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Daily Prayer - 2014-10-19

Presence

I pause for a moment and think of the love
and the grace that God showers on me:
I am created in the image and likeness of God;
I am God's dwelling-place.

Freedom

Lord, grant me the grace to be free from the excesses of this life.
Let me not get caught up with the desire for wealth.
Keep my heart and mind free to love and serve you.

Consciousness

Lord, you gave me the night to rest in sleep.
In my waking hours may I not forget your goodness to me.
Guide me to share your blessings with others.

The Word of God

Matthew 22:15-21

Then the Pharisees went and plotted to entrap him in what he said. So they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, "Teacher, we know that you are sincere, and teach the way of God in accordance with truth, and show deference to no one; for you do not regard people with partiality. Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to the emperor, or not?" But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, "Why are you putting me to the test, you hypocrites? Show me the coin used for the tax." And they brought him a denarius. Then he said to them, "Whose head is this, and whose title?" They answered, "The emperor's." Then he said to them, "Give therefore to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's."

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • Jesus remains free and firm in face of the plots against him by the Pharisees who try to catch him out and find a way to silence him with a barbed question. Is it right to pay taxes to a foreign power? If he says yes, he is against them, his own people. If he says no, they will report him to the Romans and have him arrested. You can see in the text the wisdom of his answer.
  • To be a good citizen and to serve God are not in contradiction, since God works through all human systems and institutions to build the final community of love. God needs me to help build good relationships wherever I find myself.

Conversation

Lord, I know that when I turn to you there is no need for words.
You can see into my heart.
You know my desires and you know my needs.
I place myself into your hands.

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

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