I Want to See Heaven, 5th Sunday of Lent.

The Fifth Sunday of Lent
Celebrant: Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

Processional Hymn: Forty Days and Forty Nights

Celebrant: Bless the Lord who forgiveth all our sins;
His mercy endureth forever.

The Celebrant says: Almighty God, to you all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy Name; through Christ our Lord. Amen.

When appointed, the following hymn or some other song of praise is sung or said, all standing
Glory to God in the highest, and peace to his people on earth.

Lord God, heavenly King, almighty God and Father, we worship you, we give you thanks, we praise you for your glory.

Lord Jesus Christ, only Son of the Father,
Lord God, Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world: have mercy on us;
You are seated at the right hand of the Father: receive our prayer.

For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord, you alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ, with the Holy Spirit, in the glory of God the Father. Amen.

Kyrie Eleison
Lord, have mercy.
Christ, have mercy.
Lord, have mercy.

Collect
The Celebrant says to the people: The Lord be with you.
And also with you.
Let us pray.

O Almighty God, who alone canst order the unruly wills and
affections of sinful men: Grant unto thy people that they may
love the thing which thou commandest, and desire that
which thou dost promise; that so, among the sundry and
manifold changes of the world, our hearts may surely there
be fixed where true joys are to be found; through Jesus
Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the
Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.

The Ministry of the Word
Hymn of Praise: Here I Am Lord/The Lord of Sea and Sky

A Reading from the Book of Isaiah 43:16-21 (NLT):
16I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.
17I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
18“But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.
20The wild animals in the fields will thank me,
the jackals and owls, too,
for giving them water in the desert.
Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland
so my chosen people can be refreshed.
21I have made Israel for myself,
and they will someday honor me before the whole world.

The Word of the Lord!
Thanks be to God!

The Responsorial: Psalm 126 (NLT)
1When the Lord brought back his exiles to Jerusalem,
it was like a dream!
2We were filled with laughter,
and we sang for joy.
And the other nations said,
“What amazing things the Lord has done for them.”
3Yes, the Lord has done amazing things for us!
What joy!
4Restore our fortunes, Lord,
as streams renew the desert.
5Those who plant in tears
will harvest with shouts of joy.
6They weep as they go to plant their seed,
but they sing as they return with the harvest.

Attende Domine

A Reading from the Letter of the Philippians 3:4b-14 (NLT):
Indeed, if others have reason for confidence in their own efforts, I have even more!
5I was circumcised when I was eight days old. I am a pure-blooded citizen of Israel and a member of the tribe of Benjamin—a real Hebrew if there ever was one! I was a member of the Pharisees, who demand the strictest obedience to the Jewish law. 6I was so zealous that I harshly persecuted the church. And as for righteousness, I obeyed the law without fault.

7I once thought these things were valuable, but now I consider them worthless because of what Christ has done. 8Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ 9and become one with him. I no longer count on my own righteousness through obeying the law; rather, I become righteous through faith in Christ. For God’s way of making us right with himself depends on faith. 10I want to know Christ and experience the mighty power that raised him from the dead. I want to suffer with him, sharing in his death, 11so that one way or another I will experience the resurrection from the dead!

12I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me. 13No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it, but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, 14I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.

The Word of the Lord!
Thanks Be to God!

Sequence Hymn: Father Hear the Prayer We Offer

The Holy Gospel
A procession may be formed, and the Deacon, with assistants, may carry the Gospel book to a place in the center of the church, or other convenient place where it may be heard.

Then, all standing, the Deacon or a Priest reads the Gospel, first saying
The Holy Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to John 12: 1-8 (NLT).
Glory to you, Lord Christ.

1Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead. 2A dinner was prepared in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, and Lazarus was among those who ate with him. 3Then Mary took a twelve-ounce jar of expensive perfume made from essence of nard, and she anointed Jesus’ feet with it, wiping his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance.

4But Judas Iscariot, the disciple who would soon betray him, said, 5“That perfume was worth a year’s wages. It should have been sold and the money given to the poor.” 6Not that he cared for the poor—he was a thief, and since he was in charge of the disciples’ money, he often stole some for himself.

7Jesus replied, “Leave her alone. She did this in preparation for my burial. 8You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.”

After the Gospel, the Reader says
The Gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, Lord Christ.

At the conclusion of the Gospel, the Bishop or Celebrant may kiss the Gospel book. If the celebrant is not part of the Gospel procession, the Subdeacon or other Minister may carry the Gospel book to be kissed.

The Bishop or Celebrant, kissing the book, may say: May the words of the Gospel wipe away our sins.

Show Me Heaven!
Rt. Rev. Edward L. Tatro, Jr., D.Div.

From the Commentary: “Christ had formerly blamed Martha for being troubled with much serving. But she did not leave off serving, as some, who when found fault with for going too far in one way, peevishly run too far another way; she still served, but within hearing of Christ’s gracious words. Mary gave a token of love to Christ, who had given real tokens of his love to her and her family. God’s Anointed should be our Anointed. Has God poured on him the oil of gladness above his fellows, let us pour on him the ointment of our best affections. In Judas a foul sin is gilded over with a plausible pretense. We must not think that those do no acceptable service, who do it not in our way. The reigning love of money is heart-theft. The grace of Christ puts kind comments on pious words and actions, makes the best of what is amiss, and the most of what is good. Opportunities are to be improved; and those first and most vigorously, which are likely to be the shortest.”

Now to my story. Long ago there lived an old woman who had a wish. She wished more than anything to see for herself the difference between heaven and hell. The monks in the temple agreed to grant her request. They put a blindfold around her eyes, and said, “First you shall see hell.”

When the blindfold was removed, the old woman was standing at the entrance to a great dining hall. The hall was full of round tables, each piled high with the most delicious foods — meats, vegetables, fruits, breads, and desserts of all kinds! The smells that reached her nose were wonderful.

The old woman noticed that, in hell, there were people seated around those round tables. She saw that their bodies were thin, and their faces were gaunt, and creased with frustration. Each person held a spoon. The spoons must have been three feet long! They were so long that the people in hell could reach the food on those platters, but they could not get the food back to their mouths. As the old woman watched, she heard their hungry desperate cries. “I’ve seen enough,” she cried. “Please let me see heaven.”

And so again the blindfold was put around her eyes, and the old woman heard, “Now you shall see heaven.” When the blindfold was removed, the old woman was confused. For there she stood again, at the entrance to a great dining hall, filled with round tables piled high with the same lavish feast. And again, she saw that there were people sitting just out of arm’s reach of the food with those three-foot long spoons.

But as the old woman looked closer, she noticed that the people in heaven were plump and had rosy, happy faces. As she watched, a joyous sound of laughter filled the air.

And soon the old woman was laughing too, for now she understood the difference between heaven and hell for herself. The people in heaven were using those long spoons to feed each other.”

When will you in sitting in these pews learn to feed each other? To feed each other the Good News, feed each other the Love of Christ? Prophets for ages have declaring to return to the Lord and to His traditions. When was the last time you invited some one to come to church? Would you do as Mary did and anoint Him for his burial. Mary knew or sensed before all the others what was about to happen to Jesus.

Again…I now say to you Repent! Repent! Repent! Return to Him, and to His traditions.

Let us in one united voice declare our faith!

The Nicene Creed: all standing
We believe in one God, the Father, the Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, of all that is, seen and unseen.

We believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ, the only Son of God, eternally begotten of the Father, God from God, Light from Light, true God from true God, begotten, not made, of one Being with the Father. Through him all things were made. For us and for our salvation he came down from heaven: by the power of the Holy Spirit he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary, and was made man. For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate; he suffered death and was buried. On the third day he rose again in accordance with the Scriptures; he ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father. He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead, and his kingdom will have no end.

We believe in the Holy Spirit, the Lord, the giver of life, who proceeds from the Father and the Son. With the Father and the Son he is worshiped and glorified. He has spoken through the Prophets.

We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic Church. We acknowledge one baptism for the forgiveness of sins. We look for the resurrection † of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen.

The Prayers of the People (Ad Orientem)
Deacon or other leader: With all our heart and with all our mind, let us pray to the Lord, saying, “Lord, have mercy.”

For the peace from above, for the loving kindness of God, and for the salvation of our souls, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the peace of the world, for the welfare of the holy Church of God, and for the unity of all peoples, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our Bishop, and for all the clergy and people, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For our President, for the leaders of the nations, and for all in authority, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For this the City of Montgomery, for every city and community, and for those who live in them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For seasonable weather, and for an abundance of the fruits of the earth, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the good earth which God has given us, and for the wisdom and will to conserve it, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For those who travel on land, on water, or in the air or through outer space], let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy

For the aged and infirm, for the widowed and orphans, and for the sick and the suffering, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Here the people mention their own intentions: For _______ , let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For the poor and the oppressed, for the unemployed and the destitute, for prisoners and captives, and for all who remember and care for them, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For all who have died in the hope of the resurrection, and for all the departed, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

For deliverance from all danger, violence, oppression, and degradation, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

That we may end our lives in faith and hope, without suffering and without reproach, let us pray to the Lord.
Lord, have mercy.

Defend us, deliver us, and in your compassion, protect us, O Lord, by your grace.
Lord, have mercy.

In the communion of St. Mary Magdalene and of all the saints, let us commend ourselves, and one another, and all our life, to Christ our God.
To you, O Lord our God.

Lord, hear the prayers of your people; and what we have asked faithfully, grant that we may obtain effectually, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Heavenly Father, you have promised to hear what we ask in the Name of your Son: Accept and fulfill our petitions, we pray, not as we ask in our ignorance, nor as we deserve in our sinfulness, but as you know and love us in your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen

Almighty God, to whom our needs are known before we ask, help us to ask only what accords with your will; and those good things which we dare not, or in our blindness cannot ask, grant us for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Almighty and eternal God, ruler of all things in heaven and earth: Mercifully accept the prayers of your people and strengthen us to do your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Deacon or Celebrant says the following: Let us confess our sins against God and our neighbor.
(Ad Orientem) Celebrant and People: Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone. We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. We are truly sorry and we humbly repent. For the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name. Amen.

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, stands and says Almighty God have mercy on you, forgive you all your sins + through our Lord Jesus Christ, strengthen you in all + goodness, and by the power of the + Holy Spirit keep you in eternal life. Amen.

All stand. The Celebrant says to the people
The peace of the Lord be always with you.
And also with you.
Then the Ministers and People may greet one another in the Name of the Lord.

The Offertory
Walk in love, as Christ loved us and gave himself for us, an offering and sacrifice to God.

Offertory Hymn: We Walk By Faith

The Doxology:

The Bishop when present, or the Priest, may bless the people with one of these forms or with similar words: The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord; and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father , the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be among you, and remain with you always. Amen.

Recessional Hymn: Take Up Your Cross

The Deacon, or the Celebrant, dismisses them with these words
Our Mass is ended, Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.
Thanks be to God.

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Author: Padre Tatro

I'm an ordained Anglican minister and a consecrated bishop, as well as a mental health professional. I also have Fibromyalgia and I am an Amateur Radio Operator. My call sign is K1RET.

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