to church, National Cathedral live stream and recorded Homily.
If you have an update/news, a prayer or poem or something inspirational you would like us to share with the congregation, please send it to us. Please also send us any prayer requests. We will incorporate these into the Morning Prayers as best we can.
If you need a prayerbook, and are not in a position to purchase one, please contact me: firstname.lastname@example.org. I will make sure you have your own Book of Common Prayer.
Prayerbook Morning Prayer in Zoom – each morning. Join Dennie and me for an inter-active service of Morning Prayer at 9 am. Time to bring your prayer concerns will be provided. (contact me for the link: email@example.com)
Our church campus is closed, except for our Eucharistic Ingathering on Sundays at 9:00 am. Please see our website for further information: https://st-stephens.church. All other parish meetings and gatherings are canceled and postponed until further notice.
Our goal is for all of us to stay in touch and connected in this time of isolation.
Share this news, and spread some love, not the virus!
May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be at your back,
May the sun shine upon your face,
The rains fall soft upon soft upon your fields,
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Be of good courage. We are in this together, and we will be together again soon. God bless you and may God be with us in the days ahead.