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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-12

Presence

I pause for a moment and think of the love and the grace that God showers on me, creating me in his image and likeness, making me his temple....

Freedom

I will ask God's help,

to be free from my own preoccupations,

to be open to God in this time of prayer,

to come to know, love and serve God more.

Consciousness

Where do I sense hope, encouragement, and growth areas in my life? By looking back over the last few months, I may be able to see which activities and occasions have produced rich fruit.
If I do notice such areas, I will determine to give those areas both time and space in the future.

The Word of God

Mark 7:1-13

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The storm clouds are gathering. Jesus’ enemies come ‘from Jerusalem’ where he will be condemned and killed. The Pharisees and scribes are looking backwards, not at the new world which Jesus is opening up. They say, ‘This is what we have always done.’ God’s dream upsets their cautious lives. Jesus puts God first, as always, whereas they are ‘hypocrites’ – playing a role, inauthentic. Do I ever act in inauthentic ways? Am I afraid of change that would disturb my comfort?
  • The command of God is to love as God loves. I must not let my practices and routines, my safe ways of doing things, interfere with the flow of divine love through me into the world.

Conversation

What is stirring in me as I pray? Am I consoled, troubled, left cold? I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.

Conclusion

I thank God for these few moments we have spent alone together and for any insights I may have been given concerning the text.

Amen

If you appreciated the daily prayer or have any suggestions or insights we will be glad to hear from you.