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Daily Prayer - 2014-02-23

Presence

Lord, help me to be fully alive to your Holy presence.
Enfold me in your love.
Let my heart become one with yours.

Freedom

If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.

Consciousness

How am I really feeling? Lighthearted? Heavy-hearted?
I may be very much at peace, happy to be here.
Equally, I may be frustrated, worried or angry.
I acknowledge how I really am. It is the real me that the Lord loves.

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

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

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.