OREMUS: 21 September 2011

Steve Benner steve.benner at oremus.org
Tue Sep 20 17:00:00 GMT 2011

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OREMUS for September 21
Saint Matthew the Evangelist

O Lord, open our lips.
And our mouth shall proclaim your praise.

Blessed are you, God of love,
for in Christ your Son
you revealed your compassion for humankind
and in mercy you invite sinners
to sit at the banquet of your kingdom.
We give you thanks for Matthew,
who responded to the call of Christ
and made him welcome in his house.
Changed and renewed by the coming of the Lord,
he dedicated himself to proclaiming
your wonderful works of salvation.
For these and all your mercies, we praise you,
Father, Son and Holy Spirit:
Blessed be God for ever 

An opening canticle may be sung. 


Psalm 105

Give thanks to the Lord and call upon his name;*
 make known his deeds among the peoples.
Sing to him, sing praises to him,*
 and speak of all his marvellous works.
Glory in his holy name;*
 let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice.
Search for the Lord and his strength;*
 continually seek his face.
Remember the marvels he has done,*
 his wonders and the judgements of his mouth,
O offspring of Abraham his servant,*
 O children of Jacob his chosen.
He is the Lord our God;*
 his judgements prevail in all the world.
He has always been mindful of his covenant,*
 the promise he made for a thousand generations:
The covenant he made with Abraham,*
 the oath that he swore to Isaac,
Which he established as a statute for Jacob,*
 an everlasting covenant for Israel,
Saying, 'To you will I give the land of Canaan*
 to be your allotted inheritance.'
When they were few in number,*
 of little account and sojourners in the land,
Wandering from nation to nation*
 and from one kingdom to another,
He let no one oppress them*
 and rebuked kings for their sake,
Saying, 'Do not touch my anointed*
 and do my prophets no harm.'
Then he called for a famine in the land*
 and destroyed the supply of bread.
He sent a man before them,*
 Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
They bruised his feet in fetters;*
 his neck they put in an iron collar.
Until his prediction came to pass,*
 the word of the Lord tested him.
The king sent and released him;*
 the ruler of the peoples set him free.
He set him as master over his household,*
 as a ruler over all his possessions,
To instruct his princes according to his will*
 and to teach his elders wisdom.
Israel came into Egypt,*
 and Jacob became a sojourner in the land of Ham.
The Lord made his people exceedingly fruitful;*
 he made them stronger than their enemies;
Whose heart he turned, so that they hated his people,*
 and dealt unjustly with his servants.
He sent Moses his servant,*
 and Aaron whom he had chosen.
They worked his signs among them,*
 and portents in the land of Ham.
He sent darkness and it grew dark;*
 but the Egyptians rebelled against his words.
He turned their waters into blood*
 and caused their fish to die.
Their land was overrun by frogs,*
 in the very chambers of their kings.
He spoke and there came swarms of insects*
 and gnats within all their borders.
He gave them hailstones instead of rain,*
 and flames of fire throughout their land.
He blasted their vines and their fig trees*
 and shattered every tree in their country.
He spoke and the locust came,*
 and young locusts without number,
Which ate up all the green plants in their land*
 and devoured the fruit of their soil.
He struck down the firstborn of their land,*
 the firstfruits of all their strength.
He led out his people with silver and gold;*
 in all their tribes there was not one that stumbled.
Egypt was glad of their going,*
 because they were afraid of them.
He spread out a cloud for a covering*
 and a fire to give light in the night season.
They asked and quails appeared,*
 and he satisfied them with bread from heaven.
He opened the rock and water flowed,*
 so the river ran in the dry places.
For God remembered his holy word*
 and Abraham his servant.
So he led forth his people with gladness,*
 his chosen with shouts of joy.
He gave his people the lands of the nations,*
 and they took the fruit of others' toil,
That they might keep his statutes*
 and observe his laws.

FIRST READING [Ecclus 31.1–11]:

Wakefulness over wealth wastes away one’s flesh,
   and anxiety about it drives away sleep. 
Wakeful anxiety prevents slumber,
   and a severe illness carries off sleep. 
The rich person toils to amass a fortune,
   and when he rests he fills himself with his dainties. 
The poor person toils to make a meagre living,
   and if ever he rests he becomes needy. 

One who loves gold will not be justified;
   one who pursues money will be led astray by it. 
Many have come to ruin because of gold,
   and their destruction has met them face to face. 
It is a stumbling-block to those who are avid for it,
   and every fool will be taken captive by it. 
Blessed is the rich person who is found blameless,
   and who does not go after gold. 
Who is he, that we may praise him?
   For he has done wonders among his people. 
Who has been tested by it and been found perfect?
   Let it be for him a ground for boasting.
Who has had the power to transgress and did not transgress,
   and to do evil and did not do it? 
His prosperity will be established,
   and the assembly will proclaim his acts of charity. 

Words: William Bright (1824-1901)
Tune: Alfreton, Ely, Winchester New

He sat to watch o'er customs paid,
A man of scorned and hardening trade;
Alike the symbol and the tool
Of foreign masters' hated rule.

But grace within his breast had stirred;
There needed but the timely word;
It came, true Lord of souls, from Thee,
That royal summons, 'Follow Me.'

Enough, when Thou wert passing by,
To hear Thy voice, to meet Thine eye:
He rose, responsive to the call,
And left his task, his gains, his all.

O wise exchange! with these to part,
And lay up treasure in Thy heart;
With twofold crown of light to shine
Amid Thy servants' foremost line.

Come, Saviour, as in days of old;
Pass where the world has strongest hold,
And faithless care and selfish greed
Are thorns that choke the holy seed.

Who keep Thy gifts, O bid them claim
The steward's, not the owner's name;
Who yield all up for Thy dear sake,
Let them of Matthew's wealth partake.

SECOND READING [Matthew 9:9-13]:

As Jesus was walking along, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth; and he said to him, 'Follow me.' And he got up and followed him. 

And as he sat at dinner in the house, many tax-collectors and sinners came and were sitting with him and his disciples. When the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, 'Why does your teacher eat with tax-collectors and sinners?' But when he heard this, he said, 'Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. Go and learn what this means, "I desire mercy, not sacrifice." For I have come to call not the righteous but sinners.' 

The Benedictus (Morning), 
the Magnificat (Evening), or Nunc dimittis (Night) may follow.

O God, your word has gone out to all the world
through the witness of your Evangelists and your Church.

Empower your Church always to proclaim
the saving message of the Gospel.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

May the Holy Spirit who inspired your evangelist Matthew
be our guide into all truth.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

Bless those who work through translation and publishing
to make the faith more widely known.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

May all our living fulfill the teaching of the Gospel.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

Bless our reading of Scripture
and lead us always into new paths of understanding.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

May those who loved the word of truth in this world
rejoice for ever in the presence of the living Word.
Strong Word of God,
send us forth to proclaim your good news.

God of mercy and compassion, 
you call us to share the joy of salvation
that Matthew knew when Jesus called him.
May our life be renewed in him 
who came not to call the righteous 
but sinners to salvation in the kingdom, 
your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Gathering our prayers and praises into one,
let us pray as our Savior has taught us.

- The Lord's Prayer

Free us from all greed and selfish love,
that we may follow in the steps of Jesus. Amen.

The psalms are from _Celebrating Common Prayer_ (Mowbray), (c) The
Society of Saint Francis 1992, which is used with permission.

The canticle is from _Common Worship: Daily Prayer, Preliminary
Edition_, copyright (c) The Archbishops' Council, 2002.

The biblical passage is from The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized
Edition), copyright (c) 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education
of  the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA. Used by
permission. All rights reserved.

The opening prayer of thanksgiving is adapted by Stephen Benner from
_We Give You Thanks and Praise: The Ambrosian Eucharistic
Prefaces_, translated by Alan Griffiths, (c) The Canterbury Press
Norwich, 1999.

The intercession is adapted from a prayer in _Leading
Intercessions_ by Raymond Chapman, 2000.

The collect and closing sentence are from Book of Alternative Services, Anglican Church of Canada. 

Matthew appears in the list of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to the gospel written under his name, was a tax collector. Mark and Luke called the tax collector Levi, and it has been assumed that they are one and the same. This occupation was despised by his fellow Jews as a betrayal to the occupying Roman force but Christ showed that judging by outward appearance was not what he was about. He ate with Matthew and with his friends, scandalising those around him. Matthew affirmed that his life would now change because of following Jesus, and that he would make amends for any former wrongdoing. This was enough for Jesus, for he had drawn someone back to God. He was forgiven, therefore he was acceptable, therefore he was received. [Exciting Holiness]

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