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Daily Prayer - 2018-10-08

Presence

Dear Lord, you have called me by my name.
You have carved me in the palm of your hand.
May I grow in trust and never give in to despair.

Freedom

Everything has the potential to draw forth from me a fuller love and life.
Yet my desires are often fixed, caught, on illusions of fulfillment.
I ask that God, through my freedom may orchestrate my desires
in a vibrant loving melody rich in harmony.

Consciousness

At this moment Lord I turn my thoughts to you.
I will leave aside my chores and preoccupations.
I will take rest and refreshment in your presence Lord.

The Word of God

Luke 10:25-37

Just then a lawyer stood up to test Jesus. 'Teacher,' he said, 'what must I do to inherit eternal life?' He said to him, 'What is written in the law? What do you read there?' He answered, 'You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind; and your neighbour as yourself.' And he said to him, 'You have given the right answer; do this, and you will live.'

But wanting to justify himself, he asked Jesus, 'And who is my neighbour?' Jesus replied, 'A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell into the hands of robbers, who stripped him, beat him, and went away, leaving him half dead. Now by chance a priest was going down that road; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. So likewise a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side. But a Samaritan while travelling came near him; and when he saw him, he was moved with pity. He went to him and bandaged his wounds, having poured oil and wine on them. Then he put him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. The next day he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said, "Take care of him; and when I come back, I will repay you whatever more you spend." Which of these three, do you think, was a neighbour to the man who fell into the hands of the robbers?' He said, 'The one who showed him mercy.' Jesus said to him, 'Go and do likewise.'

Some thoughts on today's scripture

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  • The point behind this lawyer’s second question would seem to be : We – God’s chosen people – are instructed to be loving and merciful towards one another : but does this instruction extend to the outsiders – to pagans ? to our own dissidents ?
  • The Samaritans were a breakaway group within Judaism – so Jesus’ championing of the Samaritan traveller makes it clear that God’s command to love has a broad extension. (So unpopular were the Samaritans, that some modern experts believe the lawyer could not bring himself to even use the word, ‘Samaritan’). Also, some experts observe that the beaten-up traveller might have appeared dead – so that the priest and the Levite feared ritual defilement through approaching a corpse.
  • There’s a long tradition in the church of seeing the victim on the roadside as a symbol of Humanity waylaid and paralyzed by the forces of evil and sin – and of seeing the rescuer as a figure of Jesus coming as the saviour to bind up our wounds and take care of us.

Conversation

The gift of speech is a wonderful gift.
May I use this gift with kindness.
May I be slow to utter harsh words,
hurtful words, and words spoken in anger.

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

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