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Daily Prayer - 2014-07-25

Presence

My soul longs for your presence, Lord.
When I turn my thoughts to You,
I find peace and contentment.

Freedom

Thank you for the gift of freedom, Lord.
Grant that I may always choose to follow You.
Keep me ever mindful of your ways.
Of your love and concern for all people.

Consciousness

As I talk to you, O God,
help me to grow in appreciation of the gifts of communication.
Grant that I will speak out for those who have no voice
and always have a kind word for those in need.

The Word of God

Matthew 20:20-28

Then the mother of the sons of Zebedee came to him with her sons, and kneeling before him, she asked a favour 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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  • Today is the feast of St James, one of the three who formed Jesus’ inner circle. Yet even he found it difficult to understand Jesus and his logic of the cross. The Gospels does not present the apostles as perfect but as ordinary men who struggled to accept Jesus’ teaching. Yet they succeeded to carry out with great faithfulness Jesus’ command to take the gospel to the whole world. I too am not perfect, I find Jesus’ teachings often difficult to understand, and hard to follow. Like James and his friends, in my frailty, I too feel called to take Jesus to others.
  • In one form or another, the temptation to dominate others is always lurking in our hearts. So much energy is wasted on this quest to lord it over others, even within the Church itself. Jesus’ call is radical indeed: It will not be so among you. I look at Jesus, who came to serve and not to be served, and pray to desire to be in all things like him, to be able to drink his cup.

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

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

Prayer for peace:

Following days of rising tensions between Russia and Ukraine, Pope Francis called on Christians around the world to fast and pray for peace in Eastern Europe this coming Ash Wednesday.
“I invite everyone to make March 2, Ash Wednesday, a day of fasting for peace, I encourage believers in a special way to devote themselves intensely to prayer and fasting on that day. May the Queen of Peace protect the world from the folly of war.” Pope Francis, 25/02/2022

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