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Daily Prayer - 2017-08-14

Presence

God is with me, but more,
God is within me, giving me existence.
Let me dwell for a moment on God's life-giving presence
in my body, my mind, my heart
and in the whole of my life.

Freedom

I ask for the grace
to let go of my own concerns
and be open to what God is asking of me,
to let myself be guided and formed by my loving Creator.

Consciousness

We all need to take time out from our daily chores.
We know that our bodies need a rest.
When we come into your presence, Lord,
our hearts and minds are refreshed, our spirits lifted.

The Word of God

Matthew 17:22-27

As they were gathering in Galilee, Jesus said to them, 'The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into human hands, and they will kill him, and on the third day he will be raised.' And they were greatly distressed. When they reached Capernaum, the collectors of the temple tax came to Peter and said, 'Does your teacher not pay the temple tax?' He said, 'Yes, he does.' And when he came home, Jesus spoke of it first, asking, 'What do you think, Simon? From whom do kings of the earth take toll or tribute? From their children or from others?' When Peter said, 'From others', Jesus said to him, 'Then the children are free. However, so that we do not give offence to them, go to the lake and cast a hook; take the first fish that comes up; and when you open its mouth, you will find a coin; take that and give it to them for you and me.'

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The matter of Christ’s suffering comes up frequently in the Gospel - this is the second ‘prophecy’ of the passion. The fact the disciples became very sad suggests that they understood what he was saying but it did not sink into their minds as the passion narrative shows.
  • Suffering disorients us. We cannot understand it fully. Jesus brings meaning from it at a profound level which we cannot grasp, except in faith. Pray for a greater appreciation of the sufferings of Christ.
  • Jesus paid his dues. He respected those in authority, civil or religious, even when he did not agree with them.
  • Elsewhere in the Gospel of Mark he exclaims ‘Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor’s, and to God the things that are God’s.’ (Mark 12:17).

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.