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Daily Prayer - 2013-02-27

Presence

I pause for a moment

and reflect on God's life-giving presence

in every part of my body, in everything around me,

in the whole of my life.

Freedom

Many countries are at this moment suffering the agonies of war.
I bow my head in thanksgiving for my freedom.
I pray for all prisoners and captives.

Consciousness

I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.

I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.

Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.

I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Matthew 20:17-28

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised." Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?'' They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The apostles were in total denial about the prospect of Jesus suffering and dying. They had spent the past few years with him. They had slept rough, they went hungry, they were condemned and ostracized, even by their own families. No wonder they didn’t want to hear that, after all that, Jesus was going to suffer a shameful death.
  • The mother of James and John didn’t want to hear it either. We’re quite shocked at her request, but it is very human. Jesus didn’t condemn her, or her sons, for asking for places of honour in his kingdom. He understood. That’s the kind of person he is. Out of the incident he spells out a lesson for everyone, the lesson of self-sacrificing service.

Conversation

I begin to talk to Jesus about the piece of scripture I have just read.What part of it strikes a chord in me?Perhaps the words of a friend - or some story I have heard recently- will slowly rise to the surface in my consciousness.If so, does the story throw light on what the scripture passage may be trying to say to me?

Conclusion

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen

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