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Daily Prayer - 2013-12-16

Presence

"Be still and know that I am God."
Lord, Your words lead us to the
calmness and greatness of Your Presence.

Freedom

Your death on the cross has set me free.
I can live joyously and freely
without fear of death.
Your mercy knows no bounds.

Consciousness

At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Matthew 21:23-27

When Jesus entered the temple, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him as he was teaching, and said, "By what authority are you doing these things, and who gave you this authority?" Jesus said to them, "I will also ask you one question; if you tell me the answer, then I will also tell you by what authority I do these things. Did the baptism of John come from heaven, or was it of human origin?" And they argued with one another, "If we say, 'From heaven,' he will say to us, 'Why then did you not believe him?' But if we say, 'Of human origin,' we are afraid of the crowd; for all regard John as a prophet." So they answered Jesus, "We do not know." And he said to them, "Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things." 

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • This exchange between Jesus and the elders and chief priests bolsters indirectly the stature of John the Baptist – and, in consequence, his prophecy about One Who Is To Come (called elsewhere, for instance, a star from Jacob who is to lead his people; a royal sceptre-wielder from among Israel).
  • In Jewish circles if someone spoke claiming power and authority, he would be asked about the warranty for his claim - Did he belong to the priestly tribe of Levi? Did his claim have the backing of the tradition of the ancestors? Could he prove his claim through the direct intervention of God – a miracle? In Jesus’ case, he always staked his claim within the latter category - his acts, his ‘works’ were miraculous. (Members of these questioners’ circle had not accepted John’s teaching).
  • In order to sustain a steady faith in the identity of the One Who Was To Come, we ourselves will need, given our weakness, to leave ourselves open to heavenly influence.

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

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.