32nd Sunday in Ordinary Time: Ez 47:1-2, 8-9, 12; Ps 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9; 1 Cor 3:9-11, 16-17; Jn 2:13-22 ~ a house of prayer

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

Opening prayer:

Holy God, in every place on earth You gather Your people into Your presence to proclaim the wonders of Your love. Deepen our unity with Your faithful people throughout the world and build us up into a house of prayer for all nations. We ask 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.
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A Reading from the Old testament: Ezekiel 47:1-2, 8-9, 12 (NLT)

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In my vision, the man brought me back to the entrance of the Temple. There I saw a stream flowing east from beneath the door of the Temple and passing to the right of the altar on its south side. The man brought me outside the wall through the north gateway and led me around to the eastern entrance. There I could see the water flowing out through the south side of the east gateway.
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Then he said to me, “This river flows east through the desert into the valley of the Dead Sea. The waters of this stream will make the salty waters of the Dead Sea fresh and pure. There will be swarms of living things wherever the water of this river flows. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will become fresh. Life will flourish wherever this water flows.
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Fruit trees of all kinds will grow along both sides of the river. The leaves of these trees will never turn brown and fall, and there will always be fruit on their branches. There will be a new crop every month, for they are watered by the river flowing from the Temple. The fruit will be for food and the leaves for healing.”
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A Reading from the Psalms: Psalm 46:2-3, 5-6, 8-9 (NLT)

So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea. Let the oceans roar and foam. Let the mountains tremble as the waters surge!
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God dwells in that city; it cannot be destroyed. From the very break of day, God will protect it. The nations are in chaos, and their kingdoms crumble! God’s voice thunders, and the earth melts!
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Come, see the glorious works of the Lord: See how he brings destruction upon the world. He causes wars to end throughout the earth. He breaks the bow and snaps the spear; he burns the shields with fire.
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A Reading from the Letters: 1 Corinthians 3:9-11, 16-17 (NLT)

1Co3.9

For we are both God’s workers. And you are God’s field. You are God’s building.

Because of God’s grace to me, I have laid the foundation like an expert builder. Now others are building on it. But whoever is building on this foundation must be very careful. For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ.
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Don’t you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone who destroys this temple. For God’s temple is holy, and you are that temple.
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A Reading from the Gospels: John 2:13-22 (NLT)

It was nearly time for the Jewish Passover celebration, so Jesus went to Jerusalem. In the Temple area he saw merchants selling cattle, sheep, and doves for sacrifices; he also saw dealers at tables exchanging foreign money. Jesus made a whip from some ropes and chased them all out of the Temple. He drove out the sheep and cattle, scattered the money changers’ coins over the floor, and turned over their tables. Then, going over to the people who sold doves, he told them, “Get these things out of here. Stop turning my Father’s house into a marketplace!”

Then his disciples remembered this prophecy from the Scriptures: “Passion for God’s house will consume me.”

But the Jewish leaders demanded, “What are you doing? If God gave you authority to do this, show us a miraculous sign to prove it.”

“All right,” Jesus replied. “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.”

“What!” they exclaimed. “It has taken forty-six years to build this Temple, and you can rebuild it in three days?” But when Jesus said “this temple,” he meant his own body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered he had said this, and they believed both the Scriptures and what Jesus had said.
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Intercessions:

You, O Lord, are enthroned as the Holy One on the praises of Your people. Hear us now as we bring before You the needs of Your church:

+ For Christians around the world – that church leaders may follow in the footsteps of the Apostles…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all the churches in our communities – that Christians may be united with one another and with believers around the world…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all the people of our local churches – that our faith may show itself in acts of mercy and kindness…. Lord, hear us.
+ For people on the margins of life – that the welcome they receive in their church may remind them of God’s gracious care…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those who design, build and care for church facilities – that their work may give glory to God…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all who gather for prayer in Your name – that our praises and petitions may rise as a pleasing aroma to Your throne…. Lord, hear us.
+ For those of us who don’t know how, or what to pray – that Your Spirit would intercede for us with groanings too deep for words…. Lord, hear us.
+ For all the faithful who have died, especially through persecution and war – that having passed through the waters of baptism, they may share Christ’s victory over death…. Lord, hear us.

God of heaven and earth, You reward those with clean hands and pure hearts. Create in us clean hearts and right spirits as we bring our prayers to You, through Christ our Lord.
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I love thy kingdom, Lord, the house of thine abode, the church our blest Redeemer saved with his own precious blood.

I love thy church, O God. Her walls before thee stand, dear as the apple of thine eye, and graven on thy hand.

For her my tears shall fall; for her my prayers ascend; to her my cares and toils be given, till toils and cares shall end.

Beyond my highest joy, I prize her heavenly ways: her sweet communion, solemn vows, her hymns of love and praise.

Sure as thy truth shall last, to Zion shall be given the brightest glories earth can yield, and brighter bliss of heaven.
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Benediction:

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

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

Morning Prayer: 21 Oct – Revelation 14:6-8 ~ last call

Morning Prayer

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

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 14:6-8 (ESV) – to be read aloud

 The Fall of Babylon  (Tapestry of the Apocalypse); Angers, France
The Fall of Babylon
(Tapestry of the Apocalypse); Angers, France

Then I saw another angel flying directly overhead, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who dwell on earth, to every nation and tribe and language and people. And he said with a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come, and worship him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”

Another angel, a second, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who made all nations drink the wine of the passion of her sexual immorality.”

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

Impending Judgement Announced (14:6-13)

The tableau of the Lamb and his followers standing victorious on the heavenly Mount Zion is followed by a series of three angel proclamations (vv 6-11). These three are interrelated and progressive. The summons to worship the Creator (vv 6-7) leads to a prediction of the downfall of the great citadel of paganism (v 8) and then to a vivid portrayal of the torment awaiting all who worship the beast (vv 9-11). The unit is then brought to a close with a voice from heaven pronouncing blessed those who die in the Lord. (Mounce, p.269)

Call to Repentance (14:6-7)

The angel addressed himself not to the saints but to unbelievers…. In light of the angel’s proclamation that the end is about to take place and judgement is about to fall, men of all nations are summoned to repent. It is not yet too late; final judgement has not yet fallen; there is still time to turn in repentance and find the mercy of God. (Ladd, p.193)

The eternal gospel calls on people to fear and honor the Creator, for the hour of judgement is at hand. God has revealed himself in nature so that people are without excuse (Rom 1:19-20). To fear God is to reverence him; to give him glory is to pay him the respect and honor that is his due. (Mounce, p. 271)

Fall of Babylon (14:8)

Babylon… stands for the capital city of the final apostate civilization, the symbol of human society organized politically, economically, and religiously in opposition to and defiance of God…. Babylon has seduced all the nations by the enticements and allurements of her wealth and luxuries; but this cup of sensual delight will turn out to be the cup of God’s wrath. (Ladd, p.194)

Babylon is a symbol of the spirit of godlessness that in every age lures people away from the worship of the Creator. It is the “dark counterpart of Jerusalem,” the final manifestation of “secular humanism” in its attempt to destroy the remaining vestiges of true religion. Society set free from God is its own worst enemy. (Mounce, p.271)
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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
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

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.) 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: 20 Oct – Revelation 14:1-5 ~ a glimpse of glory

Morning Prayer

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

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 14:1-5 (ESV) – to be read aloud

Three angels with the Lamb Apocalypse Tapestry, Angers
Three angels with the Lamb
Apocalypse Tapestry, Angers

Then I looked, and behold, on Mount Zion stood the Lamb, and with him 144,000 who had his name and his Father’s name written on their foreheads. And I heard a voice from heaven like the roar of many waters and like the sound of loud thunder. The voice I heard was like the sound of harpists playing on their harps, and they were singing a new song before the throne and before the four living creatures and before the elders. No one could learn that song except the 144,000 who had been redeemed from the earth. It is these who have not defiled themselves with women, for they are virgins. It is these who follow the Lamb wherever he goes. These have been redeemed from mankind as firstfruits for God and the Lamb, and in their mouth no lie was found, for they are blameless.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The Redeemed and the Lamb (14:1-5)

The first vision… pictures the destiny of the people of God who have been preserved through the great tribulation but who have fallen prey to the wrath of the beast. They are seen in the messianic Kingdom. This vision is not actually realized until chapters 20-22, but as he often does, John gives his readers anticipatory visions of what are yet to be to steady them for the hard experiences that lie immediately ahead. (Ladd, p.188-9)

The 144,000 (14:1,3)

The one hundred and forty-four thousand is the same company which was sealed in 7:9-17; and here, as there, they represent the total body of the redeemed… the saints who were suffering martyrdom in the last chapter are now seen in their final salvation in the new Jerusalem…. They are virgins in the sense that they have refused to defile themselves by participating in the fornication of worshiping the beast but have kept themselves pure unto God…. Theirs is a perfect, uncomplaining discipleship. As the path of perfect devotion to the will of the Father led the Lamb to his sacrificial death on the cross, so discipleship to him may well lead to sharing in his cross (Matt 10:38; Mark 8:34). They follow the Lamb because they are not their own but have been redeemed – purchased for God at the cost of the blood of the Lamb (5:9). (Ladd, p. 191-2)
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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
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

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.) 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: 18 Oct – Revelation 13:16-18 ~ the mark of the beast

Morning Prayer

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

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:16-18 (ESV) – to be read aloud

62245-barcode-666

Also it causes all, both small and great, both rich and poor, both free and slave, to be marked on the right hand or the forehead, so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark, that is, the name of the beast or the number of its name. This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The mark of the beast (13:16-18)

The second beast requires all people to receive the mark of the first beast on their right hand or forehead.

Its significance in the present passage is to parody the sealing of the servants of God in chapter 7. As the elect are sealed upon their foreheads to escape the destruction about to fall upon the earth, so the followers of the beast are to escape his wrath against the church by bearing his mark…. In the final days of Antichrist it will represent the ultimate test of religious loyalty. Only those who would rather die than compromise their faith will resist the mark of the beast. (Mounce, p.259-60)

The mark of the beast served both a religious and economic purpose…. John expects the beast, aided by the false prophet, to achieve a totalitarian rule in which he has complete control over politics, religion, and economics with the purpose of compelling the worship of all men. (Ladd, p.185-6)

The number of the beast (13:18)

No verse in Revelation has received more attention than this one with its cryptic reference to the number of the beast…. The history of interpretation demonstrates that no consensus has been reached on whom or what John had in mind. (Mounce, p.261)

The most we can say is that the number of the beast is a prophecy of a future situation, no one has yet solved the meaning of the number, but its meaning will be plain when the time comes. (Ladd, p.187)

In summary (chapters 12 & 13)

Chapter 12 introduced us to the great dragon, the primary adversary of God. In chapter 13 we met the two great forces used by Satan to accomplish his nefarious plans. The stage is set for the final encounter. What is crucial at this point is to recognize the true nature of the struggle. While the Lamb was victorious on the cross, the full and public acknowledgment of that victory awaits a final moment. Believers live in the already/not yet tension of a battle won but not quite over. While the victory as been achieved, the defeated enemy must still be permanently removed from the field of battle. That will take place when the conquering Messiah returns to establish his eternal rule. (Mounce, p.263)

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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
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

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.) 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: 17 Oct – Revelation 13:11-15 ~ the beast from the earth

Morning Prayer

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

Opening sentences

Lord, open my lips and my mouth will proclaim your praise.

I arise today, through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me, God’s wisdom to guide me,
God’s eye to look before me, God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me, God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me, God’s shield to protect me,
God’s host to secure me: against snares of devils,
against temptations of vices, against inclinations of nature,
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear, alone and in a crowd.

Revelation 13:11-15 (ESV) – to be read aloud

image
The Beast out of the Earth by Shinji2821

Then I saw another beast rising out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb and it spoke like a dragon. It exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound was healed.

It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in front of people, and by the signs that it is allowed to work in the presence of the beast it deceives those who dwell on earth, telling them to make an image for the beast that was wounded by the sword and yet lived. And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

Reflection

THE SECOND VISION – THE SEVEN TRUMPETS (8:2-14:20)

Interlude (12:1-14:20)

The beast from the earth (13:11-15)

The second beast is the servant (henchman) of the first. He has the sole objective of compelling men to worship the first beast…. In its eschatological form, the second beast suggests the capture of organized religion to help promote the civil and political aims of the first beast.

The first beast represents civil power, satanically inspired; the second beast represents religious power employed to support civil power…. His single objective is to capture the religious loyalties of men for the first. (Ladd, p.183-4)

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The second beast imitates the miracles of the true prophets to deceive people into worshiping the beast,,,, He is the Antichrist’s Minister of Propaganda,

In the last days there is to e a great division of the human race. Some will remain true to the faith even in the face of death; others will turn in worship to the Antichrist. It is this apostasy that is to precede the return of Christ. (Mounce, p.257-8)

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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
_____________________________________

Peanut Gallery: In September, we will begin reading through the Book of Revelation (ESV). Our purpose will be devotional, i.e. to discover the word of blessing that God has for us in these troubled times… to find hope and help for our daily lives.

This will not be a Bible Study per se: we will not attempt to unravel the “mysteries” of Revelation… that is far beyond our abilities and is not our interest here. However, so as not to get too far afield, we will rely on three study resources: primary – A Commentary on the Revelation of John (George Elton Ladd); supplemental Revelation (Leon Morris) and  The Book of Revelation (Robert H. Mounce).

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.) 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.