Reading, Reflection & Prayer: Sat, 01 July – Philippians 1-2 ~ Living for Jesus

Reading, Reflection & Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

Opening(Northumbria Community)

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Reading: Philippians 1-2 (NLT) – click here

Reflection & Prayer

Thanksgiving and Prayer

Phi 1:6 – I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.

Gracious God: Thank you for calling me and claiming me as your own, even before I was born. You have been shaping my character for your good purpose my whole life.

Don’t stop now, Lord. Continue your work in me that I may grow in my understanding of your perspective on the world around me and overflow with your love for all that you have made.

Living for Jesus

Phi 1:20b-22 – I trust that my life will bring honor to Christ, whether I live or die. For to me, living means living for Christ, and dying is even better. But if I live, I can do more fruitful work for Christ. So I really don’t know which is better.

Sovereign God: My life is in your hands; you number every one of my days. Help me to make the most of the time you have given me; may Jesus increase his presence and power in me, and may I decrease in my need for self-determination and control. Show me how to make myself more available to love and serve you.

Living as Citizens of Heaven

Phi 1:27 –  Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Christ.

Lord Jesus: You have made me a citizen of heaven through your life, death, and resurrection; this world is not my true home, I am simply a pilgrim on my way to heaven.

The truth is, however, I have often felt more comfortable living here as a citizen of this dysfunctional world that I know, than I have living as a citizen of heaven by faith. Please forgive me – for settling for so much less than you promise.

Help me to live with the end in mind – living the Good News of your coming kingdom, fighting the good fight of faith, losing my temporary life in this world that I might gain eternal life in the world to come.

Having the Attitude of Christ

Phi 2:3-5 – Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too. You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Lord Jesus Christ:

This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. (Morning Prayer)

Shining Brightly for Christ

Phi 2:12c-13 –  Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.

Gracious God: Give me the desire and power to –

  • Do everything without complaining and arguing
  • Live a clean, innocent life as your child
  • Shine like a bright light in a world full of crooked and perverse people
  • Persevere to the end by holding firmly to the word of life
  • Share in the joy of pouring out my life as a sacrificial offering to you

All of the above is impossible for me to do on my own; only with your help can I begin to become the person you intended me to be when you made me and claimed me as your own. So fill me again with your Holy Spirit – now, today – that I may honor you in all I do and say. Through my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, forever and ever. Amen.
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“Living for Jesus” – Cedar College of Education Choir at KwaSizabantu Mission in South Africa


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Blessing – (Northumbrian Community)

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.
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+ In the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen!

40 Days of Prayer for America – “If my people will humble themselves…”

Peanut Gallery: I am a partisan Donald Trump supporter – a proud “deplorable,” if you will. But, first of all, I am a Christian – I have been redeemed by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ as my Savior and Lord.

As much as I want Donald Trump to win the upcoming election, I am fully aware that the future of America is in God’s hands. And I believe only God can save our nation.

It’s in this spirit that I invite you to join me in 40 Days of Prayer for America.

prayforamerica

If my people who are called by my name will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and restore their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT

Prayer for humility:

Lord Jesus, when You walked the earth, Your humility obscured Your Kingship.

+ Teach me to accept obscurity – may I live inconspicuously, nevertheless confident that I am Your dearly loved child.

Your meekness confused the arrogant, hindering them from grasping Your purpose, Your nobleness attending to the destitute.

+ Give me Your heart and conform my will to Your purpose –  to bring Good News to the poor; to proclaim that captives will be released, that the blind will see, that the oppressed will be set free, and that the time of the Lord ’s favor has come.

Teach me to model after Your eminence, to subject my human nature to humility.

+ Help me to empty myself of my prerogatives and gracefully accept my limitations.

Grant me a natural inclination to never view myself greater than anyone.

+ Open my eyes to see Your face in the most unlikely people and to treat them accordingly.

Banish all lingering sparks of self-importance that could elevate me greater than You.

+ Replace my bravado with quiet confidence in the power of Your Spirit.

Let my heart always imitate Your humility!

+ In the name of the Father, Son and the Holy Spirit. Amen.

 

 

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time: Ezekiel 18:25-28; Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14; Philippians 2:1-11; Matthew 21:28-32 ~ on humble obedience

26th Sunday in Ordinary Time

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening prayer:

God’s love is displayed for us in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. We rejoice in this love, and celebrate the victory over sin and death won for us. Together, we praise God’s holy name.
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O God, You alone judge rightly and search the depths of the heart. Make us swift to do Your will and slow to judge our neighbour, that we may walk with those who follow the way of repentance and faith and so enter Your heavenly kingdom. Grant this through our Lord Jesus Christ, Your Son, who lives and reigns with You in the unity of the Holy Spirit, God for ever and ever. Amen.
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A Reading from the Old testament: Ezekiel 18:25-28 (NLT)

obedience - humility

“Yet you say, ‘The Lord isn’t doing what’s right!’ Listen to me, O people of Israel. Am I the one not doing what’s right, or is it you? When righteous people turn from their righteous behavior and start doing sinful things, they will die for it. Yes, they will die because of their sinful deeds. And if wicked people turn from their wickedness, obey the law, and do what is just and right, they will save their lives. They will live because they thought it over and decided to turn from their sins. Such people will not die.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 25:4-5, 8-9, 10, 14 (NLT)

Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in you.
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The Lord is good and does what is right; he shows the proper path to those who go astray. He leads the humble in doing right, teaching them his way.
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The Lord leads with unfailing love and faithfulness all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.
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The Lord is a friend to those who fear him. He teaches them his covenant.
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A Reading from the Letters: Philippians 2:1-11 (NLT)

Is there any encouragement from belonging to Christ? Any comfort from his love? Any fellowship together in the Spirit? Are your hearts tender and compassionate? Then make me truly happy by agreeing wholeheartedly with each other, loving one another, and working together with one mind and purpose.

Don’t be selfish; don’t try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves. Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

Christ on cross - bronze

Though he was God, he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges; he took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross. Therefore, God elevated him to the place of highest honor and gave him the name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue declare that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
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A Reading from the Gospels: Matthew 21:28-32 (NLT)

“But what do you think about this? A man with two sons told the older boy, ‘Son, go out and work in the vineyard today.’ The son answered, ‘No, I won’t go,’ but later he changed his mind and went anyway. Then the father told the other son, ‘You go,’ and he said, ‘Yes, sir, I will.’ But he didn’t go.

“Which of the two obeyed his father?”

They replied, “The first.”

Then Jesus explained his meaning: “I tell you the truth, corrupt tax collectors and prostitutes will get into the Kingdom of God before you do. For John the Baptist came and showed you the right way to live, but you didn’t believe him, while tax collectors and prostitutes did. And even when you saw this happening, you refused to believe him and repent of your sins.
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Intercessions:

The Lord’s mercy never ends. Lord, hear our prayer:

+ For the leaders of Christian communities around the world – that they may live the message they preach….
Lord, hear us.
+ For Christians around the world – that we may answer God’s call to love our neighbors….
Lord, hear us.
+ For those living on the margins of society – that their needs may be remembered, even as we attend to our own….
Lord, hear us.
+ For people who feel they are beyond divine mercy – that they may know the Father’s warm embrace….
Lord, hear us.
+ For men, women, and children who are exploited – that justice and deliverance from evil may prevail….
Lord, hear us.
+ For all who suffer the ravages of war, especially in the Middle East – that the church may provide protection, provision, and comfort….
Lord, hear us.
+ For those who endure sickness in mind or body – that Your healing care may sustain them….
Lord, hear us.
+ For those among us who have recently died – that they may be raised to life through Jesus’ resurrection….
Lord, hear us.
+ For all those who weigh heavy on our hearts today – that they may know Your grace, mercy and peace….
Lord, hear us.

O God of endless goodness, Your love and mercy have no end: hear the prayers of Your people, we ask through Christ our Lord. Amen
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Benediction:

Now may the God of peace — who brought up from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, and ratified an eternal covenant with his blood — may he equip you with all you need for doing his will. May he produce in you, through the power of Jesus Christ, every good thing that is pleasing to him. All glory to him forever and ever! Amen.

+ In the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen

Morning Prayer: 23 August – Psalm 101:4-5; Proverbs 30:12-13; John 8:3-9 – on my need for prayer

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Psalm 101:4-5

We prostrate ourselves before the life-giving cross.
We prostrate ourselves before the life-giving cross.

I will reject perverse ideas and stay away from every evil. I will not tolerate people who slander their neighbors. I will not endure conceit and pride.

Proverbs 30:12-13

They are pure in their own eyes, but they are filthy and unwashed. They look proudly around, casting disdainful glances.

John 8:3-9

As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd.

“Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?”

They were trying to trap him into saying something they could use against him, but Jesus stooped down and wrote in the dust with his finger. They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust.

When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman.

Reflection

IONA

‘Pray for me. I ask you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me.’ If ever you go to a black church that’s a phrase you’ll hear almost every person use when they stand up or come forward to testify – sometimes it’s just like punctuation, not heart-felt at all, but it’s still an important reminder.

If you attend mass you will say, ‘I ask… all the angels and saints and you, my brothers and sisters, to pray for me to the Lord our God.’

And George MacLeod, founder of the Iona Community, as he quotes the old spiritual, echoes the same words:

It’s not my brother or my sister
but it’s me, O Lord:
standing in the need of prayer.
We are so warm in our own self-esteem
that we freeze the folks around us.
We get so high in our own estimation
that we stand isolated on a mountain
top of self-righteousness.
That is why you came: Lord Jesus:
not to save the lecherous but to turn
the righteous to repentance
And it is me, O Lord.

From Where Freedom is and Laughter
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Before the world began one Word was there; grounded in God he was, rooted in care; by him all things were made; in him was love displayed; through him God spoke and said, ‘I am for you.’

Life found in him its source; death found its end; light found in him its course, darkness its friend, for neither death nor doubt nor darkness can put out the glow of God, the shout: ‘I am for you.’

The Word was in the world which from him came; unrecognized he was, unknown by name; one with all humankind, with the unloved aligned, convincing sight and mind: ‘I am for you.’

All who received the Word by God were blessed; sisters and brothers they of earth’s fond guest. So did the Word of Grace proclaim in time and space and with a human face, ‘I am for you.’
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Canticle:

Christ, as a light
illumine and guide me.
Christ, as a shield
overshadow me.
Christ under me;
Christ over me;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Be in the heart of each to whom I speak;
in the mouth of each who speaks unto me.
This day be within and without me,
lowly and meek, yet all-powerful.
Christ as a light;
Christ as a shield;
Christ beside me
on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
wherever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness,
protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing
once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Peanut Gallery: The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) Our Scripture readings and reflections will be taken from the Aidan Daily Readings (Celtic Daily Prayer) during the month of August. On Sundays, we’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.

Morning Prayer: 27 June – Psalm 118:25-29; Isaiah 5:20-21; Luke 18:9-14 ~ on sin and humility

Morning Prayer

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

Opening sentences

One thing I have asked of the Lord, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life; to behold the beauty of the Lord and to seek Him in His temple.

Praise to You, Lord Jesus Christ, King of endless glory.

Morning readings in June

DESERT FATHERS – The sayings of The Desert Fathers (c. 300 AD) speak for themselves. (For further reading: The Wisdom of the Desert by Thomas Merton.)

Psalm 118:25-29 NLT

Please, Lord, please save us. Please, Lord, please give us success. Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord. We bless you from the house of the Lord. The Lord is God, shining upon us. Take the sacrifice and bind it with cords on the altar. You are my God, and I will praise you! You are my God, and I will exalt you!

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

pharisee-and-tax-collector

Isaiah 5:20-21 NLT

What sorrow for those who say that evil is good and good is evil, that dark is light and light is dark, that bitter is sweet and sweet is bitter. What sorrow for those who are wise in their own eyes and think themselves so clever.

Luke 18:9-14 NLT

Then Jesus told this story to some who had great confidence in their own righteousness and scorned everyone else: “Two men went to the Temple to pray. One was a Pharisee, and the other was a despised tax collector. The Pharisee stood by himself and prayed this prayer: ‘I thank you, God, that I am not a sinner like everyone else. For I don’t cheat, I don’t sin, and I don’t commit adultery. I’m certainly not like that tax collector! I fast twice a week, and I give you a tenth of my income.’

“But the tax collector stood at a distance and dared not even lift his eyes to heaven as he prayed. Instead, he beat his chest in sorrow, saying, ‘O God, be merciful to me, for I am a sinner.’ I tell you, this sinner, not the Pharisee, returned home justified before God. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.”

Reflections

Once two brothers were sitting with Abbot Poemen, and one praised the other brother saying: ‘He is a good brother, he hates evil.’

The old man asked: ‘What do you mean he hates evil?’

And the brother did not know what to reply. So he said: ‘Tell me, father, what is it to hate evil?’

The father said: ‘That man hates evil who hates his own sins, and looks upon every brother as a saint, and loves him as a saint.’

Aidan ReadingsAidan of Lindisfarne
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Canticle:

Christ, as a light… illumine and guide me. Christ, as a shield… overshadow me. Christ under me; Christ over me; Christ beside me on my left and my right. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Be in the heart of each to whom I speak; in the mouth of each who speaks unto me. This day be within and without me, lowly and meek, yet all-powerful. Christ as a light; Christ as a shield; Christ beside me on my left and my right.

Blessing

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you, wherever He may send you. May He guide you through the wilderness, protect you through the storm. May He bring you home rejoicing at the wonders He has shown you. May He bring you home rejoicing once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen

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Peanut Gallery: The general format for Morning Prayer is adapted from the Northumbrian Community‘s Daily Office, as found in Celtic Daily Prayer (see online resources here.) Having completed reading through the Gospel of John, our Scripture readings and reflections will be taken from the Aidan Daily Readings (Celtic Daily Prayer). We will continue with the Aidan readings through June. On Sundays, I’ll return to the USCCB readings (see online resources here) and various liturgical resources in order to reflect the Church’s worship and concerns throughout the world. Photo illustrations and music videos, available online, are included as they illustrate or illuminate the readings. I will try to give credit and link to sources as best I can.