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Daily Prayer - 2014-08-17

Presence

Dear Lord help me to be open to you
for this time as I put aside the cares of this world.
Fill my thoughts with your peace, your love.

Freedom

"Leave me here freely all alone
In cell where never sunlight shone
should no one ever speak to me
This golden silence makes me free."
Part of a poem written by a prisoner at Dachau concentration camp

Consciousness

I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.
I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.
Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.
I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

The Word of God

Matthew 15:21-28

Jesus left that place and went away to the district of Tyre and Sidon. Just then a Canaanite woman from that region came out and started shouting, "Have mercy on me, Lord, Son of David; my daughter is tormented by a demon." But he did not answer her at all. And his disciples came and urged him, saying, "Send her away, for she keeps shouting after us." He answered, "I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel." But she came and knelt before him, saying, "Lord, help me." He answered, "It is not fair to take the children's food and throw it to the dogs." She said, "Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters' table." Then Jesus answered her, "Woman, great is your faith! Let it be done for you as you wish." And her daughter was healed instantly.

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • This is an extraordinary story. While the woman stands her ground, Jesus changes his position. Perhaps he himself came to a fuller understanding of his own mission as he watched and listened to the Canaanite woman.
  • What faith we have here! She was the ultimate outsider – a woman belonging to a tribe hostile to the Jews – standing her ground against the outrage of the disciples, dogged and persistent in her demand that Jesus heal her daughter. She challenges the narrowness of a tradition that confined God’s mercy to a chosen few, and she is richly rewarded.
  • The disciples did not think her worthy of Jesus. Is there anyone I judge too hastily?

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

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.