17 September Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity
Collect of the Day
God, who in generous mercy sent the Holy Spirit upon your Church in the burning fire of your love:
grant that your people may be fervent in the fellowship of the gospel that, always abiding in you,
they may be found steadfast in faith and active in service; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.
15Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, ‘What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?’ 16So they approached Joseph, saying, ‘Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17“Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.” Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.’ Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, ‘We are here as your slaves.’ 19But Joseph said to them, ‘Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.’ In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
Psalm Psalm 103.(1-7)8-13
1 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and all that is within me bless his holy name. Bless the Lord, O my soul,
and forget not all his benefits;
3 Who forgives all your sins and heals all your infirmities; Who redeems your life from the Pit and crowns you with faithful love and compassion; Who satisfies you with good things, so that your youth is renewed like an eagle’s. The Lord executes righteousness and judgement for all who are oppressed. He made his ways known to Moses and his works to the children of Israel. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy, slow to anger and of great kindness.
9 He will not always accuse us, neither will he keep his anger for ever.
10 He has not dealt with us according to our sins, nor rewarded us according to our wickedness. For as the heavens are high above the earth, so great is his mercy upon those who fear him. As far as the east is from the west, so far has he set our sins from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so is the Lord merciful towards those who fear him.
1Welcome those who are weak in faith, but not for the purpose of quarrelling over opinions. 2Some believe in eating anything, while the weak eat only vegetables. 3Those who eat must not despise those who abstain, and those who abstain must not pass judgement on those who eat; for God has welcomed them. 4Who are you to pass judgement on servants of another? It is before their own lord that they stand or fall. And they will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make them stand.
5Some judge one day to be better than another, while others judge all days to be alike. Let all be fully convinced in their own minds. 6Those who observe the day, observe it in honour of the Lord. Also those who eat, eat in honour of the Lord, since they give thanks to God; while those who abstain, abstain in honour of the Lord and give thanks to God.
7We do not live to ourselves, and we do not die to ourselves. 8If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord; so then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord’s. 9For to this end Christ died and lived again, so that he might be Lord of both the dead and the living. 10Why do you pass judgement on your brother or sister? Or you, why do you despise your brother or sister? For we will all stand before the judgement seat of God. 11For it is written, ‘As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall give praise to God.’ 12So then, each of us will be accountable to God.
Gospel Matthew 18.21-35
21Peter 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?’ 22Jesus said to him, ‘Not seven times, but, I tell you, seventy-seven times.
23For this reason the kingdom of heaven may be compared to a king who wished to settle accounts with his slaves. 24When he began the reckoning, one who owed him ten thousand talents was brought to him; 25and, 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. 26So the slave fell on his knees before him, saying, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you everything.” 27And out of pity for him, the lord of that slave released him and forgave him the debt. 28But 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.” 29Then his fellow-slave fell down and pleaded with him, “Have patience with me, and I will pay you.” 30But he refused; then he went and threw him into prison until he would pay the debt. 31When his fellow-slaves saw what had happened, they were greatly distressed, and they went and reported to their lord all that had taken place. 32Then his lord summoned him and said to him, “You wicked slave! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33Should you not have had mercy on your fellow-slave, as I had mercy on you?” 34And in anger his lord handed him over to be tortured until he would pay his entire debt. 35So my heavenly Father will also do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother or sister from your heart.’
Post Communion Prayer
Keep, O Lord, your Church, with your perpetual mercy; and, because without you our human frailty cannot but fall, keep us ever by your help from all things hurtful, and lead us to all things profitable to our salvation;
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Copyright acknowledgement (where not already indicated above):
Collect (15th after Trinity) © 1980, 1986 Mowbray, a Cassell Imprint: Prayers for the Alternative Services comp. David Silk
Genesis 50.15-21 © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. Matthew 18.21-35 © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. Romans 14.1-12 © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ, USA. Psalm 103.(1-7)8-13 © The Archbishops' Council 2000
Post Communion (15th after Trinity) © The Crown/Cambridge University Press: The Book of Common Prayer (1662)