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Daily Prayer - 2016-02-24

Presence

I bring myself into your presence, O God.
May I always take time to notice and enjoy
the beauty you have created
for my pleasure.

Freedom

Lord, I let go of the worries, resentments and fears
That I can sometimes hold on to so tightly.
Let me open my hands and my heart to receive freely
All the gifts that I need at this time.

Consciousness

When I return to my everyday tasks,
remind me, Lord,
that you are always there beside me.
I need never despair.

The Word of God

Matthew 20:17-28

While Jesus was going up to Jerusalem, he took the twelve disciples aside by themselves, and said to them on the way, "See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be handed over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death; then they will hand him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified; and on the third day he will be raised." Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favor of him. And he said to her, "What do you want?" She said to him, "Declare that these two sons of mine will sit, one at your right hand and one at your left, in your kingdom." But Jesus answered, "You do not know what you are asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink?'' They said to him, "We are able." He said to them, "You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right hand and at my left, this is not mine to grant, but it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father." When the ten heard it, they were angry with the two brothers. But Jesus called them to him and said, "You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and their great ones are tyrants over them. It will not be so among you; but whoever wishes to be great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be your slave; just as the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • In any grouping, there would have been complaints of ‘undue influence’ if an outsider intervened attempting to obtain promotion for family members. But here the Gospel writer seems to be using the occurrence to drive home an unwelcome lesson which Jesus had begun trying to impress upon his followers. Far from being on the cusp of political power with top jobs to be divided out, their little group was on the brink of being totally sidelined: Jesus, their leader, was facing into imminent torture and death. So all that was on offer for James and John was the ‘cup’ of persecution.
  • Saint Matthew elsewhere brings up this topic of what we might call ‘promotion to high office’: “the disciples came to Jesus and asked, ‘Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?’” (Matthew 18:1) And the answer is always the same: a child. A child, ideally, is never ‘pushy’, elbowing others out of the way; a child, ideally, is just thankful for whatever comes. Any lording-it over others, Jesus warns, is only typical of what happens among the pagans.

Conversation

Conversation requires talking and listening.
As I talk to Jesus may I also learn to be still and listen.
I picture the gentleness in His eyes
and the smile full of love as he gazes on me.
I can be totally honest with Jesus as I tell Him of my worries and my cares.
I will open up my heart to Him as I tell Him of my fears and my doubts.
I will ask Him to help me to place myself fully in His care,
to abandon myself to Him,
knowing that He always wants what is best for me.

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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