Sentence: Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it. Luke 18:17
Collect: O God, who alone can probe the depths of the heart, you hear the prayer of the humble and justify the repentant sinner: grant us the gift of humility, that, seeing our own faults clearly, we may refrain from judging our neighbour but rely solely upon your grace. We make our prayer through your Son, our Saviour, who lives and reigns with you in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
A reading from the Prophet Joel 2:23-32
23Be glad, people of Zion, rejoice in the Lord your God, for he has given you the autumn rains because he is faithful. He sends you abundant showers, both autumn and spring rains, as before. 24The threshing-floors will be filled with grain; the vats will overflow with new wine and oil. 25‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten – the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm – my great army that I sent among you. 26You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the Lord your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. 27Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the Lord your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed. 28‘And afterwards, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions. 29Even on my servants, both men and women, I will pour out my Spirit in those days. 30I will show wonders in the heavens and on the earth, blood and fire and billows of smoke. 31The sun will be turned to darkness and the moon to blood before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the Lord. 32And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved; for on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem there will be deliverance, as the Lord has said, even among the survivors whom the Lord calls.
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A reading from Paul’s second letter to Timothy 4:6-8, 16-18
6For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time for my departure is near. 7I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day – and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. … 16At my first defence, no one came to my support, but everyone deserted me. May it not be held against them. 17But the Lord stood at my side and gave me strength, so that through me the message might be fully proclaimed and all the Gentiles might hear it. And I was delivered from the lion’s mouth. 18The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
The Gospel according to St Luke, Chapter 18:15-30.
15People were also bringing babies to Jesus for him to place his hands on them. When the disciples saw this, they rebuked them. 16But Jesus called the children to him and said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. 17Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.’ 18A certain ruler asked him, ‘Good teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ 19‘Why do you call me good?’ Jesus answered. ‘No one is good – except God alone. 20You know the commandments: “You shall not commit adultery, you shall not murder, you shall not steal, you shall not give false testimony, honour your father and mother.”’ 21‘All these I have kept since I was a boy,’ he said. 22When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘You still lack one thing. Sell everything you have and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’ 23When he heard this, he became very sad, because he was very wealthy. 24Jesus looked at him and said, ‘How hard it is for the rich to enter the kingdom of God! 25Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.’ 26Those who heard this asked, ‘Who then can be saved?’ 27Jesus replied, ‘What is impossible with man is possible with God.’ 28Peter said to him, ‘We have left all we had to follow you!’ 29‘Truly I tell you,’ Jesus said to them, ‘no one who has left home or wife or brothers or sisters or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God 30will fail to receive many times as much in this age, and in the age to come eternal life.’