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Daily Prayer - 2015-02-10

Presence

"I stand at the door and knock," says the Lord.
What a wonderful privilege
that the Lord of all creation desires to come to me.
I welcome His presence.

Freedom

What most often stops me achieving freedom is my tendency
to be caught up in fears and expectations
about what I 'ought' or 'should' be.
My usual automatic responses tie me down
and inhibit me from exploring new areas of growth.
I ask and pray for a greater sense of inner freedom and
that I might reach the fresh and challenging possibilities
that God wishes me to realise.

 

Consciousness

Conscious of your presence, Lord,
I look over my recent past.
Let me be honest with myself about how I’ve been
And what I’ve done,
Because I know you love truth in the heart
And accept me just as I am.

The Word of God

Mark 7:1-13

Now when the Pharisees and some of the scribes who had come from Jerusalem gathered around him, they noticed that some of his disciples were eating with defiled hands, that is, without washing them. (For the Pharisees, and all the Jews, do not eat unless they thoroughly wash their hands, thus observing the tradition of the elders; and they do not eat anything from the market unless they wash it; and there are also many other traditions that they observe, the washing of cups, pots, and bronze kettles.) So the Pharisees and the scribes asked him, ‘Why do your disciples not live according to the tradition of the elders, but eat with defiled hands?’ He said to them, ‘Isaiah prophesied rightly about you hypocrites, as it is written,
“This people honours me with their lips,
 but their hearts are far from me;
 in vain do they worship me,
 teaching human precepts as doctrines.”
 You abandon the commandment of God and hold to human tradition.’

Then he said to them, ‘You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, “Honour your father and your mother”; and, “Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.” But you say that if anyone tells father or mother, “Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban” (that is, an offering to God)— then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.’

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The Pharisees and scribes gather around Jesus with critical eyes to the restricting traditions that are not always adhered to by the disciples. Instead, their hearts are closed and they are deaf to God’s authentic life-giving message. There is a comfort to remain the same; it can be less challenging to move out of our comfort zone.
  • Where are we called to let go of ways that are not conducive to our growth? Can our eyes see deeper than the popular definition of happiness? Perhaps we are called to share our love and improve our community through creative ways.

Conversation

What is stirring in me as I pray?
Am I consoled, troubled, left cold?
I imagine Jesus himself standing or sitting at my side and share my feelings with him.

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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