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Daily Prayer - 2013-12-18

Presence

I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.

Freedom

A thick and shapeless tree-trunk
would never believe that it could become a statue,
admired as a miracle of sculpture,
and would never submit itself to the chisel of the sculptor,
who sees by his genius what he can make of it (Saint Ignatius).
I ask for the grace to let myself be shaped by my loving Creator.

 

Consciousness

How do I find myself today?
Where am I with God? With others?
Do I have something to be grateful for? Then I give thanks.
Is there something I am sorry for? Then I ask forgiveness.

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

Words don't come easily to me, Lord.
Look into my heart
and see my longing for peace.
Watch over me, Lord.
I know that you are always by my side.

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.