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Daily Prayer - 2013-12-18

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

"In these days, God taught me
as a schoolteacher teaches a pupil" (Saint Ignatius).
I remind myself that there are things God has to teach me yet,
and ask for the grace to hear them and let them change me.

Consciousness

I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord.
I will take refuge in His loving heart.
He is my strength in times of weakness.
He is my comforter in times of sorrow.

The Word of God

Matthew 1:18-24

Now the birth of Jesus the Messiah took place in this way. When his mother Mary had been engaged to Joseph, but before they lived together, she was found to be with child from the Holy Spirit. Her husband Joseph, being a righteous man and unwilling to expose her to public disgrace, planned to dismiss her quietly. But just when he had resolved to do this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, "Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary as your wife, for the child conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. She will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." All this took place to fulfill what had been spoken by the Lord through the prophet: "Look, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and they shall name him Emmanuel," which means, "God is with us." When Joseph awoke from sleep, he did as the angel of the Lord commanded him; he took her as his wife.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Hearing the words to Joseph about Mary’s child, we would first think of a ‘special’ child, in the sense of ‘made over’ to the Lord, as Samuel or Samson was. But reading between the lines, taking into account the scriptural allusions, we find that this child is much more.
  • His coming is nothing less than the inauguration of a whole new (although promised) ‘heaven and earth’ shaking epoch in the relationship between God and his people. Forgiveness of sin comes into the picture, so right away the child is accorded divine prerogative as ‘saviour’. But more than individual sin is in question, rather it is the sins of the people, which includes the oppression into which their sins have brought them.
  • The child’s title, Emmanuel (God-with-us) designates him as the fulfilment of the promise: “I will be your God and you will be my people”. His will be a royal or leadership presence among his people.
  • All these resonances come together for us, as we prepare to revere the newborn child.

Conversation

Remembering that I am still in God's presence,
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting beside me,
and say whatever is on my mind, whatever is in my heart,
speaking as one friend to another.

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.

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