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Daily Prayer - 2013-06-17

Presence

As I begin this prayer, God is here.
Around me, in my sensations, in my thoughts and deep within me.
I pause for a moment, and become aware
of God's life-giving presence.

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

We all need to take time out from our daily chores.
We know that our bodies need a rest.
When we come into your presence, Lord,
our hearts and minds are refreshed, our spirits lifted.

The Word of God

Matthew 5:38-42

Jesus said to the crowds, "You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I say to you, Do not resist an evildoer. But if anyone strikes you on the right cheek, turn the other also; and if anyone wants to sue you and take your coat, give your cloak as well; and if anyone forces you to go one mile, go also the second mile. Give to everyone who begs from you, and do not refuse anyone who wants to borrow from you."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • For many good Christians this is one of the most difficult and paradoxical passage of the whole Gospel. On the one hand we know that retribution will not get us anywhere, except to an ever deeper spiral of violence. Yet, how can we stop evil if we do as Jesus tells us and 'not resist the evildoer'? Is it possible to turn the other cheek when we are attacked?
  • Jesus is telling us that evil is overcome, and the evildoer's life changes, when we resist evil not with the same arms of the evildoer but by believing in the power of love and of goodness. It is the logic of the Resurrection - where the definitive victory was achieved when Jesus loved his friends to the end, to the point of giving up his life though he was blameless.
  • I ask the Father to give me the spirit of Jesus, the readiness to walk the extra mile and turn the other cheek.

Conversation

Do I notice myself reacting as I pray with the Word of God?
Do I feel challenged, comforted, angry?
Imagining Jesus sitting or standing by me,
I speak out my feelings, as one trusted friend to another.

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.